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How To Write A Successful LinkedIn Summary

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When you’re ready to find a new job that will help you take your career to the next level, having a great LinkedIn summary should be a priority. Making sure your LinkedIn profile showcases your skills and accomplishments will help you find a position where you can thrive.

Top companies are looking for talent on LinkedIn. In fact, more than 90% of employers use LinkedIn.  If your LinkedIn profile and summary stand out, you’ll attract the attention of the top-tier employers. 

A LinkedIn summary is your digital introduction to employers that are recruiting for top positions. It’s a place where you can highlight your accomplishments, show off your personality, and give potential employers an idea of who you are, how you’d fit into their company culture, and what you can bring to their organization. There are 140 job applications submitted through LinkedIn every second. Unless your LinkedIn summary stands out, you won’t land that interview.

To help you craft a LinkedIn summary that puts your best digital foot forward we’ll be discussing how summaries are best utilized on LinkedIn, list the components you should include in any summary, give some examples of successful summaries that help job seekers stand out above the competition, and illustrate how you can build your own LinkedIn summary. 

Let us help you land your next position by optimizing your LinkedIn profile and crafting the ATS optimized resume for you. Here’s more information about our LinkedIn Profile Writing Service and Resume Writing Services. Book a call today to speak directly with our CEO and Founder, Arno Markus!

What is a LinkedIn Summary?

A LinkedIn summary is part of your LinkedIn profile. It’s a block of text dedicated to introducing yourself to anyone who visits your profile. You have only 2000 characters to describe yourself, your goals, your skills, and give potential employers a sense of who you are. Your summary needs to be concise but also give a great overview of who you are professionally. 

It can be very difficult to distill your employment history, your career accomplishments, your personality, and your employment goals into just 2000 characters. Breaking down the summary into sections helps. Many successful LinkedIn summaries have these elements:

5 Key Components of a Strong LinkedIn Summary

It’s very common for people to experience writer’s block or brain fog when they sit down to write their LinkedIn summary. It’s difficult to write about your accomplishments, skills, and expertise in a way that doesn’t sound self-important or like you’re “bragging.” Write your summary using these five sections to make it easier: 

1. Personal Branding Statement

Your personal branding statement should be a concise and compelling statement that captures who you are as a professional, what your professional values are, and what skills or expertise you bring to the table.

It needs to have a brief overview of your skills, experiences, and career goals. The goal of the personal branding statement is to get attention and tell potential employers in a few sentences why you are a good fit for their company.

A well-crafted personal branding statement should describe the specific value you offer to employers. It should be authentic, memorable, and tailored to reflect your personal and professional brand. Starting with a personal anecdote about how you found your passion for your work or started your career in your personal branding statement is a great way to make an impression.

2. Career Highlights and Achievements

After your personal branding statement should be a short section that emphasizes your career highlights and achievements. Start with your most recent highlights or your biggest achievements. A bulleted list of accomplishments looks clean and professional. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves. When compiling your career achievements and highlights you should:

  • Identify your key accomplishments
  • Include only relevant achievements
  • Use specific numbers and metrics
  • Use action-oriented language
  • Make sure the highlights you include are relevant to your career goals
  • Include keywords that will help employers find you

You don’t need to list every accomplishment you’ve ever had. Executive-level job seekers in particular should only focus on your most recent work, not what you accomplished in high school or college.

3. Skills and Expertise

It’s difficult to evaluate yourself, so you may find it hard to adequately describe your skills and expertise. But this is the chance you have to show employers what you do well, so make the most of it. LinkedIn summaries should include a variety of hard skills (specific software, protocols in your industry) and soft skills (leadership, time management, etc.) If you really can’t think of any particular skills that you excel at then ask your friends or colleagues to suggest skills that you have–you may be surprised by what they have to say!

4. Professional Goals and Aspirations

After describing the skills and expertise that you can offer to employers, you should write a section that highlights your professional goals and aspirations. This section should include specific goals that don’t use a lot of business buzzwords or jargon. When you’re writing this section of your LinkedIn summary you should:

  • Be specific
  • Make sure that your described goals are in line with the jobs that you’re seeking on LinkedIn
  • Talk about why these goals are important to you
  • Highlight your commitment to achieving these goals

If you have taken any personal development courses, joined an exclusive networking group, learned a new language, or done any other career-related activities to help achieve your goals, describe them here.

5. Personal Touch and Unique Selling Proposition

The final section is where you can add some personality. Wrap up your summary with some unique traits or interests that you have or highlight your sense of humor. An authentic anecdote or statement that reflects who you are will make a good impression on potential employers and give them the information they need to assess how well you will fit into their corporate culture.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in LinkedIn Summaries

Employers who are searching through LinkedIn summaries to find job candidates are going to be looking at a lot of summaries. If your summary is boring or generic, potential employers are going to pass by your profile without giving it a second glance. The biggest mistakes that people make when crafting their LinkedIn summaries include:

Being Too Generic or Vague

Whether you’re describing your skillset or talking about the type of role you’re trying to find you should be as specific as possible in your summary. Generic vague descriptions give the impression that you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for. Or, that you’re not able to correctly assess your specific skills. For example, instead of “increasing profitability,” list the exact return on investment you were able to achieve in a given time period. Instead of saying you “reduced employee turnover,” list your employer’s turnover rates year over year. 

