Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Worst LinkedIn Summary Ever

Okay folks, I'm going to give it to you straight: There are certain phrases when used in a LinkedIn profile summary have the same effect as nails on a chalkboard.

In other words, it's such a turn-off as a hiring manager, it's hard to focus on your profile as being credible after reading them. Recently, this is the profile summary someone asked me to review. I've underlined the phrases that make me want to cover my ears and run from my computer screen yelling, "NOOOOO. Not again!"

A dynamic leader with the ability to drive change and proven track record of high accomplishments in various areas. Highly organized individual, believes in empowerment and team work, highly adaptable, strong business sense, effective communicator, result-oriented and can-do attitude.

What makes me cringe when I read this?

For starters, the person is being completely subjective. These aren't facts about them (facts are backed by numbers and statistics). This summary is the person's opinion of themselves – and it comes across as over-confident and canned. Honestly, it's the worst use of a LinkedIn summary you can possible implement… especially during a job search.

If you are looking for a job in 2012, I am begging you not to ruin your profile with an unsubstantiated, over-used summary statement like this one.

What should be there instead?

Facts, facts, and more facts. Tell me about your accomplishments in as few words as possible, using numbers and statistics to support the truth. An example might be:

15+ years of experience leading teams of 10-200 staff members. Managed 30+ projects ranging from $100K-$1.7M in budget. 200+ hours of presenting and training on a wide variety of subjects including innovation, teamwork and project management.

See the difference?

In the original summary, the person is claiming to be all those things. In the revised summary they are proving it.

When it comes to your LinkedIn summary, remember you need to compel the reader to scroll down the page and look at your work history. These days, bragging won't make that happen. Stating facts that entice them to see where you accomplished them will.

Want to have your LinkedIn profile reviewed by a career expert?

Go to today and sign up risk-free. You can submit your LinkedIn profile (as well as any other career tool) for review by an expert. That way, you can be sure you are making the right impression!

J.T. O'Donnell is the founder of and CEO of, a web-based career development company.

Thanks to J. T. O'Donnell / Careerealism

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