6 Steps to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile Summary [for Recruiters]

April 6, 2016

You already have the perfect photo and headline on your LinkedIn profile. Together, they lure candidates to click and scroll down to your summary. Now you have about five seconds to keep them on the page.

Your summary can be the difference between a candidate responding to your InMail – and not. But writing a good summary can be hard. Usually anything worth reading takes some blood, sweat and tears to write. Plus, there isn’t just one right way to do it.

If a blank page scares you or you’re not even sure where to start, then follow this guide to get to there faster.

Before you start

As with any writing task, first you need to identify your audience and your goal: whom you are writing to, what they care most about, and what you want them to do or feel afterward. These will be different for every recruiter. For example:

Recruiter #1

Audience: top software engineers in Seattle who value autonomy and flexibility.

Goal: excite them about engineering at your company and persuade them to respond to your InMails.

Recruiter #2

Audience: new graduates in the U.K. interested in marketing and advertising.

Goal: raise awareness of your company’s employer brand and drive traffic to your Careers Page and job postings.

Now, we can use these two recruiters as examples throughout the rest of the post to show how they would position their summaries to attract the talent they want. 

The 6 key components of a profile summary

1. Say what you do

Sum yourself up professionally in 2-3 sentences. Think of what you want your audience to remember the most about you.

If you’re stuck, jot down your answers to these questions and use them as raw material for your draft.

  • What do you do every day?
  • What does it mean to be a recruiter?
  • What problems do you solve and for whom?
  • How do you make other people’s lives easier?

Recruiter #1

I’m building a world-class team of software engineers as a recruiter for ABCCo, the largest healthcare IT company in the Northwest. We’re transforming the way patients receive medical care, so I spend my days finding, recruiting and hiring the best engineers who can help realize that mission.

Recruiter #2

I help discover and nurture the advertising industry’s newest talent. I specialize in recruiting entry-level art directors, designers, and copywriters for XYZCo, a boutique agency in central London. I support new grads in their development as professionals and strive to make the recruiting process as fun as possible.

2. Say why you do what you do

Again, if you’re unsure of how to say it, use these questions to get your juices flowing.

  • Why are you in talent acquisition and not some other industry?
  • Besides income, why do you get up every day and do what you do?
  • What about recruiting excites you?
  • What’s the best part of your job?

Recruiter #1

There’s nothing like the thrill of a candidate’s enthusiastic “Yes!” to an offer, and an equally pleased hiring manager who just landed a top performer. Perhaps even more satisfying is successfully recruiting a superstar and then seeing her develop a billion-dollar product. Knowing my efforts impact the bottom line keeps me going every day.

Recruiter #2

I’ve always been a people person. As a university recruiter, I love getting to talk to young minds all day. I also get to flex my powers of persuasion. We’re a relatively small agency competing against the biggest names in advertising. I love the challenge of convincing top prospects with multiple offers to join us.

3. Say what’s in it for them

Tell your candidates some value they’ll get by working at your company.

  • What’s unique about the opportunities you have to offer?
  • What makes your company special?
  • Why are you recruiting for your company and not the company down the street?

Recruiter #1

What matters at ABCCo is getting the job done. It’s less about where or when you do your work, and more about its quality. We also recognize that good ideas can come from anyone. I experienced this firsthand as a recruiter. I saw an opportunity to improve our interview process, so I ran with it and made positive change. I feel lucky to work in an environment that values my independence, and you will too.

Recruiter #2

We’re a unique agency. We’re big enough that we can offer world-class training and mentoring, but we’re small enough that we can offer direct access to leadership. Our new graduates learn and get exposed to far more than they ever would in other agencies.

4. Explain what sets you apart

Now’s not the time to be shy. Talk about your strengths and what makes you better or different from every other recruiter.

  • What makes you really good at what you do?
  • What’s the one trait you’re most known for?
  • What has been your greatest accomplishment or top career highlight?
  • What’s the best compliment you ever received professionally?

Recruiter #1

Candidates often tell me they appreciate my responsiveness and transparency. You will always know where you stand in our hiring process. If I have no news, I will at least communicate that I have no news. When it’s time for honest feedback, I will give it. My colleagues and I deliver a top-notch candidate experience whether or not you’re hired.

Recruiter #2

As a former art director myself, I understand deeply both the creative and account management sides of agencies, and can help candidates navigate them. I take pride in guiding our newest talent through what can sometimes feel like an overwhelming process. My compassion and coaching skills serve them well.

5. Share personal fact(s)

Whether you like to cook, surf, or knit outside of work, rounding out your identity with some non-professional details makes you more approachable and makes it easier for candidates to establish rapport.

Recruiter #1

Things that matter to me most: technology, being a mom, my vegetable garden, fine wine, paddle tennis, and matching people with the amazing opportunities at ABCCo.

Recruiter #2

If I’m not recruiting I’m probably playing the drums, hiking the foothills, or binge-watching the latest Netflix sensation.

6. Tell them what to do next

Inviting your candidates to connect and start a dialogue is a great way for a recruiter to end his or her profile summary.

Recruiter #1

If you are interested in opportunities at ABCCo or would like to connect for the future, I’d love to hear from you.

Recruiter #2

Check out careers.XYZCo.com, and follow me on Twitter @XYZRecruiter for updates on current opportunities.

You can follow this formula to revamp your profile summary, or take the pieces you like best and craft your own. Whatever you do, don’t leave it blank. Your profile summary is a strategic piece of content that can make you a more successful recruiter. Don’t miss the opportunity to have it work for you. 

*Image from Death to the Stock Photo

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