The summary of a LinkedIn profile is often as poorly used as the summary of a resume. Far too often it's wasted by going on and on about how special or talented the person believes they are (or it's completely blank). They may very well be exceptional, but no one is going to believe it just because they say it. It takes more than that to be convincing. With that said, here are three things to consider:
Actually summarize your qualifications
It's called a summary for a reason, so think about summing up your experience. Usually that starts off with a statement about how much experience you have, in what industry, in what job function, and at what job level. Here's an example:
Next, you may want to summarize your career path, if applicable:
You may want to single out specific areas of expertise. If you do, provide proof to back up your claims:
Finally, highlight additional qualifications beyond your experience, if relevant:
Focus on what you offer, not on the fact that you're available
There's much debate about whether you should clearly state in your profile that you're looking for a job. In my opinion, I don't think it provides much value.
First of all, if you've applied for a job or at least reached out to a recruiter and indicated your interest, they will likely review your profile and they won't care whether it says you're actively job searching or not, since you reached out to them.
If a recruiter stumbles across your profile and has had no previous contact with you, they'll likely still reach out if they think you're a suitable candidate. It doesn't matter whether it says you're job searching or not - they don't only select candidates who are available at that particular moment. Perhaps you'd be open to change?
On the flip side, indicating that you're job searching could make you come across as desperate. Why? Because superstars never have to "job search" - they're always being recruited. They're always in demand. They don't need to hang out an "available for work" sign. And superstars are what everyone wants to hire.
So my advice is to focus on what you offer rather than broadcasting the fact that you're job searching.
Include the most relevant keywords
Keywords are important, yes, but I also think they're overrated. The reason for that is there is far too much focus on keywords, almost to the point where some people believe all they need to do is populate their profile with the right keywords, sit back, and watch the offers come pouring in. It's dangerous advice.
Keywords are important but they're not more important than anything else. If your only goal is to integrate keywords into your profile (or resume), the reader will be able to tell and they'll likely be turned off. So I suggest giving it some thought, make sure the basics are there, and then move on.
What do I mean by the basics?
Think about what the recruiter would be searching for, and make sure those basic terms are included. For example, if you're a store manager looking for an area manager or district manager position, here are some words/phrases you might want to have in your profile and resume:
Don't worry about squeezing in a bunch of other buzzwords like business development, process optimization, or change management. The reality is you have no idea what the recruiter may be searching for, and it's very easy to get carried away trying to fit in everything you can think of. Don't water down your core message.
If you'd really like to attract recruiters with a premium resume and LinkedIn profile, please visit my website for details on how I've helped hundreds of retail leaders from all across North America.
I wish you all the best in your job search!