Let’s talk about how to write an effective LinkedIn summary. Many people leave it blank, or put in some half-effort of just a couple of dull sentences. But LinkedIn summaries are worth writing properly, because it’s highly likely that writing a good one will vastly improve your results on LinkedIn.
To help you write an effective LinkedIn summary, we asked people to share their #1 tip for writing an effective LinkedIn summary, and got some great responses (listed below). Here’s a summary of what people have suggested:
- Be catchy, use active language, and write with some personality
- Maintain a reasonable level of professionalism and avoid too many nonspecific buzzwords
- Make sure you include keywords that will allow people to find you
- Highlighting actual achievements, awards and accolades is more effective than merely listing past roles (EDITORS NOTE: this is also very important when writing an effective resume)
- Telling a story, such as why you chose to enter your particular field, can really set you apart)
- Be honest and unique
- Focus on how your skills can help other companies
NB: For concrete examples of good LinkedIn summaries, see this piece: Top 5 Proven LinkedIn Summary Examples
Be catchy. Write an opening statement that is going to catch someone’s eye. I am always interested in learning more about individuals who have caught my attention. Roughly the first 300 characters are all that will be seen by people scrolling through. Use those 300 words to your advantage and to stand out. Maintain professionalism and attempt to put as many natural keywords as you can into the summary.
--Laura Fuentes, Infinity Dish
My #1 Tip for writing a LinkedIn summary is PERSONALITY! You need to tell people what they really need to know about you connecting with your industry, why do you love it or why are you in it? Use conversational language to show (not tell) people the kind of person you are that connects with the work that you do. Viewers already can see your work history so no need to repeat that.
Repetitiveness is one of the biggest mistakes that I view daily.
--Yahne' A. Jackson, yahnejackson.com
I suggest that you include keywords in your profile heading and summary. Let's say that you are a social media influencer, then you should mention this outright in your profile introduction to reach the right audience.
Also, LinkedIn network suggestions are based on your profile heading and summary so it makes sense to include keywords, apart from your current position, in the heading and summary.
However, remember that your profile should appear professional since LinkedIn is a place where certain decorum and formality is expected. You should never spam the summary with a bag load of keywords that don't add value to your profile.
--Trishan Mehta, WPBizBlog
A common mistake I see people making in their profiles is listing past roles or personal qualities. What you'll want to do is highlight any awards, or accolades that qualify you, and also note what the driver of the work you do it: your personal and professional values. Articulating your values will ensure the right clients or hiring managers can gain confidence in you as a culture fit before you meet.
--Stephanie Thoma, stephaniethoma.com
Storytelling – This technique always works and get you more relevant requests on your LinkedIn profiles. In a highly competitive environment, thinking out of the box is important. Telling a catchy story about yourself like how you started, WHY you started it and your inspiration behind it, grab more attention, then just self-praising yourself.
Add some numbers, skills, specialty, and how you could be a help for people in your LinkedIn summary. I have generated 24K+ followers to my profile by following these simple techniques to improve my profile visibility. Your summary should be a bit about yourself and remaining should be focused on how you help others and WHY. Your WHY must be strong because that is the only thing inspire and motivate people to be in your connection.
Most of the people mistake their profile summary with a resume. They add a lot of things about their experience, education, location, etc. Some people put a few lines, some people use too text-heavy summery. This section on LinkedIn have the most value, it is the first impression, it should be unique and outstanding to gain more attention. Proper styling is important.
--Richa Pathak, SEM Updates
The best thing for a successful LinkedIn summary is to be honest and be unique. There will undoubtably be hundreds of businesses like yours out in the market. Most will use lots of jargon and will sell their business like it is the best thing since sliced bread. A more honest, simple, and unique approach I find is a better option. It will help you stand out from the crowd, put your interested party at ease and make your business a more wholesome, workable option.
--Shaun Taylor, Moriti Safaris
Creating a LinkedIn summary should be concise and show what you can offer to prospective clients. Open strong and provide lists of your successes that could appeal to recruiters or clients. As a business owner, I look for drive in people who I hire. Skills can be learned through training. But drive and characteristics are very important. You can definitely see these characteristics through one’s LinkedIn summary, they manifest it on how they write what they think of themselves and what they have achieved and how they achieved it.
A big no-no is you write long and provide unnecessary information. Be who you are in writing your summary. Balance your hard skills with your keywords and it would be great if you also show humility despite numerous success in your career.
--Shari Smith, Shari - Sells
A LinkedIn summary is basically your elevator pitch to any prospective hiring individual, so you need to treat it essentially in that fashion. Essentially it should be your elevator pitch, although passion should be the main emotion displayed. What does that mean? You need to show passion for the job you're applying for, and passion as far as examples you can fall back on from your professional career. Ever heard of the phrase you only have one chance to make a great first impression? Well, that's what a Linkedin summary is. However, and this is something that lots of folks don't know about, depending upon the type of account that the HR person has, only the first 300 characters of your job summary may show. Therefore, be concise and brief. If there's a way to sat something using four words instead of five, do so.
--David Bakke, National Air Warehouse
One of the biggest mistakes I see on LinkedIn summaries is a lack of personality. Many people write their experiences or what they want to achieve like robots. From an HR perspective, all the outlines will look the same, and no one will stand out.
People should start their summary with an exciting or funny fact about themselves. I remember reading Dan Sally's profile on LinkedIn. ( https://www.linkedin.com/in/dansally/) He is funny and still gives you everything you need to know about his experience. Personality matters and can make the difference between you and the other candidates.
