How to Write a LinkedIn Summary
- 1. Write a Hook to Entice Your Readers
- 2. Review Search Appearances for Keywords
- 3. Research Job Descriptions for Keywords to Use Naturally
- 4. Include Your Personal Goals, Core Values, and Your Why
- 5. Review Your Metrics and Optimize Over Time
When it comes to professional social platforms, Linkedin is virtually unchallenged. It now boasts over 500 million members, with over 100 million of those users logging in to use the platform every single day.
It’s officially the most used platform for fortune 500 companies, and 40 million members hold definitive decision making positions.
But what does this mean for you? Well, with all this heavy traffic, it’s important to make sure that you are presenting yourself – and your company – the right way.
The most important element of your LinkedIn profile is your personal summary.
What Is a LinkedIn Summary?
A LinkedIn summary is your introduction to the professional world. It's the first thing your LinkedIn profile visitors see. You want to make this mini-biography as impactful and engaging as possible.
This little golden nugget sits front and center on your LinkedIn page, and it’s the very first thing people see and read about you. It’s how you introduce yourself to the professional world, so you’ll want to make an impact.
Some people compare LinkedIn summaries to the objective section of your resume. The goal of both is the same – to leave the reader with a clear idea of who you are as a professional, what unique value you bring, and what your goals are for your professional life.
For example, Aliza Edelstein's LinkedIn profile incorporates a lot of the necessary aspects, including an enticing opening and a great representation of her personality.
She also highlights her value, noting how she applies a unique perspective to both product marketing and leadership. This makes me want to learn more about Aliza and see what her professional history looks like, enticing me to keep reading.
Why a LinkedIn Summary Is Important
LinkedIn summaries act as a mini biography. You can share who you are in an engaging way. It's arguably the most important part of your LinkedIn profile because it's your first impression you give viewers.
And that first impression determines whether or not they continue scrolling to see your professional achievements.
But summaries vary greatly based on your role, experience, and industry. Below, we’ve provided a few tips on what to include in your summary as well as some LinkedIn summary examples for students, marketing, sales, and finance professionals.
What to Put In Your LinkedIn Summary
LinkedIn Summary Essentials
- A short description of your past experience and current role.
- A list of your unique specialities and relevant skills.
- A personal anecdote that adds a human element to your profile.
- A clear call to action that people can take to engage with you.
While each LinkedIn summary will be tailored specifically to your role, industry, and personal specialities, there are a few key elements that every good summary should include.
Experience and Current Role
Because this is a professional summary, it’s important to include a little bit about your past experience (we don’t need a novel here, just a hard hitting point or two) in addition to a brief description of what you do now.
What You Can Offer
Ask yourself this: why would someone want to work with you? What do you bring to the table? Include skills and capabilities that make you stand out. This might take the form of including your unique specialties within your field.
A Personal Human Connection Point
This isn’t essential, but it’s often encouraged. Including a personal piece of information about yourself allows people to connect with you on a more human level.
People want to work with those whom they know and trust, so providing a little personal information about yourself can break the ice and potentially foster a stronger professional relationship!
An action point can be an extremely rewarding element to add to your LinkedIn profile summary. Putting a line at the bottom of your summary to encourage people to get in touch can both drive leads and jumpstart professional relationships.
LinkedIn Summary Tips
So now that you know what to include in your summary, how do you go about writing it? Here are a few tips to help you out:
Define Your Goal.
First and foremost, it’s important to define the goal of your summary. Ask yourself this question: what am I hoping to achieve? Are you trying to get hired? Pull in new leads for your company? Foster B2B collaborations?
The overall goal of your summary will shape how and what you say and which pieces of information to focus on.
Keep It Short and Sweet.
It’s unlikely that someone will have the patience to sit and read three block paragraphs about you. The best LinkedIn summaries are short and sweet, but still hold enough information to pack a punch.
It’s fine to have two or three small paragraphs, but make sure they are no more than a few sentences each.
Always Use First Person.
Imagine that you are meeting someone for the first time; you wouldn’t introduce yourself in the third person, right?
The same rule of thumb applies for your LinkedIn summary: always write in the first person.
Upon first thought, your LinkedIn profile summary might not seem like the place where you really need to optimize for search. But as it turns out, LinkedIn ranks high in Google’s search results.
Establish keywords relevant to your industry and role, and include them in the specialties section in your summary to optimize your presence!
How to Write a LinkedIn Summary
You can write a stellar LinkedIn summary in just a few easy steps.
- Start by writing your hook to entice readers to click the "see more" option. Consider leading with an interesting fact about you and your career.
