Recently my sister asked me what needs to be done to get found on LinkedIn. Her question arose after she received email notifications from LinkedIn “You appeared in xx searches this week”. She wanted to know what we as sourcers and recruiters are focused on when looking for desired but passive candidates. What determines our search for “best fits” or “perfect matches”?

Among many questions, one in particular that stood out was, “Do I need a summary on my LinkedIn profile?”

In every industry there are different ways specialists undertake to get their job done. In our case, the objective of sourcers is to partner with recruiters to fill roles. To do so, we focus on meeting confirmed job requirements so that in the end we can fulfill the mutual needs of candidates and hiring managers. As we try to match passive job seekers with available positions, we are creative in terms of finding them. We do not follow the same approach each time when executing searches for a particular job opening, but there is always one thing in common that we look for in candidates’ profiles, and undoubtedly, that is key words.

Words and phrases are significant when searching for a job and when finding proper candidates. Therefore, I believe that a well thought-out summary on LinkedIn is a must nowadays. What I recommend is to use it as a place where you may share additional information about yourself and overall experience that is not necessarily a match with your current or past job responsibilities. If you want to make your profile look good do not underestimate the power of the LinkedIn summary. Not only does it serve as your bio but it may also be beneficial to increase the power of your personal brand.

First of all, in order to create a suitable summary on LinkedIn, you need to decide if and why would you like to be found on LinkedIn. It requires some time to prepare a strategy defining what you are aiming at when presenting yourself as a prospect candidate or a business partner.

When building your LinkedIn summary you will want to ask yourself which of the following you’re trying to accomplish:

Strongly identify with current employer

If yes, remember to include the information on the company you work for. Write a brief description and focus on something that increases awareness of brand or product attractiveness – something that makes you proud to be working for that company and answers exactly why you would like to be identified with the company (mission, values, organizational culture or product).

Express your expertise or interest in a certain area (i.e. sales, marketing, IT etc.)

If yes, summarize all the necessary information that presents your strengths and achievements in that specific industry or a role that you play or would like to play in the particular field.

To be considered for a job in which you are not (yet) experienced in

If yes, a summary on LinkedIn is a perfect space to share your interest or announcement on what are you really looking for in terms of a career change and growth.

The above suggestions are examples of what direction your summary on LinkedIn may take. However, you may easily use all of them. I find all of the above directions significant when describing yourself in terms of work experience, areas of interest, as well as achievements and future motivations related to your career growth.

Additional tips on preparing your summary on LinkedIn:

  • Be consistent and decide whether to present yourself in 1st or 3rd person – do not mix both!
  • Be authentic
  • Stick to the most important and catchy information as you have only 2,000 characters to use
  • Be clear about your main message in the summary.