LinkedIn Summary vs. Short Attention Spans

October 24th, 2011 | by Jason Alba |

Brenda Bernstein, a resume writer recently asked me this:

Curious to know more about your 2,000 character summary recommendation in the age of short attention spans.

That’s a great question.

She’s referring to my strong recommendation to use as many of the 2,000 characters in the LinkedIn Summary that you can.

Also, I talk about SHORT messages… short emails, short(er) “elevator pitches,” etc.

So where does this “use it all up” and “go shorter!” meet?

Specifically, on the LinkedIn Summary, this is a place where people have come to learn more about you.  You already have their attention… you don’t need to do the 5 second elevator pitch, especially if they have scrolled down to your LinkedIn Summary.  They’ve seen your Professional Headline, your titles, etc.

The Summary is a place that can stink whether it is long or short, really.  I’ve seen stinky short, long and mid-sized Summaries.

If you have my book or DVD you know ONE goal of the Summary is to engage.

How do you do that?

For most people, you will tell stories.  You can use the PAR format to tell your stories.

The cool thing about stories is that they are more engaging… and will suck the reader in.  Tell multiple stories (multiple PAR statements), and become more engaging.  Do this well and before you know it you’ll wish you had an extra 1,000 characters…

That’s how you use it up, and how you avoid the issues with the short attentions spans.

Make sense?

  1. One Response to “LinkedIn Summary vs. Short Attention Spans”

  2. By Brenda Bernstein on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for answering my question Jason! I am on a continual quest to find the right balance between telling good stories, creating the right visual appeal, and relating a person’s accomplishments in a LinkedIn Summary. I greatly value your take on the subject!

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