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30 LinkedIn Tips: #1/30 – How to write your LinkedIn About section

30 short, useful, actionable LinkedIn tips in 30 days from Doctor David Petherick. #30by30 #TheDoctorisIn

#1/30: First person, first item: Write an about section.

  • Originally written: October 1, 2017
    Text & Images Updated: September 23, 2022

Use your 'About' section to include the essentials

The pivotal part of your LinkedIn Profile is the summary or 'About' section. It needs to be there. It may be the only part of your profile visitors read beyond your headline.

Don't omit it: Your profile won't be recognised by LinkedIn as being fully complete without an 'about section'. This means you will be placed lower in any given search results.

You are more than just the summary of your job experience, so tell us your story here, above everything else on your profile. Give us your elevator pitch.

IMPORTANT TIP

Use the first 400 characters or so creatively, because that's what people will see BEFORE they trouble to click on 'See more'. (See the image showing where the summary text is truncated below on my profile).

A snappy summary opening can also make the difference as to whether visitors even bother to click, or read any further. If you don't grab their attention, they may simply not bother. Recent studies suggest 97% of profile visitors won't click to see more. So make your opening count.

Does your about section cut off at the right point? Do I want to read more?

Does your about section cut off at the right point? Do I want to read more?

Your profile summary needs to tell the reader a concise story of you.

  • Who, what, why, when, and how much?
  • What is your core area of expertise?
  • What's your big passion outside of work?
  • When did you make a major change in your career?
  • Why do you specialise in that particular niche area of the market?
  • What useful free information do you have to offer people?
  • How can you solve my problems?
  • Who have you solved problems for before?
  • How can you save me money?
  • Show me numbers!
  • Who can vouch for this - who's recommended or published you?

Write in the first person singular - "I". Don't use the third person "David Petherick makes you visible, legible..." - it's pompous, dead and stilted.

You are having a virtual conversation with someone one to one. Talk normally, and don't stuff your summary with cliches and jargon.

Warning - avoid clichéd 'power' phrases.

Please try to avoid using any of the ten words listed below - these are the Top 10 most overused profile buzzwords used globally in LinkedIn in 2016. 2017 and 2018 were pretty much the same!

  1. Specialized
  2. Leadership
  3. Passionate
  4. Strategic
  5. Experienced
  6. Focused
  7. Expert
  8. Certified
  9. Creative
  10. Excellent

Instead, show me your swag, your swagger, your style and your story!

Example LinkedIn About Section

Example LinkedIn 'About' Section for David Petherick

Use your LinkedIn Profile About section to tell me a story.

Note that on mobile devices such as iPhones, any links in your about section will be clickable. So make me want to do something after I've heard that story, by adding contact details and a clear call to action.

 

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About David Petherick

The Doctor is In. I have treated over 34,237 LinkedIn problems for CEOs, professionals and startups since 2006. You'll know by the end of our first free consultation if I can help you. We just need 10 minutes to diagnose and confirm if we're a good fit. Join over 1,450 subscribers to my free LinkedIn Newsletter at doc.scot/mail Follow me on Twitter at @petherick.