There are plenty of reasons to place great importance on your LinkedIn profile summary. Many active recruiters take a quick look at your summary to judge what you’ve done in your career or what you want to do. In many cases, your LinkedIn profile summary is the first impression that professionals have of you.
This post will give you plenty of tips and examples on how to write a successful LinkedIn summary to attract more attention, and also why a LinkedIn summary is important in the first place.
What is a LinkedIn summary?
A LinkedIn profile summary is a short professional description of yourself at the top of your profile. Your summary is titled as the “About” section on your profile. A great LinkedIn summary is both concise and compelling. It highlights what you’re good at without overselling or bragging too much.
You want people reading your LinkedIn profile summary to think, “I need this person on my team!” It also helps if they can get an idea about how you work so employers know whether or not you are a good fit for their company.
It is essential for recruiters and hiring managers to understand how well-suited candidates will fit into their company culture before making any offers. A great way to do this is by going through your summary to quickly and easily see if there is a match.
Why is A LinkedIn Summary Important?
The importance of a LinkedIn summary is that it is one of the first things people will see when they view your profile. The summary is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself and explain what you do. Hiring managers and recruiters, especially ones at Insight Global, read LinkedIn profiles to see if they are interested in interviewing candidates, so it is important to make a good impression.
When your qualifications and experience are summarized well, you can generate a positive reaction that may lead to an introduction or request for more information. You’ve got to nail it.
How do I write a LinkedIn summary?
Here are the steps to get to your LinkedIn summary section:
- Go to your LinkedIn profile
- Scroll to the “About” section
- Click the pencil in the top right-hand corner of the “About” section–that’s the edit button
- Type your summary in the space provided
- Hit “Save” and clarify that your update was successful
LinkedIn provides a short explanation of what you can write in the summary section: “You can write about your years of experience, industry, or skills. People also talk about their achievements or previous job experiences.”
You’re also allowed to use up to 2,600 characters (spaces included) in the summary. That translates to around 400-500 words. You shouldn’t feel like you have to get close to the maximum, especially if you’re less experienced than people who have worked long careers, but also don’t be afraid to use all you can to make a good impression.
10 Tips for writing an effective LinkedIn Summary
Start with a strong introduction
Your introduction should capture the reader’s attention and make them want to learn more about you.When you start writing your first sentence for your summary, think about this question:
What value does this person bring to an organization or team?
This is what will really hook people in, and they should want to keep reading.
Show off your skills and accomplishments
Make sure to list all of the skills and accomplishments that make you perfect for the role you’re targeting. Doing so will help you stand out from the competition. Include any awards or accolades that support your skills and accomplishments.
Even if you aren’t in the job market, your skills and accomplishments show what make you a good resource. Show them off.
Include specific examples
Give specific examples of how you’ve used your skills and accomplishments in past jobs and current positions. This will help employers visualize how you would be a valuable member of their team. Rather than say you drove website traffic in a positive direction, say by how much and over what amount of time.
Add Relevant Information
Make sure your summary aligns with your current job or career goals. Any information that isn’t specifically relevant to your career arc, goals, and accomplishments doesn’t need to be added to your summary.
Don’t be afraid of adding too much information
Like we said before, don’t be afraid of edging up to the character limit LinkedIn allows. You may need all 2,600 characters to showcase yourself, especially if you’ve had a variety of successful accomplishments. However, make sure your most important information is easy to find and that you’re not wasting time by including too much info.
Add keywords from their job description throughout your summary
If an employer is looking for someone who uses specific phrases or words in their job descriptions, then make sure those are sprinkled through your summary as well. This will help boost your search optimization (what recruiters and hiring manager type in search bars and filters) and improve your chances of getting found by potential employers.
End with a strong conclusion
Your conclusion should reiterate why you’re perfect for the role and leave the reader wanting to learn more about you. If they like what they see, there’s a good chance they’ll reach out to you.
Invite People To Reach Out
You want recruiters and people looking for employees to reach out to you with their opportunities. A simple “please reach out if you’d like to connect and talk” is a good action item to leave for people who read your summary.
Make sure to proofread carefully before publishing your LinkedIn summary. Ask a friend or two to look over your summary. Spelling mistakes, poor grammar, and other written errors may rub people reading your summary the wrong way. You want your summary to look professional and polished, and errors work against that.
LinkedIn Summary Common Mistakes
On the flip side, not every LinkedIn summary is perfect, and there are some things professionals do with their summaries that don’t capture the attention of employers. Some of the most common mistakes with writing a LinkedIn summary are:
Not using the summary to sell yourself
When you’re not selling yourself and your skills, you are not getting to the heart of a hiring manager, HR person, or recruiter. Ultimately, the point of your LinkedIn summary is to highlight why you’d be a great person to work with–both personally and professionally. Tell your story, and hammer down why you’d be a great for for a company.
Focusing too much on your job history and not enough on your skills and accomplishments
This is a common mistake because people think their job titles are the most impressive thing about them. Your skills and accomplishments are what make you stand out, so focus on those instead. Your job titles and responsibilities you had can wait for the “Experience” portion of your LinkedIn page.
Not tailoring your summary to the specific role you’re targeting
If you have a specific role in mind, make sure to highlight all of the qualities that would make you perfect for it. Sometimes professionals are comfortable in their current position and aren’t trying to get a certain job or role. Even in this case, you should tailor your summary to show how you’ve progressed during your career to get where you are now.
Using Too Many Clichés
Avoid clichés and empty phrases, particularly when describing yourself. For example, “I am a hardworking person who…” is not as effective as bringing up specific examples of how you have been able to succeed in previous jobs or projects.
Leaving out key information
Make sure to include your contact information, website, and any other important info that potential employers would want to know.
