The LinkedIn profile summary is one of the first things people see when they visit your profile. It’s part of the introductory business card. Use these tips to improve it and stand out.
What is the LinkedIn Summary?
For those looking to get a job via LinkedIn, crafting the perfect profile helps getting noticed. Work history, descriptions, title, and photo all matter, but the summary is a key section that often gets forgotten, despite it being the perfect place to elevate your profile and inject it with personality and flair.
The LinkedIn profile summary is similar to a resume summary, yet they should differ. Whilst your resume summary should be highly targeted (and rephrased) for each job application (uff…!), your LinkedIn summary must be broad to fit your career interests. This can be challenging, since a summary that is too broad might not get noticed by recruiters.
Central to a great LinkedIn profile summary is balancing your work history, skills and personality type – to create a punchy insight into who you are and what you can do. Below, we highlight how you can optimise your summary using key terms to boost your job-seeking profile. At the same time, we also consider the growing importance of “fit”.
How to Write a LinkedIn Summary: 📝
1. Follow a clear structure
Rather than a meaningless mess of industry jargon, try to weave your highlights and achievements into a story, teasing out the ambition, values and aspirations that inspired your career trajectory.
2. Start with a strong opener
The summary section has a maximum of 2,000 characters (roughly 350 words) – yet only the first three lines are visible, before it disappears behind a “see more” link. For this reason, try to start your summary with a killer punch 💥 to get them wanting to read on. Get creative or go right in with your proudest achievement; as one name amongst thousands of LinkedIn users, this is no time to be humble!
3. State your mission
This should be a sentence or two that condenses your personal values and goals into a mission statement. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know where this job might fit among your long-term goals and why you will be motivated to invest your time and effort in it.
4. Speak to your industry experience
Add a little personality as you list your previous job titles and experience section – how you excelled and what skills you acquired. Use this opportunity to also explain any gaps or lateral steps in your work history.
5. Call out specialties and skills
This is where relevant keywords are hugely important. For many jobs, recruiters will filter by hard skills, so qualifications, skills and insider key-terms are vital to getting your profile appearing in relevant searches and instantly proving that you know what you are talking about. You can even outline your skills in bullet point lists – such as programming language proficiencies, tools you are confident using and what you specialise in.
6. Provide data to back up your results
Recruiters love nothing more than hard data to prove your skills. Did you increase website traffic by 300% in your first six months as SEO Manager? That should be your opening punch. Review your accomplishments, crunch the numbers, and figure out the statistic that sells your value.📈💰
7. Mention if your team is currently hiring
Your LinkedIn profile summary remains important no matter where you’re at. If you’re looking to expand your team (or woo a potential client), your summary is a great place to advertise to others what they can look out for, and how open you are to being contacted for opportunities.
8. Highlight professional interests
Be completely honest here, as you never know what dream opportunities might come your way! It isn’t necessarily a problem if it deviates from your previous experience, so long as you convincingly explain why the skills are transferable.
9. Break up large blocks of text
Once you’ve finished your summary, scan it quickly, imagining someone skim-reading it. Do the key points stand out? Does it look like one impenetrable hunk of text? It’s best to start a clean line break every two or three sentences (or even bullet point a list), so it is easy and clear to read.
10. Finish with a call to action
Finally, you want to always end your summary with a call to action. Usually, this is simply a contact email or phone number, encouraging readers to get in touch. Alternatively, you can link to a resume, portfolio, or social media. End on a positive note! 🙌
How Self-Assessments can make a Great LinkedIn Summary:
An effective LinkedIn profile summary can also communicate your personality, beyond your skills and experience, so employers can identify whether you would be a good culture fit. There is often no right answer to this – different attitudes, values and social patterns are suited to different team cultures, and it is important both for you and your prospective team that a suitable match is made.
To get intelligent insights into your character, conduct a self-assessment using Gyfted’s psychometric tools, and identify your key personal traits.
Tests such as the Workplace Mindset, Personality, and Start-up Mindset assessments, are all useful for ascertaining how you best work. These answers can then inform your summary, inspiring the adjectives you use when outlining work history.
Rather than writing: “I am a motivated Digital Marketer, quick to learn new skills”, write that you are a “confident and conscientious Digital Marketer, with a knack for unconventional solutions and aesthetic creativity”. Employers are often more interested in how you approach a task or problem and being able to communicate this effectively will speak volumes.
5 LinkedIn Summary Examples:
The Mission Based Summary
This summary effectively communicates core values and goals, giving greater insight into the writer’s choices and motivations.
“Armed with ten years’ experience building two digital learning platforms, I’m here to empower individuals and organizations through education.
Not everyone has the opportunity to go to university, yet I believe everyone deserves access to inspiring, high-quality further study.
My current platform has over 2M+ users, making it the number one platform for online learning in over 25 countries.
Yet we’re not stopping there. Our aim is to educate the world, harnessing the power of digital media to level out learning inequalities worldwide.
We’re always on the look-out for like-minded individuals that share our ambition, so don’t hesitate to drop us an email with your CV or simply say hi!” 👋
The Personality Summary
This up-beat summary allows readers insight into the individual’s character and a better understanding of their approach to work – excellent for spotting talent from an unrelated field.
“Hi – I’m Tony, brand strategist by day and motivational speaker by night! People always wonder how I get so much packed into the day – and the truth is – meticulous scheduling!
I’m a fiercely efficient planner, lover of a spreadsheet and known even to schedule my showers…
Because of my keen attention to detail, I’ve been able to pack my days doing what I love, and empowering businesses and individuals as I do it.
As brand strategist for XYZ, I’ve helped health-conscious food lovers connect with a brand they can truly trust and learned a lot about improving my own diet in the process!
As founder of my own motivational speaking platform, I’ve loved being able to connect with like-minded and ambitious individuals, to level up their careers and find happiness.”
Short and to the Point Summary
Some people will never be required to write in their job, so why bother with long narrative prose? Efficient use of space to showcase skills and expertise will speak volumes about their approach to technical work.
“Data Engineer at XYZ Air, with a successful track record in developing cloud native systems and data pipelines.
Technical skills: Python, C++, Java 8/9 and Apache Spark
Experience: 5 years
Other Skills: Problem solving, engagement, technical leadership”
The Multifaceted Summary
The beauty of a summary is using storytelling to link two aspects of a person’s experience or persona. By telling us about you whilst also communicating unique skills, you kill two birds with one stone.
“I’m a former county triathlon champion, bringing my dedication to diverse challenges to my job as a communications strategist.
I help leading business owners scale their business, by offering cutting-edge and disruptive solutions to workflows and team relationships. There’s nothing worse than poor communication impeding growth strategy, and I’m here to chop through the currents and get your business thriving!
The Accomplishments Oriented Summary
You LinkedIn summary is the one place you get to finally brag, so don’t hold back!
“Recent Business Graduate with a 3.8 GPA, seeking management training role in a leading Fortune 500 firm.
After achieving top marks in my year twice in a row, I am looking to apply my business learning to a challenging role in a well-established corporation.
During my time at college, I co-founded XYZ, a platform for connecting students with local businesses and venues. Utilising a small grant of $3000, we grew the business to 10,000 users, generating a $5,000+ net profit within a year, before eventually selling to a leading student corporation.
Further skills include:
- President of the Economics society, including full re-drafting of the constitution and several speaking appearances at college events
- Captain of the Chess Team – leading my team to two times victory against local teams”