- Before you write the rest of your summary, go to your dashboard, which is located underneath your summary, then click on "search appearances." This is where you will find "keywords your searchers used" to get an idea of what keywords you might not be found for but are relevant to your career and your goal for your summary.
- Research job descriptions and take note of what keywords are applicable to you, then naturally use them as you write your summary.
- Consider trying to touch on the following elements as you write your summary:
- Your personal goals
- Your core values
- Your unique knowledge
- Your best pieces of wisdom you learned
- Your why behind your passion
- After publishing it, review your metrics and continue optimizing over time in order to be found by the right audience.
Now that we’ve got the basics down, let’s take a look at a few examples of some of the best LinkedIn profile summaries out there, and we can see how they utilize the key elements that we have discussed above.
LinkedIn Summary Examples for Marketing
Marketing professionals understand the importance of messaging and building and maintaining a strong online presence. Plus, in terms of using LinkedIn for gaining brand awareness, marketers know the ins and outs of the robust social platform to connect and engage with relevant audiences.
This is why they often have some of the best LinkedIn summary examples.
Example #1: Passionate and Driven
Justin Graci is a Senior Marketing Manager at HubSpot. While his profile summary is lengthy, it covers a lot of ground.
In the first paragraph, he defines some key elements of his work ethic: “Passionate, cross-functional, creative and results-driven” while also revealing his extensive experience within his industry.
Things He Does Well
- Adds personal flare: Justin adds his professional personality into the first paragraph, giving an opinion on the stakes of the market. This shows his passion for and engagement with his work.
- Includes an action point: He directs people to his marketing blog, which drives traffic towards his site, and also shows that he’s actively engaged with content relating to his field.
- Lists his skills: He includes a long list of his relevant skills, which also acts as a list of keywords that his profile can now be found for through search engines. However, while a list of skills is direct, it’s also a good idea to try and work those skills into the fluid narrative of your summary.
- Injects humor: In his final section, Justin includes a little information about himself and even adds a particularly funny line: “cooking new dishes while my goldendoodle anxiously watches” makes the reader laugh, and it allows us to connect with him on a more relaxed, personal level.
Example #2: Goal and Lead Driven
Lydia’s profile is concise and clearly focused on a specific goal: acquiring leads and generating business.
This goal, while not directly stated, is made clear through the way in which her summary is written; it is geared towards a very specific audience (those who may benefit from her services)
Things She Does Well
- Addresses a problem: Lydia’s opening sentence addresses a common pain point in her industry (the struggle to find affordable, dedicated, trustworthy marketing services for small-to-mid-market companies).
- Provides a solution: Next, she provides a solution to this pain point, describing how she can help and what she brings to the table in a professional collaboration.
- Includes areas of service: Finally, she lists her specific services, letting potential leads know exactly what she can do for them and what they’ll get out of working with her.
LinkedIn Summary Examples for Sales
LinkedIn is a game changer for sales professionals. The platform is excellent for sales prospecting, building and maintaining meaningful relationships, and even advancing opportunities through the sales cycle.
No matter their industry or specific objectives, sales professionals are among the best A players who live and breathe LinkedIn.
Example #1: Professional and Focused
Greg Brown is a Senior Sales Manager for HubSpot. His summary is concise and focused, making it efficient and easy to read. Let’s take a closer look at this.
Things He Does Well
- Makes a strong and clear statement: Greg starts by saying, “I help companies grow,” telling the reader what he does right at the beginning.
- Tailors to his target audience: He also states who he works with (CEOs CMOs, VPs of Sales and Marketing) and how he contributes to those professional relationships: by helping them “adapt their marketing and sales strategy to match the modern customer journey.” Within these first two sentences, Greg has told us what he does and what he brings to the table, addressing a very specific audience he aims to connect with.
- Expresses his passion: At the beginning of his second paragraph, he uses the phrase, “I’m very passionate about.” Displaying passion for your work goes a long way in most professional industries because it proves your dedication to what you do. He also says that he “enjoys teaching sales and marketing executives” about the areas within he works. While these small touches might seem insignificant, they can make a big difference to the audience.
It’s also important to note that Greg doesn’t overdo it – while he expresses passion for his work, he does so with understated language, maintaining a very professional tone.
He hits all the key notes here: he states his experience and discusses his current role, while immediately describing what he can offer in a professional relationship. But he also adds a small flare of his own personality by sharing passion for his work and specific areas that he is interested in.
Example #2: Insightful and Punchy
Brian is an Inbound Specialist here at Bluleadz. While Brian’s profile summary is much shorter than the previous example, it still hits key points and drives engagement. So, what does he do right?
