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.


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? For more tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, check out some more free advice:

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