How to Craft an Engaging Personal Summary

guy with laptop

Your personal summary must contain compelling content along with a high percentage of keywords that are directly relevant to your career goals. This is your story, and it has to be very specific to your skills and expertise, relevant and laser-targeted to your target market. However, even though it is about you, it is important to make it all about using your background, skills and experience to address specific problems and challenges, using language that will resonate with your target audiences.

You’ll need to naturally include instances of the keyword you are optimizing your profile for, enough to be more prominent in the profile withoutsounding forced or unnatural. For example, if you are an SEO specialist, you’ll want to include instances of SEO in all of its variations (search engine optimization, search engine marketing, search marketing, organic search, natural search, etc.).

It is essential that your summary flows naturally. Trying to incorporate your target keywords into your summary as you write may make your narrative come across as forced, impersonal or robotic. One alternative might be to draft the initial summary without caring about keywords. At this stage, simply write what you want to say. Once you have a draft you’re reasonably happy with, you can then go ahead to incorporate your target keywords into the narrative.

Essentially, your summary should be customer-focused and benefit-driven. It should
answer the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • What differentiates you from other professionals in your field? Why are
    you so special?
  • Who is your ideal target market?
  • What problems or challenges do they face that you can solve for them?
  • What results have you achieved for previous clients?
  • What do your previous clients say about working with you?
  • What do you want your target client to do after they read your summary?

Your Elevator Pitch

Your summary is effectively your elevator pitch. The concept behind an elevator pitch is that you are riding an elevator with the CEO of your hottest prospect, and he says: “I was just curious, tell me more about yourself!” In this situation, you have just the time it takes to ride the elevator to concisely and succinctly explain your product or service.

Your summary needs to be a powerful and concise description of you and how you can solve the problems and challenges of your target audience. It needs to really grab the attention of the reader and make them regard you as the perfect solution to their problem.

The Five W’s:

The first step to crafting an engaging summary is to develop answers to the following questions:

  • Who are you? (For example, begin your answer with “Hi. My name is David Cameron. I am a search engine optimization specialist with over 7 years’ experience in the digital marketing industry.”)
  • What do you do? (For example, begin your answer with: “I specialize in helping small and medium sized businesses generate qualified leads from search engine optimization (SEO), paid search (PPC) and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.”
  • Who do you help? (For example, “My speciality lies in identifying exactly why your business is not featuring at the top of the major search engines for your target keywords or phrases, and then helping you to implement tried and true, industry-proven solutions to ensure that you are more visible to your target market.”)
  • Why do they care? Or, what’s in it for them? (For example, “If you’re not featuring at the top of the first page of the major search engines for your target keywords, your potential customers will be doing business with your competitors instead.“)
  • Why are you different? (For example, begin your answer with “The solutions I use are 100% white hat, and primarily designed with the objective of delivering front page visibility in the major search engines to help you generate unlimited quality leads and achieve your business objectives. “)

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