Examples of effective summaries
Now that you have a general idea of what to do, we put together some good LinkedIn summary examples to get you started. These are just starting points, and your summaries should include specific lists and examples of skills, responsibilities, aspirations, and more from your experiences. We also provided questions you may want to ask and answer for yourself to get you started.
LinkedIn Summary For A Graduate
“I am a recent graduate who is excited to start my career. I have experience working with teams ranging from three to 20 people and am confident in my ability to take on new challenges. I’m also skilled in social media marketing and have a strong interest in business development.”
Potential questions to answer for your summary:
- What kind of projects did you work on in school?
- What was your role in these projects?
- Did you have any internships?
- What was your major and did you have any special certifications or regularly participate in clubs?
- Where do you see your career in the next three years?
LinkedIn Summary for A seasoned professional with years of experience
“I am a seasoned professional with over 15 years of experience in the sales world. My skills include management, customer service, and accounting which I have put to use in previous roles. I have also gained expertise with Hubspot, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Creative Suite over my career.”
Potential questions to answer for your summary:
- What professional wins and accomplishments have you had over your career?
- Have you led a team and what improvements or success did that team have?
- What programs or strategies have you developed to help improve a company’s work flow?
- How did your skills develop from one job or position to another?
LinkedIn Summary For A Student
“I am a student at [enter school] with an impressive academic record. During my time at school, I’ve been involved in many extracurricular activities, including student government and volunteering. I am looking for a position where I can use my skills and abilities to make a difference.”
Potential questions to answer for your summary:
- What extracurricular experiences have you participated in and how have they inspired or improved skills or career dreams you have?
- What are your professional aspirations?
- Where do you see your career coming out of college and five years beyond that?
- What’s your story that led you to this point of your educational life?
LinkedIn Summary For Some With Multiple Skillsets
“I am a professional with a diverse set of experiences and skillsets from my 10+ years in the workforce. My experiences include leading a team of 23 sales people, creating and executing an SEO strategy for a company with $600 million in revenue, and running operations of a sales office with more than 50 team members.”
Potential questions to answer for your summary:
- What is the story that led you from one position and career field to another?
- What successes did your leadership and strategies have while in the positions?
- How have the various skills you’ve developed help push you forward in your career?
- How can your wide range of skills affect a company in the future?
- What other skills do you wish to develop?
LinkedIn Summary For A Job Seeker
“After working for over a decade in the art and communications field, I am looking for a new challenge. My skills include writing, editing, and designing, which I have put to use in previous roles. I am also proficient in social media marketing and enjoy managing online communities.”
Potential questions to answer:
- What job, field, or career do you see yourself in next?
- What are your interests outside of your previous skills and jobs?
- How will your previous experiences inform what you want to do next?
Now let’s look at some sentences you may use for your LinkedIn summary for specific position:
“I have over five years of experience in digital marketing and have worked with both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. My skills include SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and email marketing. In my previous job, I increased website traffic by 20% and reduced customer acquisition costs by 25%.”
“I am an experienced project manager with over seven years of experience in the field. I have a proven track record of successfully delivering projects on time and under budget. My skills include leading teams through all phases of the project life cycle, problem-solving, and risk management.”
Real Estate Manager
“As an accomplished real estate manager, I’m known for reducing risk through negotiations and budget management. With over five years of experience under my belt, I know how to identify problems before they happen while providing solutions that benefit everyone involved.”
“I have over seven years of experience in sales and have consistently been one of the top performers in my company. I am a strategic thinker who can see the big picture and develop plans that achieve results. Some of my key strengths include cold calling, lead generation, and deal closure.”
Remember: You can expand and use the maximum character limit for each of these examples, but make sure that your opening paragraphs are strong like these.
Examples From Insight Global Employees
Bria Villasante, DE&I Strategist
Korryn Williamson, Director of DE&I Client Services
Rahil Pirani, Platform Experience Manager
LinkedIn Summary FAQs
Can I use bullet points or numbers in my LinkedIn summary?
Some people choose to write their summaries in bullet point form, but it’s not required. It all depends on what feels most natural to you and what will best showcase your skills and experiences.
Bullet points and numbers can be helpful if you want to list a lot of information quickly. They are especially helpful when you’re listing out multiple accomplishments. Use them only if they really add value, though. Every sentence shouldn’t be a bullet.
What should I avoid putting in my LinkedIn summary?
There are a few things that you should avoid including in your LinkedIn summary, such as:
- Salary information
- Requirement of a new company
- Job titles or previous company names
Another thing to avoid is using too many buzzwords or cliches. Stick to simple language that anyone can understand.
Where Do I Show Off My Work
While your summary is the place to show off skills and what makes you a good professional, there are other spots on your LinkedIn to showcase the work you done. These sections include places to link to publications, showcase any licenses or certifications you have, any classes you’ve taken, your volunteer experience, projects you’ve done, and more.
These are all things employers love to see, but they’re not meant for your summary section. (You may reference them, but don’t include links.)
Finish Your Profile
All of those sections we just mentioned? Make sure they’re all filled out before you make your profile public or list yourself as interested in work. You job experience and basic profile information should be up-to-date, too. Your profile should have all of your relevant information when hiring managers and recruiters look at your profile.
Writing a great LinkedIn summary isn’t the easiest thing to complete, but that’s because it’s one of the most important parts of your profile. Following these tips should help improve your chances of getting noticed by employers, which means having more opportunities available when applying for jobs.
Our recruiters search LinkedIn when finding candidates for positions. A great LinkedIn summary may help catch the eye of one of our own. If you’re seeking a more direct approach for taking the next step in your career, search through thousands of listings on the Insight Global job board.