Can you help with a LinkedIn summary?
July 23, 2014 8:45 AM   Subscribe

So pretty much everything is filled in nicely on my LinkedIn profile, except the part where I summarize myself and my objectives. Ugh...

I am currently looking for work, trying to cover all necessary bases including a robust LinkedIn profile. Although I'm not sure how I should best summarize my objectives given my experience.

Quick background: I have a Masters in Applied Geography/Urban Planning/Econ Development. Out of grad school, I got hired on with an emergency management government contractor; was with them from 2006 until last August. I relocated and had to give notice. But I stayed on with them as a consultant until March of this year. That worked out fine, but it's not steady work. I was also fine with giving notice because I was open to finding other opportunities.

My problem is that, while I have "consultant" listed on my LinkedIn, it's not my only preference. I am open to contract work or full-time, heck even a decent part-time gig. Also, my profile includes several other positions that I've held other than emergency management because I'd also like to remain open to other fields, EM-related or not. I would even be open to administrative assistant-type jobs if it was for a good, solid company/agency. (I have also applied to local government planning - and other- positions, but haven't even got an interview.)

I don't know if I'm getting my point across (see?) - all I know is that my interests and what I would/could possibly do are ALL over the place, so how do I not come across as such a scatter-brain in my summary?? Help! Thank you very much for any direction.
posted by foxhat10 to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Replying from the perspective that I am a freelancer and any new work that I get at this point comes in via LinkedIn. I also still get emails from recruiters about job X and consultancy gig Y, etc. I am not necessarily as familiar with your work background, however, so if someone comes in here and gets tons of responses in LinkedIn as an admin assistant, then use their info to trump anything that I say here.

But if I were shoes, I would use any technical stuff that you did as a contractor and list it out in your LinkedIn profile. State that you are available for those services. If you are between jobs, absolutely put "open to contract/full-time/part-time." If your field uses recruiters, however, this is not necessary (if they see you match any key word, even if you state contract only or freelance only, they will still send you info and queries).

I would list the skill sets that you want for gov planning, but I wouldnt state that as an objective, because most people that I know who get gov type jobs get it via a different route (writing KSAs/submitting/reviewed) and are not found via recruiters/headhunters.

If I were in your shoes, I would also not put in the admin assistant job desire at all, just because 1) I can't imagine headhunters looking for that and 2) I think it could make you appear unfocused (I have various interests, too, OP, but tweak the LI profile to appear very focused to a potential person that will work for you because they want someone with experience in Y).

If you do want to do admin assistant, I would send letters/emails/calls or whatever contact you prefer to every company/agency in a geographic range. So you can tell them about yourself, present a CV.

Part of my comments above are assuming that your first contract gig/experience is in a field that uses headhunters/recruiters, someone in a company might search for someone with those skills, etc.
posted by Wolfster at 9:26 AM on July 23, 2014

Honestly? Don't bother unless it is absolutely essential for you to have these written.

In my experience (and take with a grain of salt as I'm in the UK) very few people fill out these sections and those that do often come across badly.

In addition, headhunters/recruiters (both internal and external) tend to ignore them completely.
posted by mr_silver at 2:00 PM on July 23, 2014

I would write a summary (basically your elevator speech), not an objective. Your objective is to get a job, and we all know that already. The purpose of the summary is to intrigue the reader enough to scroll down. So simply summarize the high points of what you do (or what you can do for the potential employer) in 3 or 4 sentences.
posted by COD at 7:22 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far!
posted by foxhat10 at 1:50 PM on July 24, 2014

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