How to Write a LinkedIn Summary

How to Write a LinkedIn SummaryIf you are a job seeker and are not using LinkedIn properly, you are missing out.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. Employers and recruiters including myself use LinkedIn on a daily basis to find the right talent. We don’t limit our search to people who are looking for a job right now either and often approach passive candidates.

However, if your profile isn’t completed, keyword reach or optimized, employers won’t be able to find you.

The section of LinkedIn profile that is often neglected is your summary section.

Here’s some advice on how to write a LinkedIn summary so that your profile attracts more attention.

Don’t waste space on mundane and over-used phrases

There are certain, very dry and mundane phrases that I’d recommend you don’t ever use on your LinkedIn profile or your resume/CV.

These include ‘self-motivated team player’, ‘accomplished professional’ or ‘exceptional communicator’. These phrases do absolutely NOTHING to make you stand out from others, and you are only wasting valuable space which you could use to showcase your achievements instead.

Have a look at a poor LinkedIn summary example:

LinkedIn Summary Example 1

If all the candidate can say about themselves is that they work well under pressure or are self-motivated, this is not going to make them stand out from other candidates and therefore they are unlikely to get much interest from recruiters/employers.

Create your USP

Your Unique Selling Proposition is a one sentence/paragraph explanation that gives the potential employer a quick overview of who you are, what you are looking for, and most importantly, what you can do for them.

You want your summary to stand out – this means you should include some achievements and make sure you quantify them as much as possible. If you are a sales person who’s achieved 120% of your target for the last 3 years, mention it. But you don’t need to be in sales to have quantifiable achievements – however you do need a clear reason as to why people would want to engage with you.

Have a look at a LinkedIn summary example from my colleague Joshua Waldman from the US – you immediately know who he is and what services he provides:

LinkedIn Summary Example 2

You can also share a list of your responsibilities and accomplishments in current and previous positions.  Mention what you specialize in, what sort of clients you’ve been working with or what technologies you’ve been using.

Make sure that you flesh out as much information as you can for each relevant position that you’ve had.  Marketing Director at Expedia provides a great overview of what he’s accomplished during his time with the company as well as a list of his specialties:

LinkedIn Summary Example 3

LinkedIn Summary Example 4
Use the right keywords

Use the keywords within your profile summary section that are used in job descriptions that you are interested in.

For example, I was recently looking for someone with online partner marketing experience, search engine marketing, e-commerce and travel experience. The LinkedIn summary example below attracted my attention as the candidate mentioned the keywords of interest to me in the Specialties in their Summary section:

LinkedIn Summary Example 5

Make sure you that you use keywords in the Specialties section that are relevant to jobs you are applying for as well, e.g.:

LinkedIn Summary Example 6

However, don’t stuff your summary section with keywords. Simply use effective keywords and phrases where they fit so list your areas of expertise using descriptive keywords.

Remember, writing a good LinkedIn profile summary gets you noticed and will attract the right people to your profile. You get more connections and ultimately, more opportunities to advance your career.

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