--Hugo Guerreiro, BlogBizAudit
I'm a fairly active LinkedIn user, and one mistake I see a lot of people making on their LinkedIn summaries is using too many nonspecific buzzwords. It doesn't take too many uses of terms like passionate, creative, strategic or innovative before your summary starts sounding like a badly-written mission statement. Leave the cliches behind and focus on the things that matter.
--Darshan Somashekar, Solitaired
Tell a real-life story. Your LinkedIn summary can hold up to 2,000 characters, so you have the space to shine and impress. Unlike with your resume summary, LinkedIn summary lets you get truly personal with your audience. You can tell an inspiring and entertaining story here while keeping it professional. How did you get to this point of career? What keeps your bloodrun faster? What's your most significant achievement? What are your bravest aspirations?The point is, you should reveal the human within, show your personality and who you are. Not just what you do. Don't use templates, let this summary be 100% you.
--Nina Krol, Zety.com
First, keep in mind that many users will only see the first 300 characters of your summary, so you want to lead with your strengths. Having said that, the summary is the only place on the LinkedIn profile where you’re able to show a bit of your personality. You can use a more conversational tone—think the level of formality you’d use in a networking mixer, rather than the strict professionalism you’d use in an interview.
As a last tip, the strongest summaries showcase a range of your accomplishments, experience, and interests. Don’t go into too much detail on any one point—the person looking at your profile can see those details in your work experience and other sections. Ideally, the total length should be around that of a cover letter.
--Darrell Rosenstein, The Rosenstein Group
Undoubtedly, the summary needs to brag about the job seeker. However, beginning the summary by stating the desired position and what you want to find is redundant and a bit desperate. The headline under your name is searchable by recruiters and as long as you place the position you're seeking there, you should show up in searches for those keywords. Additionally, recruiters or potential employers want to see what sort of results you'd be able to bring to the table. Writing about past achievements, awards, or promotions will really beef up the summary.
--Elliot Reimers, Rave Reviews
#1 Tip: Incorporate your customer's point of pain (cpop) so that prospects can quickly see that you focus on an area that are looking to get resolution on.
#1 mistake: Think of your LinkedIn profile as a resume and just put your job titles. They are typically boring and don't get your prospect interest in or not attract them with the appropriate keywords in the first place.
--Mitchell Levy, Credibility Nation
A big mistake I see on LinkedIn profiles is when the summaries are too you focused.
Many times in LinkedIn summaries, people will simply state their work experience, interests, and skills. This is all great information to have in your summary, but make sure you're not just talking about yourself. Instead, focus on how you can help other companies and clients by talking about them.
For example, instead of stating I have 10 years of marketing experience, state I can use my 10 years of marketing experience to help your company grow it's customer base. These two statements say more or less the same thing, but the second one focuses more on the client or company, which will make those clients and companies more interested in you.
--Michael Dean, Pool Research
When constructing your LinkedIn summary, it's important to craft a story that helps the reader understand all the facets of who you are both personally and professionally. Hiring is all about the right fit, which goes beyond the work. Remember, skills are just words that anyone can add to their summary so listing those won’t help you differentiate yourself from all the candidates also being reviewed. Instead, understand what makes you remarkable, provide stories, and analogies of those skills in action and include them in your summary to provide a comprehensive, behind the scenes look at you in action.
There are two key questions you want to answer when crafting your stories and writing your summary, “What does this mean for the person or organization that's hiring me,” and “Why does this matter to them?” Dedicate time to running every sentence you’re adding to your summary through this lens. You’ll walk away with is a succinct benefit-driven summary that’s unique, interesting and arresting. The goal is to make it easy for a hiring manager to visualize exactly where you fit in, what you can provide for the organization and how you can add greater value than any other candidate.
--Jackie Ghedine, therestingmind.com
Think about what you actually want to use your Linkedin profile for and then tailor your summary appropriately. If you are trying to connect to company owners and directors to sell them something, I'm pretty confident they aren't going to have the time or inclination to read 2000 words of you talking about yourself - try to get what you need to tell them into a sentence! On the other hand, if you are job hunting, make sure you get your keywords in and reinforce what you are saying in your CV and job applications. There's no one size fits all, make it right for you, and remember that you can change your summary as your goals change - have multiple versions that you can switch between.
--Phil Davies, heystrategy.com
Make your resume engaging and enjoyable to read by incorporating some interesting, work-related facts about yourself.
Wherever possible, back up your accomplishments with numbers. Listing your achievements will highlight your ability to deliver results. It's a surefire way to differentiate your resume from your competition.
Don’t overly detail your history; your resume is a marketing tool, not a bio. Yet at the same time, you don’t want it to be too short. Give the recruiter/hiring manager what they’re looking for—a brief overview of your relevant skills, knowledge, experience, and achievements.
Write a pithy summary or write no summary at all—no soft skills or buzzwords. Adding “passionate” or “results-driven” serves little purpose, as recruiters see them in virtually every summary section. Describe what makes you unique and sets you apart.
--Andrew Stetsenko, Relocate.me
When crafting the About section in your LinkedIn profile, think about the three key skills you want to be known for. Your Experience section will talk about your top acheivments and should include strong action verbs that showcase your skills, but the About section is your chance to tell your story beyond your job titles. Are you an exceptional manager? Great at solving complex problems? The go-to person in your office for brainstorming new ideas? Pinpoint what you have been known to be great at in your work, and which of those skills you want to use next and integrate those skills into your summary. Infuse that with your unique personality and you have a winning LinkedIn About section that will make potential connections want to read on!
--Becca Carnahan, With Love, Becca
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