Being LinkedIn Trainers, working with teams, companies, HRs and recruiters, we can learn a lot by observing our trainees’ profiles. As every our training concludes with a personal assessment that every participant receives, we have managed to see patterns of mistakes, and we have some tips on how to avoid them.
The About section is very often overlooked or even ignored by Newbies on LinkedIn. Even LinkedIn veterans can find it difficult to write a compelling About text, opting out for just a couple of sentences or a string of keywords.
The About section gives us 2,600 characters that can be used to map out our path, to motivate others to learn more about us and initiate a connection. There are 425 characters (or almost 4 full lines of text) before the text is hidden by the “…see more” button. This makes the first sentences of the section very important. Their role is to grab the viewers’ attention with information about our professional role and goals and to motivate them to keep reading further.
How to create a compelling About text?
Experience and qualification
It is important to highlight the steps you took to form yourself into the professional you’re today. This is where you can share your personal inspiration and your professional motivation.
Present role and company, achievements
Users who are looking through your LinkedIn Profile will be interested in your current role and work, so share more about your company and position. This is a great place to detail your services, professional commitment, expertise and also achievements.
It is easy to fall into the trap of buzzwords when describing this, but you should avoid overused phrases and excessive use of adjectives that don’t give valuable information to the reader. As your audience is potential business partners or recruiters, share details that will give them context and perspective of your work. For example, when detailing your professional role and accomplishments, instead of writing that you have “participated in numerous campaigns and achieved great results”, write that over the last year you participated in 3 key projects in certain industries, lead a team of 10 people, achieved a success rate of 15%, etc.
Current top priorities and those for the next few years
Outlining your current top priorities and future goals is especially important. Sharing the road of professional development you have chosen is a bright sign for those who would want to work with us – potential partners, recruiters and even future employees.
Personal interests that will help others instantly connect with you
Include a more personal element to your About section. This may be something connected to your inspiration, interests, hobbies or causes you support. You can include organizations you belong to, like a sports team or club, charity or humanitarian efforts you are involved in, etc. This will allow people to learn more about you as a person, instantly connect with you outside of your professional field. These interests and affiliations can also become a great conversational ice breaker.
A call to action (contact)
Share what you can do for others and how they can connect with you outside LinkedIn as well (email or a phone number). Include this information to make it easier for people to connect.
In this section, it is not possible to add active links, like to your company’s website or to a portfolio. You can link them in the Experience section. However, many users still include URLs in their About, relying on the premise that a motivated reader will copy the address and find the content.
Remember using the keywords that will make you discoverable through search. They can be tied to your professional interests, position, industry, services, etc. Make sure to construct your text in an easy to read way. Divide it into paragraphs, use bullets or emojis to make it visibly more appealing, or highlight parts using a different font.
The most important guideline you should follow is that every element of your profile should be tailored to your purpose on LinkedIn. From your headline, to the skills you list, and of course your About text, everything should highlight your strengths and serve as a signal to your goals. For example, if you’re looking for a new job – highlight in the About section your experience, qualification and professional goals, but if you provide services and you’re looking for potential partners – focus on your current job, expertise and services.
As you build your LinkedIn network don’t miss other LinkedIn for Newbies articles.
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