Learn how to pitch your talents on LinkedIn in 30 seconds or less.

You have 30 seconds to describe yourself. Can you do it?

With a LinkedIn profile summary, that’s all the time you have. Sorry, no one wants to read your entire work history. Not even a little bit.

The summary section requires brevity and critical thinking. You must explain what you’re about and the impact you make on others.

The following guide is from my new book, "Wait, How Do I Write This Email?," a collection of 100+ templates for networking, the job search, and LinkedIn.

Step 1: Who are you, really?

When writing a LinkedIn summary, keep it basic. In a nutshell, what are you known for? What’s your identity? And how does your work help other people?

It’s a useful exercise to describe yourself in less than 10 seconds. Plus, it’s important to think hard about the value you add to the market.

Here’s an example for a young guy we’ll call “Lamar.”

Every day, I protect sensitive information on thousands of people from hackers and cyberattacks.

At Lamar’s professional core, that’s the work he does AND how his work improves the lives of other people.

Step 2: What do you do?

Now take the opening line a bit deeper, but remember the 30-second rule. This is no time to delve into three huge paragraphs on everything you’ve done. Keep it rolling with specific details, like:

  • Your title and company

  • BRIEFLY what you do on the job

  • Again, how your job helps people

  • Specialties or areas of expertise if you need to describe your role a bit further

Here's how Lamar describes what he does and how it benefits others:

As an information security analyst at Acme Hospital System in Sacramento, I manage the day-to-day flow of information into and out of five hospitals and two emergency centers. With a focus on database management, my job ensures critical computer systems, medical files, and patient history remain active and never fail. My team and I stay updated on the latest trends in information security to not only keep Acme Hospital System safe but also on the cutting edge.

This portion of Lamar's professional LinkedIn summary does a great job pitching his value in a short amount of space.

Step 3: Bring 'em home.

In the final step of writing a LinkedIn summary, put a stamp on it. By now the reader knows who you are and what you do. Finish out with a strong “closer” sentence.

Similar to your opening line, what’s your mission as a working professional? What are you passionate about? And I know I’m a broken record but … how does your passion help other people?

Reiterate that point at the end, add a period and you’re done.

Lamar’s closing line:

A hospital never sleeps, and the same goes for IT. If everything runs smoothly and nothing suffers a glitch, then I know I did my job.

Lamar’s full LinkedIn profile summary:

Every day, I protect sensitive information on thousands of people from hackers and cyberattacks.

As an information security analyst at Acme Hospital System in Sacramento, I manage the day-to-day flow of information into and out of five hospitals and two emergency centers. With a focus on database management, my job ensures critical computer systems, medical files, and patient history remain active and never fail. My team and I stay updated on the latest trends in information security to not only keep Acme Hospital System safe but also on the cutting edge.

A hospital never sleeps, and the same goes for IT. If everything runs smoothly and nothing suffers a glitch, then I know I did my job.

Even though it’s short, Lamar’s LinkedIn profile summary does more than discuss his day-to-day responsibilities. The summary explains his job, showcases his personality, and proves why his work makes other people's lives better.

In a vast ocean of online profiles, Lamar has a bio you will remember. And that’s the goal: to be unforgettable.

Click on the following link for more career advice on personal branding.

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