In today's continuation of our discussion on building a good LinkedIn profile, you will discover a good strategy for the Summary and Specialties sections.
As a reminder, your LinkedIn profile is an online business resume; at least that's what LinkedIn feels it should be. But we want you to take a different strategy and instead use it to build connections to your existing customers.
How many paper resumes have you seen with the "Summary" section beginning with the words "To find a job where..." or "My goal is to..." other similar words? As you browse through LinkedIn, you will see hundreds of profiles of people trying to cram the history of their life's work into the Summary. Apparently, everyone needs to go back to basic resume writing school. This strategy would be quite obviously wrong if the same information was printed out on paper and presented as a real resume.
Many top professionals in their field have totally fallen into this basic brain fart situation. Should we say "oops" at this point? It's easy to make this mistake since LinkedIn claims to be a business resume, but then presents itself as just another profile website.
Getting back to the Summary section again, we don't necessarily recommend that you start by saying "My goal is," or "I'd like to," but if you are looking to keep it short and simple that is the basic approach.
The past should stay in the past. Your future goals, or how you are helping people currently is the only thing that should be in your Summary. What is it you do every day, or every week that your customer would be interested in reading?
Do you create custom designed jewelry? Perhaps you could say "I design truly unique custom jewelry for customers looking to impress. Each custom jewelry design is created with expert craftsmanship and style as if it were being entered into a national jewelry competition." Of course, this may or may not be a true statement for all our readers, but let's say you have already entered design competitions; if so, you should list them in the Experience section. Of course, you should make special mention of jewelry design awards or honorary mentions in the "Honors and Awards" area of your profile.
Figure out what your specialty is and embellish it in your summary. Explain what you will do in the future, or how you provide service while thinking about the future. The Summary section has a limited number of characters, and if you hit that limit, you either are not paying attention to our directions or you just talk way too much. There's nothing wrong with making your summary as long as it needs to be, just keep it interesting.
The other prominent area of your profile is called "Specialties," and it's actually a subsection under your summary. This section should list your actual skills. Many people have difficulties articulating what their exact skills are because they are so common to them. These skills could be listed as individual keyword phrases like "managerial accounting" or "strategic planning" but honestly those will not gain you extra attention from your target jewelry customer. Those are phrases you would only include if you were actually looking for other employment.
A better strategy for our fine jewelry retailers is to list words or phrases that represent service you provide. Some good examples are "Jewelry Appraising and Insurance Valuation," or perhaps "CAD Jewelry Designing." You could also take more personal approaches and say "Engagement Ring Specialist" or "Pre-Engagement Ring Planner," perhaps even "Coaching for the 'I Do' Seeker."
Another spin is that the Specialties section is where you can place SEO keyword phrases. You can be as specific as Google AdWords, or more creative as shown above. One final recommendation is to bullet point your specialties instead of simply listing them separated by commas.
* Jewelry Appraising and Insurance Valuation
* CAD Jewelry Designing
* Engagement Ring Specialist
* Pre-Engagement Ring Planner
* Private Coach for the 'I Do' Seeker
Tomorrow we will cover linking Twitter to your profile, setting up website links, and joining groups.