Things He Does Well
- Comments on his industry: Brian provides some very insightful thoughts on the changing state of his industry, which displays his expansive knowledge on the subject while showcasing his genuine interest in it. His opening paragraph is intriguing and clearly written to an audience within the same field, which will engage them more thoroughly.
- Keeps his background concise: He provides a brief educational background and description of his current role, so people know what he’s up to now.
LinkedIn Summary Examples for Finance Professionals
The financial industry is very competitive, which makes standing out through LinkedIn even more valuable for professionals working in this industry.
With a great LinkedIn summary, financial professionals can build authority and trust with their target audience.
Example #1: Thorough and Personality Driven
Jenn Bellso is an executive senior partner at accounting and finance firm, Lucas Group. Let’s take a look at a few of the key points that makes Jenn’s LinkedIn summary really strong.
Things She Does Well
- Introduces her company: By introducing Lucas Group with a few hard hitting statistics, Jenn not only promotes business for her company, but also impresses her audience with their success.
- Expresses passion for her work: She starts off her second paragraph with, “Personally, I love being a part of this team”. Not only is this written in a personal tone that connects with the reader, but it also expresses that she is truly passionate about the work that she does.
- Details her specialties and focus: Next, she goes on to discuss the specific roles that she focuses on, which tailors the information she has provided to a specific audience that she’s interested in working with.
- Includes a call to action: At the end, she includes an enticing call to action. Her line reads, “If you want to find out why I am always told ‘you’re not like other recruiters…’” This is intriguing and draws the audience in.
- Creates amusement: Finally, she finishes off her summary with a small but funny personal note, which amuses her audience – “(Please don’t call when the NY Giants are playing, because I’m probably a bit angsty).”
LinkedIn Summary Examples for Students and Recent Graduates
For students and recent graduates, LinkedIn is an absolutely essential resource as you enter into the job market. Not only does it act as a great supplement to your resume, but now you can even apply to some jobs directly through LinkedIn, using your profile in place of a resume.
It’s also a popular tool for recruiters, so it’s important to keep that door for potential opportunities open. With all that said, let’s take a look at some LinkedIn summary examples for students.
Example #1: Passionate and Driven
Ethan’s profile summary is strong for a number of reasons.
Things He Does Well
- Includes a simple headline: “Seeking Digital Journalism Position” – We immediately know what Ethan is hoping to gain through his use of LinkedIn.
- Emphasizes experience: Ethan has a bit of experience in his field, and he knows that it’s important to discuss that in his first paragraph.
- Shares personal insights: While Ethan doesn’t have a current position or an extensive background of experience, he makes up for it by expressing genuine passion for his field and providing his own personal insights into the industry. He writes, “I don’t believe that multimedia is replacing traditional print storytelling, I think multimedia is expanding the mediums in which stories are experienced.” This insight shows that he carefully considers and is actively engaged with the transforming dynamic of his industry in the modern age.
- Highlights a goal: This one is extra important for students and job seekers. Ethan’s goal, “to study the stories in my community and come out the other side with the knowledge to be able to tell them in new and interesting ways” displays drive, direction, and focus, which are key attributes that employers look for.
Example #2: Focused and Clear
Tiffinni is also a recent graduate with a strong profile summary. Like Ethan, she expresses her passion early on in her summary, and she also provides information about her impressive educational background. But here’s a few more key elements that make Tiffinni’s summary strong.
Things She Does Well
- Discusses growth: Tiffinni briefly touches on experience she has in real estate investment analysis, and shows how this “hands on experience” will be valuable going forward professionally. Mentioning the experience you have under your belt is good, but capitalizing on it by discussing the growth acquired during that experience displays your active engagement in progressing your professional career.
- States exactly what she’s looking for: While Ethan chose to state this in his headline, Tiffinni says that she’s looking for a position in her summary. Either choice is fine, but Tiffinni takes it a step further by elaborating on the type of company she’s looking to work for, which reveals a few of her core values.
- Includes a call to action to drive engagement: She encourages people to reach out if they know of an opportunity she might be interested in or if they have any questions for her! This small line could make the difference in her being contacted by a recruiter.
What Makes the Best LinkedIn Summary for You?
Remember, each and every summary will be different, and you’re not just representing you; you’re also representing your personal brand and your company’s brand. As displayed by the examples above, there are a multitude of different ways that show how to write a LinkedIn summary, and it should be based on your personality, your field, your experience, and your own ambitions.
Using these tips and tricks will help you write a stronger LinkedIn profile summary to drive engagement, but always make sure that your profile aligns with your personal and professional goals!
I am a Content Manager at Bluleadz. I enjoy spending time outdoors -- camping, hiking, hammocking, and everything in between. I also love reading, writing, and learning how to play guitar.