I see advice all the time for how to craft a creative LinkedIn profile. While that advice is great, it is discouraging for professionals who have a harder time writing about themselves. The result: professionals create a LinkedIn profile, leave most of the text fields blank, and rarely log on again.
From working in the engineering field, I commonly see that technical professionals tend to be intimidated by LinkedIn. For many engineers, writing a summary for their LinkedIn profile is very…well, unpleasant. Perhaps this reluctance extends outside of engineering, but it’s a strong trend that I’ve noticed from personal experience within industry.
While LinkedIn is not everything when it comes to your personal brand, it is one crucial part. Neglecting to complete your LinkedIn profile just because writing “isn’t your thing”, causes you to miss out on a big digital branding opportunity.
A big part of LinkedIn is writing, which makes it a difficult platform for engineers (“math people”) to connect with.
It’s important to know that properly completing your summary (and the rest of your LinkedIn profile) will help it rank higher on search engines. In addition, a decked out profile offers the unique opportunity to control the way both clients and your peers perceive you.
LinkedIn is a great platform for engineers to raise awareness of services to potential new clients and also to stay connected to current clients. In addition, LinkedIn is a key first step to establish your personal brand and elevate your career exposure in industry.
If you don’t like to write, but see the benefit of a professional LinkedIn profile, read on.
This blog post is catered to professionals who are more comfortable on software like AutoCAD, Google Earth, and GIS than LinkedIn. If you want to complete your LinkedIn profile, but keep getting stumped when it comes to writing your summary, then this article is for you.
(Note: This advice is not for everyone. If you want to write a more creative summary, read this article on LinkedIn summaries instead.)
When it comes to writing your LinkedIn summary, don’t reinvent the wheel.
Your summary might be already written, but you just don’t know it.
If you are employed as an engineer, then your company *cough, the marketing team* is most likely pursuing projects for you to work on. If so, your company probably keeps an up-to-date resume on file for you, including details of your past projects and experience. Ask to see what the team has on file for you, and use that as a starting point.
But if you must start from scratch for your summary, here’s a formula (math people love formulas).
Remember, this is advice specifically for professionals who don’t like to write. Sure, this might be boring, but it is a lot better than a blank summary.
- Introduce Your Career with Key Information on Your Industry, Years of Experience, and Your Certifications (2-4 Sentences)
- Showcase Your Key Services (1-2 sentences + bullet points)
- Personalize It With Your Priorities Outside of Work (2-3 sentences)
- Include How to Contact You (1-2 Sentences)
Here’s an example of that formula for your LinkedIn summary in action:
I am a professional in [the engineering] industry with  years of experience. I am professionally certified as [a Professional Engineer] and pursue work in the [Southern California] region. I decided to pursue a career in [engineering] because I am passionate about [designing the built environment].
In my role as [an engineer], I specialize in the following services:
- Service X, brief explanation
- Service Y, brief explanation
- Service Z, brief explanation
Outside of work, you will find me [spending time with my family, playing tennis, tending the garden etc.]. I enjoy this activity because…
To reach me, please contact me through [email, LinkedIn messaging, phone, carrier pigeon].
The goal is for the technical professionals who don’t like to write- to spend less time writing- and more time doing the work they truly enjoy. Now there is no excuse for a blank LinkedIn summary, even if you’re an engineer. Get to it!