Employers won’t waste time trying to figure out if you have the skills they’re looking for. 50% of hiring managers use LinkedIn skill data to fill roles. The more specific you are about your skills, the better the chance you’re going to get hired. 

Focusing Solely on Job Responsibilities

Demonstrating competence with the job responsibilities that an employer needs to have done is important, but it’s not everything. A summary that has a witty story or anecdote, expresses personality, and explains why you’re a good fit for a particular role is going to make a better impression than one that is only focused on job responsibilities.

Employers want to see if your personality is going to be a fit for their culture just as much as they want to know if you can do the job. This could not be more true for executives–good managers, especially new hires, make or break jobs for their employees.

Neglecting Proofreading and Grammar

Employers will notice if your grammar is incorrect, or if your summary is filled with punctuation errors and hasn’t been proofread. Check, double check, and then triple check your summary for basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors before you post it. Attention to detail matters to future employers. This can even be true if your native language is the same–Australian, UK, and American English all have their own nuances. Cater your LinkedIn summary to the country of your ideal employment. 

Overlooking Visual Elements and Multimedia

There’s not a lot of personalization allowed in LinkedIn summaries, but you can use visual elements like short paragraphs that are easy to skim, bulleted lists, headings, italics, spacing, and even emojis to make your summary look visually appealing. These style elements will also make your summary easier to read and direct readers to important information.

Let us help you land your next position by optimizing your LinkedIn profile and crafting the ATS optimized resume for you. Here’s more information about our LinkedIn Profile Writing Service and Resume Writing Services. Book a call today to speak directly with our CEO and Founder, Arno Markus!

Crafting Your Own Compelling LinkedIn Summary

The first step in crafting your own compelling LinkedIn summary is to do a self-assessment that will help you identify your strongest skills, your achievements, and what unique elements will make you stand out to potential employers.

A good place to start is to look at your resume. Make a list of the compelling attributes and achievements that are listed there. Expand on those. A word cloud is a great option here–simply copy & paste your resume and see which terms pop up most often.

It’s important to tailor your summary to your target audience, so make sure that you are only selecting relevant skills and expertise. Remember, your summary is supposed to help you push your career forward. So including experiences or achievements that don’t line up with the type of job that you’re trying to get won’t help you.

You also need to include relevant keywords in your LinkedIn summary. Many employers use keyword searches to find potential candidates. If you don’t have keywords relevant to the job you want included in your summary the employer looking to hire for those jobs won’t find you. To identify what keywords you should be using you can use these tools:

Be sure to not go overboard when utilizing keywords in your LinkedIn summary–If you stuff keywords into your summary, it won’t read well and won’t give employers a good impression of you or your skills. A LinkedIn summary should read like a human would speak, not like an extension of your resume. 

Resume writing services are also an option when deciding how to write a LinkedIn summary. Resume writers are experts in grabbing an employer’s attention in a short amount of time–exactly what your goal is when crafting a valuable summary. Consider consulting with a writer to get tips and tricks on how to put your best virtual foot forward on LinkedIn. 

Example: Successful LinkedIn Summary For C-Suite Executives

Here is an example LinkedIn summary from a Chief Marketing Officer who tells a story about life and focuses on communication skills, while still illustrating the impact they would bring to a new employer.

🌟 Disruptive Innovator | Strategic Visionary | Results-Driven CMO🌟 From a young age, I possessed an irrepressible urge to disrupt the status quo, constantly challenging norms and pushing boundaries. Even in elementary school, I found myself always talking in class, sparking conversations and stirring up ideas, much to the chagrin of my teachers.  Little did I know, this penchant for disruption would later become my greatest asset in the dynamic world of marketing. As I embarked on my journey through college, I began to truly recognize the power of disruptive thinking. Whether it was rebranding the debate team as a university sport, or fundraising more than $15,000 for our local student environmental activism committee, I dove headfirst into the realm of marketing, eager to make my mark through innovation. I am fueled by success. During my tenure with Fortune 5000 Company A, we launched a global campaign that increased YoY revenue of our core product by 17%. At my current role in Fortune 5000 Company B, we completely reinvented the brand, and brand retention has since increased by 34%. Whether it’s redefining identities or launching groundbreaking products, I thrive on the thrill of pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations. I am seeking my next marketing leader role at a company that shares my passion for disruption and innovation. I am eager to collaborate with forward-thinking leaders and those who are unafraid to break new ground in the marketing landscape. If you want a visionary CMO who consistently…
  • Delivers game-changing results for my clients
  • Fosters collaboration and initiative on my marketing teams
  • Drives revenue growth for every brand I work for
  • Increases brand visibility for clients who need to be seen
  • Builds deep connections with consumers and our brand,
look no further. Let’s join forces and embark on a journey to make even more disruptions in the marketing landscape. Together, we can redefine what’s possible. 

