Yes, writing a LinkedIn summary can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t know what to put in your LinkedIn summary. And that’s the reason many people are missing out on the juice they would have gotten from that part of their profile.
Let’s help you burst this bubble once and for all, so you can get your LinkedIn account on the right track. We have reviewed different successful LinkedIn summaries to figure out what makes them stand out. So you can build on that information to create a great summary for yourself. Keep this post to get the inspiration you need to write your LinkedIn summary.
But wait. What’s my LinkedIn summary in the first place?
In case, you don’t know what a LinkedIn profile summary is in the first place, that’s where you need to start from. Your summary is the text box at the top of your LinkedIn profile, just below your photo. It is a spot where you can freely sell yourself by giving an overview of your professional life.
The space simply gives you’re a chance to describe your career life and highlight your personality in 2000 characters max. To make the most out of this, you just need to know how to put your best self on full display – using your own words.
Ok, but does a LinkedIn summary really matter?
Yes, your LinkedIn profile summary matters a lot. Having a great profile is one important way to set yourself apart from half a billion other LinkedIn users. However, even if you have done a great job with your headline, profile photo, educational history, and even created a cover story video, if your summary is left blank, you will be missing out on different amazing opportunities.
If you are still not convinced if you should have a profile summary for your LinkedIn account, here are some reasons to help you decide:
It is part of your first impression
When people visit your profile, one of the first things they see is your profile summary. Whether on mobile or desktop, people would not have to scroll down to find it – it is at the top of your profile. While it only shows the first 300 characters to some users when they visit your profile, they can always click “Read More” to read the full summary.
If this is the first thing that welcomes people on your profile, then you shouldn’t leave it blank. At the same time, you should do your best to make sure it is representing you in the best way possible.
It gives you the chance to share multiple sides of yourself
LinkedIn is not like other social networks where anything goes. The platform is designed to show a great level of decorum and professionalism. It doesn’t matter what industry you belong to, your profile summary provides you the best opportunity to inject a little personality into your profile.
Every employer is looking for someone whose personality matches their company culture. And the summary is the best place to let your potential employer see multiple sides of you – from professional achievements to life motivations.
Your LinkedIn summary can make it easier for people to find you
Yes, you can make your profile visible to more people by having a well-optimized LinkedIn profile summary. LinkedIn uses profile summaries for search results. That means when recruiters search for a particular set of people with certain skill sets, LinkedIn uses information in summaries to display relevant results.
You only need to include keywords or search phrases you think recruiters might type into the LinkedIn search bar in summary. This will go a long way to give you extra visibility and open you up to more opportunities.
What to Put In Your LinkedIn Summary
What to Put In Your LinkedIn Summary
We have highlighted the most common elements you can include in your summary. These are things we have seen work in great profiles, and we believe it will make a great difference in yours, too. However, you don’t necessarily have to include them all, but adding at least a few of them will give substance to your LinkedIn summary.
#1: Show what your passion is
Combing through some of the best summaries on LinkedIn, we always find a show of passion in them. So, describe what makes you tick in your summary. Adding that thing you are passionate about will add context to your career.
So, what is that one thing that gives you so much excitement besides your paycheck? Add it in your summary to catch the interest of your readers even more. This is especially useful if you are young and don’t have much work experience.
#2: Add relevant keywords
Pumping relevant keywords and search phrases into your summary will improve your rank on LinkedIn and also on Google. Look for keywords that highlight your top skills and naturally get them on your summary.
If you don’t know how to get relevant keywords for your skillset, you might want to check job descriptions and some other relevant profiles for inspiration.
#3: Showcase your success
Don’t hide them – everyone wants to hire someone that has a track record for success. Therefore, include a couple of them in your LinkedIn summary. This could be a combine or individual achievement. If you are in your mid- to late-stage career, this would not be a problem for you.
#4: Explain your present role
Yes, you already stated what your job title is. But why not explain it better in simple terms to further catch the attention of anyone that reads your summary? Explain what you do in your present position. Talk about the problems you solve and how you go about doing that. This will turn out to be a great way to show your expertise, work style, and skills.
