The best LinkedIn summaries all have some common themes, though they all let their writers’ unique personalities shine through. Learn how to write a LinkedIn summary here.
Alright, so it’s time to figure out how to write your LinkedIn summary. I feel for you.
Perhaps you’ve walked away from your computer seven times by now. The procrastination is killing you. You’ve been staring at your LinkedIn profile with a little bit of sweat dripping down onto your keyboard, making it difficult to type.
Relax, it’s going to be okay. Grandma is here to help.
Why is having a good LinkedIn summary so important?
Perhaps you’re in the market for a new job. Or perhaps you want to attract more customers to your business. Whatever your goals, a good LinkedIn summary is one of the best tools for you to be more successful on LinkedIn.
Learning how to write a good LinkedIn summary will not only afford you the opportunity to show off what you can do for a prospective employer. It will also give you the chance to optimize your profile for keyword searches, making you more visible to recruiters with job offers.
What do most people put in their LinkedIn summary?
Here’s what most people write in a LinkedIn summary:
“Super awesome human with 10+ years experience in doing super awesome things. Creative decision-maker with industry knowledge of widgets and gizmos. Skillset includes Java, C++, and other really awesome codes, because I studied them in college.“
You see, most people make the mistake of including just a few boring sentences in their summary, often copied from their resume. And I don’t blame them. They’ve been told over and over to keep things as short as possible on their resume, and they think that LinkedIn is no different. (Hint: your whole profile should not just be your digital resume.)
But your LinkedIn summary is different because it’s a) expandable and b) part of a social network. With LinkedIn, you don’t have to be concerned with trying to squeeze everything onto on a page or maybe two like the resume.
We’re here to tell you that the BEST way to write your About Me section is to make it more full and more human than your resume.
And so you will never forget… here’s an uncomfortable ClipArt picture of a full human to illustrate my point:
Okay, here’s our take on how to be as full and as human as possible in your summary. These tested concepts will lead you to a compelling section that can compete with the best LinkedIn summaries.
Tip #1) Be full.
LinkedIn gives you space for a full 2,000 characters to write in your summary section. USE ALL OF THEM. That’s all of the advice we have on how to write a good LinkedIn Summary.
But seriously, use as much of that room as you can. Fill that sucker up. Again, this will feel counter-intuitive, but if you’re worrying that someone is going to think that it’s too long and skip to the next guy—don’t.
Don’t worry about being too lengthy.
The LinkedIn summary is expandable, which means that if a recruiter wants to open it up and read more about your experience, then they will. If not, then they won’t click that “Show More” button (or hit “collapse”) and instead continue reading about your professional experiences.
…but don’t forget to be targeted.
The best LinkedIn summaries make the most of the opportunity to include important keywords. Just like on your resume, including keywords like position titles and key skills specific to your job search will let the right people discover you in searches.
That being said, if someone does expand this section to read the whole thing, you want it to be captivating. Which brings me to our next point…
Tip #2) Be a freaking human.
This next point is perhaps the best advice that I’ve received with respect to writing. It’s marketing advice, and it applies to your LinkedIn and job search materials. Be real, relatable, approachable… be human.
Why showcase your human appeal on LinkedIn?
At the end of the day, recruiters are looking to hire a real living, breathing human who will work well in their organization of humans.
They are not looking to hire a clump of hard skills (then they would hire a robot.)
They don’t want to hire just a bunch of numbers.
LinkedIn especially affords this wonderful opportunity because it is so socially driven. (Remember, it’s still a social network!) The whole goal of writing a good profile is to stimulate real, human connections with people who find you.
So, the best thing you can do is appeal to a recruiter’s humanity and use your own voice to explain what makes you, you.
How to be human
Here are some things that recruiters may want to know:
- Why are you in your current field? Why do you love it?
- Why did you transition (or do you want to transition) careers?
- What challenges have you faced in your current role, and how did you overcome them?
- What is your personal philosophy as a professional?
This is much more interesting than just a list of skills that you possess or the things you did at your old job. (Those are still important, but this is juicier).
If you really want to draw someone in and stand out from all the other people with the same skills, share your unique story.
Here’s the beginning of my LinkedIn summary, which illustrates some of my human appeal. Granted, I’m a business owner with a funny business name, so I chose to be particularly bold. But the advice still holds.
Tip #3) Be forward-looking
Take into account the positions that you are applying for. Write a summary that is targeted toward not just any job, but the jobs that you really want.
Before writing a good LinkedIn summary, you need to know what keywords you need to include and how to integrate them.
I recommend printing out job postings you’re interested in. Then, highlight the important keywords like the exact position title, locations, skills, and certifications. (Find a list here – they’re basically the same as resume keywords.)
Make sure you integrate all of these into that sweet summary you’re writing. As long as you’re not conducting a private job search, you can even include a section labeled “Positions I’m Interested In” to target multiple job titles.
Close with a call-to-action
Lastly, you should include a “call-to-action” (CTA) at the bottom. A call-to-action is something that marketers use when they are trying to get a prospective customer to take action (like buying their product) after reading something.
You’re selling yourself as a job candidate, so your LinkedIn summary is no different!
Imagine that someone actually read all the way to the bottom of your LinkedIn summary. How interested do you think they are in you if they made it that far? My guess would be interested enough.
Take advantage of the moment, and invite your reader (whether that be a recruiter or a prospective customer) to reach out to you for something specific.
- Do you want them to email you for a job opportunity? Say so.
- Do you want them to go to your website and subscribe to your newsletter? Say so.
- Do you want them to send you an InMail message with advice on your next career move? SAY IT.
Be sure to include your email too, if you’re comfortable doing so. Emails are more powerful, official, and easier to remember than LinkedIn messages.
Now is your golden opportunity to capitalize on all that hard work you put into writing a good LinkedIn summary. Don’t let a reader leave without knowing their next step!
Here’s my call-to-action, which has helped me thus far. (Once again, it’s a little on the bold side, but do what works for you).
Time to practice what I preach—since you made it to the bottom of the article, here’s our own call-to-action!
You can even submit your resume for a Free Career Score on our homepage. Whatever you need to land a job, we’re here to help.
Happy job hunting!