WHY WE LIKE THIS: 

A CMO should be a master storyteller. This executive realized the power of disruption at a young age, and illustrated his lifelong passion for marketing by creating a story within his LinkedIn summary. This LinkedIn summary hooks the reader in the beginning by sharing stories of how the marketer’s youth led him to embrace his talent for marketing and communications. By including small, personal touches like the debate team and environmental activism, this LinkedIn summary gleans some insight into the personality of the candidate. Cultural fit is a crucial component of any role, particularly executives and leaders. 

The summary then lists accomplishments the candidate has made over the years, with specific figures illustrating the candidate’s success. For example, listing a percentage of revenue increase or ROI is far more impactful than stating “we increased revenue.” Because this CMO focuses on brand marketing, they have woven their statistics on success into a paragraph’s narrative, continuing the theme of being a powerful storyteller. 

This summary also makes use of a list when outlining what the candidate would bring to the table for a potential employer. Formatting for a LinkedIn summary is important, and should be treated as you would treat any piece of content online. Stay away from using large blocks of text. The above example breaks apart the summary in short, easy-to-read paragraphs in addition to the list. Bulleted lists are also a great way to illustrate a point and call attention to a section you want the reader to see–at this point in the summary, the candidate is trying to show the employer what they value in terms of work ethic and results. 

Finally, the summary utilizes all space available on LinkedIn at 1970 characters. 2,000 characters may initially seem like a lot of space, but it ends up only being approximately 300 words. It’s always a challenge to condense a 20+ career into one short summary. 

Additional Tips for LinkedIn Profile Optimization

Now that you’re better prepared to write a powerful LinkedIn summary, you may be hoping to optimize your LinkedIn profile in other ways. Your profile will look more professional and sophisticated if you:

Leverage Recommendations and Endorsements

Including recommendations and endorsements in your summary can be a great way to show potential employers that you really do have the skills and personality they’re looking for. Don’t clog up your summary with overly enthusiastic recommendations. That looks desperate. But you can include a few recommendations or endorsements to round out your summary.

Engage with Content and Build Connections

Making connections is one of the best ways that you can stand out from the thousands of other job seekers on LinkedIn.  Building relationships with people in the field you want to break into or at the companies where you want to work is still important.  And it’s easier than ever to build those important social professional connections with LinkedIn and other social media if you put in the effort.

Update Your Profile Regularly

It’s a good idea to change keywords, update your profile, and make sure that your summary has your latest and greatest achievements on a regular basis. Switching up the keywords can help attract new potential employers. And make sure that you have a professional photo on your profile too.

Get Feedback

Your LinkedIn summary should be a constant work in progress. Ask professionals, colleagues, and business contacts for feedback on your summary. It may be that your summary doesn’t have something that the employers you want to attract are looking for, but you won’t know that unless you get feedback from one of those potential employers. Keep asking for feedback and polishing your summary.

Work With A Pro

If you want a professional result, you need to ask a professional. You’re not a professional LinkedIn profile writer and that’s ok. But if you want to get professional results you need to work with a professional profile writer.  A professional profile writer knows how to put you on the radar of the top employers. 

Are You Ready To Write A Better LinkedIn Summary?

How you structure your LinkedIn profile summary will directly impact the number of jobs you are offered and the quality of the employers that you attract. Six people are hired every minute through LinkedIn. You could be one of them. If you are serious about finding the right job, you need to work with a professional LinkedIn profile writer.  Contact iCareerSolutions today to find out more about how iCS can help you market yourself on LinkedIn through a strong summary, build your personal brand online, and achieve your professional goals.

Let us help you land your next position by optimizing your LinkedIn profile and crafting the ATS optimized resume for you. Here’s more information about our LinkedIn Profile Writing Service and Resume Writing Services. Book a call today to speak directly with our CEO and Founder, Arno Markus!

About iCareerSolutions

iCareerSolutions, America’s #1 Executive and Professional Resume Writing Services, Reverse Recruitment, and LinkedIn Profile Development Company. 28X award-winning resume writers deliver professional resumes that get interviews. We have successfully landed our executive clients senior-level leadership positions at companies like Apple, Amazon, EA, Oracle, GM, Google, Facebook, DoJ, Gap, and 2U just to name a few. iCareerSolutions has 200+ 5-star reviews and offers a 60-day interview guarantee. Every resume template created is Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) compatible and highly customized to meet your unique needs.

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