#5: Show your character
Let people see other sides of you, not just the professional side. Choose words or stories that best describe your character and add them to your summary. Summaries are known for always hinting at such traits as humility, gratitude, and humor. However, when describing the kind of person you are, remember to stay true to yourself.
#6: Express what life outside work looks like for you
What’s your hobby or interest? Have you taken any volunteer role that has nothing to do with your work before? Add all of these details to round up your summary. You can as well share a short story to express what life outside work looks like for you, but remember it has to be a relevant story.
#7: Add rich media
Do you have any video, image, or article you think will better help express your achievement? Don’t hesitate to add that in your profile, and also in your summary. You will be surprised at how amazingly this can help make your profile stand out from others.
Tips for Writing a Great LinkedIn Summary
Begin with a hook
Every word matters in your LinkedIn profile summary, but the first words really matter. You should be able to hook your audience the right way or you will be losing them. By default, LinkedIn only shows the first three lines (about 310 characters) of your summary to readers. They can now decide afterward to click the “Read More” button to see more.
That means you’ve only got the first 300 characters to catch the attention of your audience and make them want to know more about you. Therefore, start your summary with a creative hook that your audience wouldn’t be able to resist but to click the “Read More” button.
Emphasize your successes
Telling your past achievements will give potential employers a hint that you can go above and beyond to get them results. So don’t be afraid to showcase your achievements and successes to help show your strength, skills, and drive towards achieving goals.
This will increase your audience’s confidence that you are the right fit for the role.
State your vision, mission, or career goals
Your career vision or mission will send a strong signal to potential employers as to how you want to help their companies achieve their desired goals with your skills. So, consider this as an opportunity to talk about your passion, industry expertise, and values to convince potential employers that you are a unique candidate.
Write how you speak
Don’t be too rigid with your writing. See it as you standing in front of someone you met at a conference – write that way. Anything you wouldn’t say, don’t write it. Read your summary out to yourself to ensure you have written it correctly. Writing the way you speak will also mean writing in the first-person voice.
Let your personality shine
Don’t bore out your readers with your work details. Give them something else to relate to. Let them see multiple sides of you by discussing your personality and personal values in a very concise way. Discuss something that motivates you to do better besides the paycheck.
Make the summary keyword rich
Recruiters are able to get the right candidates for their job by searching for a combination of skills, job titles, and other keywords. To make yourself more visible on LinkedIn, you should include enough relevant keywords in your summary. Finding relevant keywords is not difficult at all, especially if you are a job seeker.
You can always find these keywords in the job descriptions of the roles you are targeting. Don’t know how to do that? Follow the below steps:
- Open a new Word document and have it handy
- Go to LinkedIn Jobs and do a quick search for the target roles – just like you are going to apply for them
- Some job descriptions will show up. Then, find the one that is most relevant to you.
- Copy the entire job description and paste it into the Word document you have opened in the first step
- Rinse and repeat until you have gotten like 20 job descriptions in your doc
- Now, go to WordClouds.com
- Click on “Word List” and paste the job descriptions into it
- Click “Apply” and then “Word List” again
The tool will show you a list of all the keywords from the 20 job descriptions, arranging them according to how frequently each of them appears. Although the list might contain some filler words like “the,” “years” etc., simple editing will remove the filler words.
Create white space
Make your LinkedIn summary easy to read by breaking up the text. Avoid using long paragraphs or long-syllable words when a one-syllable word can do the job. When necessary, use bullet points and make sure they flow well with the content. Adding plenty of white space to your writing will make the text much easier to read.
Double-check your grammar
You don’t want to commit any grammatical errors here. Typos and grammar errors can defile the purpose of your summary and also damage your profile. The best way to ensure an error-free summary is to read your writing over and over again before finally settling with one.
You can also use a tool like Hemingway App to proofread your LinkedIn summary. The app will show you some places you have misspelled some words, and show you some sentences you can improve in the summary.
