How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Summary

09-22-2013LinkedIn

How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Summary

First things first: if you don’t already have LinkedIn, sign up today. LinkedIn is a gateway that you can use to connect with Recruiters and Hiring Managers, find new opportunities, discover more about the career-paths of successful people in your industry, and develop your network. According to Jobvite’s 2013 Social Recruiting Survey results:

  • 93% of recruiters are using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to drive their employment brand
  • 94% use LinkedIn to recruit for talent
  • 92% have successfully hired through LinkedIn

This is how powerful LinkedIn is, and I’m sure you now realize how important it is for your job search success. Now, here’s how you can leverage it!

What you need to know is this: when a Recruiter looks at your profile, they’ll scan through three things.

  • Your picture
  • Your tagline
  • Your summary

I intentionally listed ‘your summary’ last. This isn’t because it’s not important, but because when a Recruiter is going through thousands of profiles to fill one position, they will likely only see your tagline and picture at first. But, if you have a compelling LinkedIn headline (tagline) that sparks curiosity, the Recruiter is going to click through your profile and read your summary.

So, your LinkedIn summary could get you shortlisted for a position. It’s your chance to tell your story compellingly, professionally, and authentically to get Recruiters interested in you.

Here are the steps you need to take to write a killer LinkedIn summary:

 

1. Succinctly describe who you are.

This includes your mission, what you’re passionate about, what you’re interested in, and words to describe your character. Remember, you only have 2000 characters to tell a story. For example:

  • I am an Analytical Marketing Professional with a passion for technology. I have experience in B2B & B2C marketing planning, product management, digital marketing, operations, and advertising sales

Kenneth Mathias LI Profile

Click the image to learn how this person optimized his LinkedIn profile!

2. Give a background of your experience.

Be brief and to the point. Your word-count is limited and the rest of your profile should also contain a list of your past experiences. This section should just be used to pique interest and cause the viewer to read on. Here are some great examples:

  • I have built and implemented successful marketing campaigns, strategies, and launched products for political campaigns and the public sector.
  • I have over 15 years of experience in management consulting, leading web and contract centre teams, governing an enterprise capital project portfolio, leading organizational restructuring and starting a business.

Lucas Chang

Same goes for this one! You can find out more about how he leveraged his strengths by clicking the picture above.

3. Highlight prominent successes or accomplishments.

If you’ve started your own business or made a quantifiable impact on a past company, here’s your chance to highlight what you’re great at! This is a great model:

  • My background also includes 7 years of leading teams of up to 12 marketing & sales professionals, training sales teams on new marketing strategies and product value propositions, and the creation of two part-time web-based hobby businesses. I also have substantial international experience leading global teams.

Gladwish

4. Explicitly state what you’re looking for, if you’re looking.

Are you seeking employment? Looking for opportunities in an industry? Stating this right of the bat may help Recruiters match you to a position that they are hiring for.

5. Have your own style of writing.

Your summary is your opportunity to showcase your personality, so the more your writing style differentiates you, the better. One tip to keep in mind: writing in first person makes your summary more personable. You’ll come across as more trustworthy and confident. It will also make the overall tone more authentic.

6. Make it keyword rich.

The more functional keywords you include, the more likely it is that you’ll show up on a Recruiter’s radar. For example, two great strings of related keywords are:

  • Sales/business development/account management/strategic partnerships.
  • Consulting/business case development/market research/forecasting/budgeting/financial modelling/analytics

7. Take a look at the summaries of prominent businesspeople in your industry.

Each industry will have it’s own LinkedIn lingo. If you find that most professionals in your industry are following a trend in formatting or point of view, consider doing the same. For example, if most professionals in your industry are writing in first person instead of third, you may want to consider doing that as well. Writing in first person gives your summary a more personal touch, and is more interesting and compelling to read.

8. Include your email address if you want to be contacted.

This way, your contact information will be prominent and easy to access. The easier you make it for the Recruiter, the more likely it is that they will reach out to you!

Less than 1% of the profiles that I have seen actually stand out to me. This is because only a select few take the time to write a compelling summary that includes a value proposition and reasons why I should reach out to them to fill a position.

One Final Tip

When you’re writing, keep your audience in mind. Who are they? What do they care about?

For example, If you’re targeting Recruiters, put on your Recruiter hat while you’re writing. If you were looking for a candidate to fill a position, what would you search for? What would impress you? What would make you interested enough to reach out to a LinkedIn member?

I’ll leave you with a few more examples of LinkedIn members with killer summaries (I’m connected to all of them and I’m so grateful that they gave me permission to share their LinkedIn profile):

Seema Dundas

Shon

 

 

Liking this kind of content? Sign up for FREE updates!

