No work experience? How do you write a LinkedIn summary?
LinkedIn is the most professional and trusted social media platform for individuals looking to network and find a job. It’s the perfect social media platform for job seekers. However, if you’ve got no work experience how do you write a LinkedIn summary?
The summary section is one of the most important sections on LinkedIn. It has 2,000 characters available to use and most people will read this section before any other on LinkedIn.
According to Forbes, “LinkedIn is, far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today.
LinkedIn: A brief History
Reid Hoffman, the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn had his idea for a digital networking platform in his lounge. Despite its humble beginnings, he came from a digital technology background.
In his early career, he worked at Apple. He then co-founded SocialNet.com which was a dating site matching people by their interests. While he worked at SocialNet, he was one of the directors on the board at PayPal and shortly left SocialNet and worked at Paypal.
The original mission statement was to digitally connect the world’s professionals with each other to make them more productive and successful.
LinkedIn summary ideas
We noticed there were lots of people with no experience missing out on the benefits of LinkedIn. The summary section was left blank and we felt this was a missed opportunity.
So, if you have no work experience and stuck for what to put in the summary section on LinkedIn, we are going to share some ideas with you.
Getting you onto LinkedIn will help you network with other professionals. Networking will ultimately get you an invite to interview and get you the job you deserve.
Education and training
Consider adding details about your education. For example, if you’ve just left school, were you involved in any local, district, or community sports events? Were you involved in any extra curriculum activity?
Did you attend college and achieve any qualifications, participate in any group presentations or assignments? How about attending University qualifications, assignments, projects, presentations, essays, or research papers?
Have you attended any training courses? Reed Courses have some great and free courses right now. Select a course of interest and relevance to your career aspirations and goals.
Volunteering and charity work
Volunteering gives you so many benefits and of course, it’s a worthy and valuable contribution to the cause and community. There are some charitable organizations that cannot operate without their team of volunteers and so, it’s viewed as a brilliant thing to do.
Here are some other benefits of volunteering:
- It gives you opportunities to demonstrate many skills like, communication, working as a team, customer service, and the ability to follow instructions and guidance.
- It also gives you a great opportunity to network with people locally and this could lead to paid work.
If you are working with the public you can demonstrate customer service, communication skills, and the ability to be empathetic if you are supporting people through crisis or challenge. (Cancer Research, Salvation Army, or Crisis for example).
The 5 stages of writing a CV from scratch... If you are writing a CV from scratch then let me manage your expectations. Those who start by typing straight onto a Word document really need to take a step back. We’ve put together 5 stages of writing a CV...
Values and characteristics
Describe who you are as a person. What are your most important values and how would you describe yourself. This adds a little more interest and meaning when you thread these characteristics through your achievements.
Avoid a long list of buzzwords (as below!), and add your highest values into other sentences. For example, if you are going to share a time you volunteered, add some of the characteristics you displayed, like empathy and caring.
Characteristics to add to your LinkedIn summary:
- Team player
- Caring and empathetic
- Sociable and many more…
Hobbies and interests
When you haven’t got any work experience you can still demonstrate behavioural competencies and characteristics through your hobbies and interests.
- Sports; football, netball, swimming, horse riding, cycling, running, or jogging.
- Arts and crafts; sewing, knitting, croquette, needlecraft, creating greetings cards, upcycling furniture, painting, etc.
Your summary can include, computer gaming, reading, studying, researching and there are many more of course…
Provide examples in your LinkedIn summary
Once you have some ideas on what to share, it’s time to bring it all together. What you don’t want is just lists of skills and characteristics without any meaning.
Start by adding some examples to provide evidence of your skills and abilities. Think about adding some characteristics to these examples and now you have some compelling and interesting examples to share in your LinkedIn summary.
For example, if you claim to be:
- A good team player; Give an example of where you have demonstrated the ability to work as a team.
- Good at customer service; Share an example of where you have gone the extra mile for a customer.
- Good at conducting research; Share an assignment you completed at school, college, or university, and so on.
- Ambitious; Add an example of where you have set and exceeded personal goals.
If your hobbies and interests relate to your future job prospects or purpose for being on LinkedIn, why not add a story!
Here’s some information about LinkedIn Stories: How to use LinkedIn Stories
General LinkedIn Tips and summary
- The LinkedIn summary has 2,000 characters to use
- Treat the summary as a personal introduction to your audience (like a cover letter/email)
- Remember only the first couple of lines show initially – so, make these interesting and relevant
- Write sentences that are clear and concise
- Leave some white space between the paragraphs
- Include keywords relevant to your career aspirations
- Don’t go crazy with the emojis. It will distract the reader from the content.
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