Having a great LinkedIn summary is essential. It’s one of the most important areas of your entire LinkedIn profile: It sums up your professional history, qualifications, and personality. It’s where you get to lay down a compelling, original first impression to potential clients, and the universe of other professionals who are going to head to LinkedIn first when they want to “check you out.” Lawyers looking to strengthen their thought leadership position, drum up a new business or career opportunities on LinkedIn, undoubtedly need a well-composed summary. Follow these LinkedIn summary tips for lawyers to impress your profile visitors and make the most out of your LinkedIn presence.
1. The LinkedIn summary should be written in the first person.
In the past, you may have pulled information from a professional bio, or drafted a paragraph from the third-person voice. A more current strategy is writing about yourself and treating the space like a first-person marketing pitch. A lawyer’s LinkedIn summary shouldn’t appear as a bio, but as a copy that shares some personality and explains why you’re a great lawyer and the specific ways you help your clients – in your own words.
2. Angle your summary toward the specific people you care most about.
Since the summary will read like a short sales pitch, it’s important to know who you’re targeting just like you would with any marketing effort. Do some research on the various clients, prospects, professionals, or employers that might be reviewing your summary. What would you want them to know about you? What are the key points, accomplishments, or skills that would be essential for them to understand? Try to capture their interest and emphasize those points right away. Here are a few tips for catering to different audiences:
- Prospective clients are looking more closely at your background, your expertise, and your particular skill set.
- If you are an owner or managing partner at your law firm, you need to represent the firm well and show the ways that you’re a leader in your niche.
- Recruiters are looking for someone who is a good fit with their own firm.
- Generally, information should be read easily by colleagues, partners, etc. Avoid legal jargon.
3. Include a personal statement about why you do what you do.
Most lawyers have very bland and impersonal online bios. Law firms want everyone to sound and look alike. It’s really important to break the mold and take off the professional mask. Take the opportunity to say something more personal in your profile by explaining why your work is important to you (instead of just telling people you’re good at it).
4. Don’t be afraid to show your personality.
Your GPA in law school and admission to practice in multiple jurisdictions don’t really say too much about who you are. It’s important to say something about your interests outside of work, including community involvement, hobbies, or family life.
5. Entice readers with the first three sentences.
People have short attention spans. As quickly as possible, you want to relay who you are and what value you can offer. It’s important to know that the first three summary sentences “follow” you when you post on LinkedIn. That means if you comment on something, and someone is intrigued and clicks on your profile, the first three sentences are what they’ll get to read about you (before they click “show more”). Ensure these first few sentences are attention-grabbing.
6. Include a call to action.
What particular step do you want your reader to take next? Like any effective marketing, you need to close your summary with a clear indication of how to take the next step. This may vary depending on what your business objectives are on the platform. For example, if you want people to learn more about your thought leadership content add a link to your blog or podcast.
7. Get another set of eyes on your LinkedIn summary before posting.
It’s a great idea to have another person, who is not a lawyer, review your LinkedIn summary with an objective outlook. Have them read through it with your audience in mind. Does it get your points across? Does it show your personality without being overly casual? Did it grab their attention right away? Of course, if your reviewer is excellent with grammar, that’s a plus. Only after you’ve had someone you respect look over your summary should you post it.
Your LinkedIn summary is your chance to put your best self out there. Highlight your accomplishments, be creative, show your personality, and use an attention-grabbing opening line. Lawyers can follow these tips to strengthen their LinkedIn summary and get more of the activity they’re looking for on LinkedIn.
This post has been edited and republished from Oct. 29, 2020.