  1. Narender sharma Reply

    Helo Diana,

    I am having a quary if you could help me. I am pursuing a professional degree and currently in apprenticeship. I another 2 months m gona finish my apprenticeship after that I would b ready to enter the market so, in my case how would I present my summary in linkedin profile??? one mre thing is that I am having 11 months of past experience.
    Kindly help me

    1. Diana Reply

      Hi Narender, you can state in your summary what you are working towards/ what you strive to achieve. Add in that you are graduating by X month and currently excited to jump start your career. State what you have to offer to an employer – what makes you unique?

  2. Trey Reply

    Hi Diana,
    I’m a high school student and I’m trying to build my LinkedIn profile. I currently don’t have a summary on my profile, and I’m not really sure what to put since I haven’t really had a job yet. I’ve done two summer internships, but that’s it. I’m having difficulty finding resources that are for high school students- they are all for college students and professionals.
    Do you have any suggestions on what I could write for a summary? Should I even worry about my LinkedIn since I haven’t had a job yet (or not looking for one)?

    1. Diana Reply

      Hello Trey,

      Great question! It’s awesome that you’re thinking about this while you’re still in high school! It’s never too early to get a LinkedIn profile as you will be constantly building your network throughout your career. For your summary, I recommend writing a short paragraph about your career aspirations and the transferable soft skills you have like problem solving, communications, etc.

      Hope this helps!

      Diana

  3. Van Reply

    I’m working on my summary now.

    ‘Currently seeking new opportunities to begin my professional career’ – That’s my tagline

    A recent graduate of The University of Western Australia with a Bachelor in Commerce. I have majored in the following fields: Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Marketing. I consider myself a continuous learner, therefore I actively seek new projects and challenges in any field of Business.
    I believe the best way to learn is through experience, or what we refer to as tacit knowledge. Therefore since I have started university I have gain and build some critical skills through my internship with Absolute Internship at SHM International Consulting and through my work with Clubs WA.
    During my internship with SHM International Consulting, in Shanghai I was exposed to the cultural differences in the way the Chinese conducted marketing and consulting operations. I was capable of adapting to a dynamic environment, and began to build new international networks. It was fascinating how SHM International Consulting partnered with American companies to delivered services such as promoting American brands to the Chinese consumer.
    At Clubs WA I have fortunately able to work collaboratively with people at all levels and from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures including the Marketing Coordinator, the Executive Director, colleagues, club members and sponsors all over Western Australia.
    Ultimately want to invest my time in an organisation that will allow me to flourish as a person and a young professional.

    Do you have any tips , on how I can make it better.

    1. Diana Reply

      Hi Van,

      Great start! I love the experience you’ve outlined here. As for next steps, I recommend making your summary more employer focused by pointing out key ways that you can help an employer make more money, increase efficiency, or produce effectiveness. Think critically about some keywords that relate to the positions you’re targeting and make sure they’re mentioned multiple times throughout your profile. I also suggest that you create a more specific tagline that talks about the types of opportunities you’re targeting.

      Diana

  4. KARTHIKEYAN.R Reply

    I wish to succeed in all my ventures by my sheer hard work and team spirit and apply my engineering knowledge in the diversification of our firm.

  5. Ryan Reply

    Hi Diana
    I am having trouble with my summary and editing my resume. I have lots of good ideas and have been working on rough ideas for a summary but I’m having trouble “putting pen to paper” nothing is flowing very nicely.

    Does it cost very much to see professional help, bearing in mind I’m looking for work after university so finances are tight.
    Are these things that you are willing to help with? what is the cost?
    thank you

    1. Diana Reply

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for reaching out! To learn more about the content creation services I provide, please visit http://mymarketability.com/writing-service. I offer a comprehensive overhaul package where you will work with a Certified Professional Resume Writer to help get those words flowing as well as a less expensive editing package.

      Diana

  6. Maharshi.Nimmala Reply

    Hi Diana,
    I’m B.Pharmacy Graduate & have 1 year experience in clinical research sector as a clinical research coordinator in some Hospital.I would like to move on to some clinical research companies.So i’ve chosen LinkedIn as plat form so plz help me out,how would i present my summary in LinkedIn profile?

    1. Diana Reply

      Hello Maharshi,

      I recommend using your summary to talk about 3-4 of the key transferable skills you gained during your experience and why you’re best suited for a clinical research coordinator role. By focusing on the value you can offer employers, your profile will become more attention-grabbing. You can then discuss the types of opportunities you’re interested in at the end.

      Diana

  7. Susan Spivey Reply

    This was excellent information, Diana! I’m an older worker with a ‘job-hopping’ career and need all the help I can get!
    s.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *