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That’s just awesome. LinkedIn decided to overhaul everything about the old desktop user interface including your summary, which has now become a 2nd headline. You’re gonna need a bigger boat….because your summary has jumped the shark. Am I being melodramatic? I don’t think so. The fact is that with this major change in the way LinkedIn presents your professional story, only a small proportion of readers will click on ‘See more’…..

But how many will read your summary – if it is NOT a headline at all, or merely a snippet of hidden body text? I have no idea. But my guess is that it’s less than 20%. Bummer.

David Ogilvy is my hero, he is the father of modern day advertising, so far ahead of his time. “I wish I had known him 40 years ago. I like him enormously now”.

Take a look at some big hitter summaries to see exactly what I mean:

Your first priority now that LinkedIn have changed the entire game? You need to transform the first two lines of your summary into an actual headline, which stands alone and does a great job of encouraging your readers to click ‘See more’. My research shows that you’ve got between 200-245 characters/25-42 words to do that. LinkedIn doesn’t let you add additional white space between text. I’ve used periods… separators, which works really well with my name & (first) headline. I had to fart around a lot to get this right. I may change it again in a few days. You’ve got to be agile and responsive on LinkedIn.

Here’s some solid advice related to headline theory.

My thanks to Ed Fry @distilled
Kelly Smith @CoSchedule Blog
and Adam Mordecai @Upworthy

(See) more… tips:

(1) Spend 50% of your time thinking about your headline, 50% writing your body text. Look at magazines, newspapers for headline inspiration/ideas.
(2) Practice. Write 20 potential headlines, choose the 5 you like best, narrow the field down by getting 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions.*
(3) Audit. Are you delivering value? What’s in it for the reader? Would you click?
(4) Unusual adjectives are your friends. Don’t use boring words.
(5) Learn about trigger/action words.

*ask me

By Andy Foote