Cut the jargon
This is a very important tip to bear in mind when writing your LinkedIn summary. Avoid overused words that have lost meaning. Some words like “motivated,” “strategic,” “creative” have all lost their value in the LinkedIn community.
Instead, use a thesaurus to find alternative, yet better words to show you have those traits. You can as well use a quick story or example to drive home your point.
Include a clear call to action
A call to action, otherwise known as CTA, is a statement you have at the bottom of your summary telling readers what you would like them to do. Your CTA should be concise and straight to the point. Don’t confuse them with complex words, instead be clear enough in your CTA so they can take the action you want them to take after reading your summary.
Such actions could include sending you a LinkedIn message, check your website, or send you a mail. Having a professional, well-written call to action at the bottom of your summary will go a long way in helping you secure the job – or at least boost your professional network.
What to Put In Your LinkedIn Summary as a Student Seeking Internships
A great LinkedIn summary is not important for job seekers and thought leaders looking to make some great connections only. Even students who are yet in the workforce, applying for internships, or still working on a college degree should have one.
If you fall into any of these categories and wondering what you should include in your LinkedIn summary, here are some key elements to consider.
This is the first and a very important element when writing a LinkedIn summary for students. Don’t fall for the temptation to want to use big, ambiguous words.
As much as possible, let your summary be clear and very easy to read. Remember to use white space and check well for grammatical errors in the text.
Like every other LinkedIn profiles, keyword also plays a huge role in student’s profiles on LinkedIn. Look for relevant keywords and include enough of them in your summary in the most natural way. You can use the same method specified above to get relevant, effective keywords to use.
Skills gained from university classwork
Even without any work experience, you can still come up with a great LinkedIn summary. Include skills you have gained from university classwork and previous internship in the summary. All these can help boost confidence in your abilities.
You can vamp up your summary by leaning on your personal character qualities, showing how they will enhance your ability in doing the job well.
At the internship level, you don’t need to have a ton of experience before you can be the best fit for the roles. Discussing your personality and values can be equally important.
Your unique experience
Do you have any unique learning opportunities you have heard back in college? Do you have any relevant study abroad experiences, personal passion projects, or volunteer work that can be useful to express the values you have to offer? Don’t hesitate to add them to your LinkedIn profile summary.
What Are Some Common LinkedIn Summary Mistakes to Avoid?
While following the different tips mentioned above will help you craft a powerful LinkedIn summary, you will also need to be careful of some mistakes too.
Yes, some of them might be like obvious points considering things we already mentioned in the tips above, but we can never go wrong driving them hard into you again. They can either make or break your summary.
One of the biggest mistakes to look out for is just rehashing your work history in the summary. Although it is called a summary, you just don’t want to simply summarize your entire profile in this 2000 character space.
Another common mistake is been overly rigid in the writing. Instead, make your content more engaging by including an ambiance of personality in the summary.
Another one is making the summary a wall of text. This could discourage your readers from reading to the end. Therefore, avoid this and break up your summary into multiple paragraphs for easy reading.
Finally, avoid being too generic. Don’t go the same everyone is going. Make your summary unique by highlighting your unique traits and personalities. Don’t make your summary another regular summary on LinkedIn. Make it stand out, showcasing the unique value you could provide the right employer.
Final Note on What to Put in Your LinkedIn Summary
Your LinkedIn summary is a critical part of your profile, and so should be given the attention it deserves. You can’t leave it blank or inappropriately written because it is your main pitch to potential leads, collaborators, and recruiters. At the same time, you need to know what to put in your LinkedIn summary to make it effective.
From adding in your passion, past successes, unique characters, relevant keywords, and life outside work to making it easy to read, you just have to put every effort to help your summary stands out from other users’.
If you don’t know what to out in your LinkedIn summary, we are sure this guide would have done a great job in putting you on the right track. Therefore, get up now, craft a perfect LinkedIn summary, and watch your business and career take a new leap.