The “Summary” section of your LinkedIn profile is a vital part of your LinkedIn presence. You have 2,000 characters to give readers a brief snapshot of who you are.
One thing that is new in the “new look” LinkedIn is that the first 120-130 characters of your Summary will appear as a “preview” below your headline and location when someone is viewing your profile.
When someone is using the LinkedIn app, only the first six words of your Summary will appear. So the first 2-3 sentences need to instantly get your prospects interested in your profile — or, even better, get them excited about reading the rest of your profile.
How do you add more value to the company, or solve problems better than other job candidates? Your LinkedIn Summary can set you apart from other jobseekers on LinkedIn by demonstrating that you understand what employers want — and what you have to offer that meets that need.
Address these questions:
- How will your next employer benefit by hiring you? Quantify the value in terms of numbers, money, and/or percentages. Use specific numbers and facts to build credibility.
- What experience can you offer that will provide value to your next employer?
- What additional skills do you have that set you apart from other candidates with a similar background?
Write naturally and conversationally. In contrast to your résumé, you should use pronouns in your LinkedIn Summary. Speak in the first person, not third person. (“I did such-and-such.”) Write as if you’re speaking to an individual reader. Make it personal. Be sure to emphasize outcomes — as well as what makes you uniquely qualified to do the job you do.
Try to find a common thread through your work. Then, once you have a theme, use storytelling principles to write your summary as a narrative. Have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Your LinkedIn Summary can be anywhere from a few sentences up to a few paragraphs. But don’t waste any words — make the most dramatic, powerful, attention-getting statement you can. Don’t use any more words than is necessary, and don’t be overly flowery in your language.
The point of the first sentence is to get the prospect to read the second sentence. And the next sentence. And the next.
Be conversational and informal in your tone. Use contractions (“you’re” instead of “you are”). Every word counts! And pay attention to grammar and spelling. Make sure there are no mistakes in your profile. Re-read and edit it. Have a colleague, friend, or spouse read it. Copy-and-paste it into a word processing program and run a spell-check on it.
You can also use asterisks, dashes, hyphens, and other keyboard characters to format the summary and make it easier to read.
Need help with developing content for your LinkedIn profile summary? Please schedule a complementary discovery session with one of our certified career development practitioners or transition specialists. You may also visit the Help Center, call 866.827.7302, email us, or use the "Feedback & Support" link located on bottom right side of the page. We also invite you to continue the conversation by sharing your suggestions for advancing in the selection process by adding a comment below.