How To
9 min

The Complete Guide to Writing a LinkedIn Summary

Nicole Hankey

October 1, 2022

You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” In a perfect world, we should never make snap judgments based on appearances, but unfortunately, this is a basic human impulse that’s hard to escape. It’s also why first impressions are so important. 

You’re not a book, but your LinkedIn profile page functions as your professional “cover.” It gives the reader an idea of who you are, what you do, and what your skills are—and the first thing potential clients, employers, and colleagues will see is your LinkedIn summary. So, if you want to nail your first impression and invite people to learn more about you, it’s crucial to craft an impressive and compelling summary. 

What is a LinkedIn summary, and why should I write one?

Your LinkedIn summary is in the text box under your profile picture. Think of it like an ‘About Me’ section. It’s your chance to summarize yourself, your professional profile, and the image you want to project to colleagues and employers. 

As we mentioned above, your summary is a key piece of the first impression you make on people checking out your LinkedIn profile. While it may seem like a lot of extra effort to write one, it’s worth it. Your LinkedIn summary gives employers deeper insight into who you are as a person beyond the hard facts of your resume and job descriptions. 

With 830 million members on LinkedIn, there’s quite a lot of competition for attention. A killer summary helps your profile stand out and grab the attention of your connections. 

Your summary is just as important as the profile, the types of content you post to LinkedIn, and the imagery. Every word, message, image, or idea you post on Linkedin is important. 

Related: How to Use LinkedIn for Business

What should I include in my LinkedIn summary?

LinkedIn gives you up to 2,000 characters to describe yourself and showcase your best qualities. To make sure you make every character count, you’ll want to cover a few key points.

Talk about your passions

You are more than a list of jobs on a resume. Use your summary to talk about your passions and overarching professional values!

These passions don’t all necessarily have to be work-related, but you should try to emphasize at least one interest. You want to appear excited and motivated about your work, so talk up an element of your field that you love or an accomplishment you’re proud of. 

Bonus points if you can tie what you love to do outside of work to something you love to do at work. This helps tie together a larger theme to your professional life. 

Describe your current role

Refrain from just copying and pasting your job description. You want to try to paint a picture of your role in a meaningful way. What problems do you solve? Who are you working with/for? How do your contributions support the big picture?

Describing your work in this way helps employers envision you in similar positions in their organizations instead of boxing you into a job title and bullet-point list of skills and tasks. 

Shine a light on your successes

This is your chance to highlight your unique accomplishments and special responsibilities. Instead of just listing them out,  try to frame them more naturally. Think of what you’re known for at work, the highest compliment you’ve received, or an especially impressive sales figure you hit. 

Contextualize your past

Unless your career has been a straight shot from school to relevant jobs, you probably have roles or gaps in your work history that don’t immediately make sense or fit with your current path. This is your chance to frame those experiences however you want, hopefully putting them in context with your larger journey and career trajectory. 

Think about how you use skills from prior careers in your current role or how a seemingly irrelevant degree still gave you the tools you use in your field today. While it may seem disjointed on paper, you are free to frame it in a cohesive, positive way that demonstrates your tenacity and flexibility.  

Display your unique character

Professional skills aside, employers want to get a taste of your personality. Here, you can let them know some of your soft skills, how your coworkers would describe you, and anything else that you feel highlights your best qualities in the office and beyond.

Again, feel free to enjoy this and let your true self shine through. Don’t be afraid to describe some of your less common quirks and traits. Not only does this show your true personality, but it helps set you apart. 

Include your life outside of work

It’s okay to mention your life outside of the office if this matters to you or if you’re involved in pursuits outside of work that are particularly important to you. This is the place to mention hobbies or interests, leadership roles outside of work, community service involvements, and more.

This section is most effective if you can find a way to weave it into your professional life. Try to emphasize the interconnectivity between what you do outside of work and how you perform your job. It’s your chance to show readers that you are a thoughtful, well-rounded person. 

Tell a story

Ideally, your LinkedIn summary should read like an expertly crafted story. Narratives have much more power than a list of facts and timelines, so even though you have limited space for content, strive to create a compelling tale that chronicles your career adventures and outlines your professional values. 

Technology can lend a hand if you’re stuck on the actual writing part. Try one of Copy.ai’s free tools to help you break through writer’s block and create an excellent LinkedIn summary. 

Be direct

You might be familiar with using a call-to-action (CTA) to prompt people to click a link or make a purchase, but did you know you can use one in your LinkedIn summary, too? 

While you obviously shouldn’t use your LinkedIn summary to make a sale, you can (and should) still be clear about what you want. If you’re looking for a specific role or responsibility, say that. If you want to build connections, you can ask people to connect with you. 

6 tips for crafting the perfect LinkedIn summary

Now that we’re clear on the what, let’s dive into the how. Here are some tips to set you on the right track and ensure you end up with a summary that employers love. 

Start with a strong opener

Your opening line is where you will either capture your reader’s attention or lose it. Unfortunately, many people use too much filler in the first few sentences of their summary.

There’s no need to introduce yourself since your name is already clearly visible on your profile. There’s no need for formalities either—don’t waste time greeting your audience or thanking them for reading your page.

Since your space is limited (and so is your reader’s attention span), you want to cut to the chase and launch right into your story. 

Weave in keywords

Chances are you’ve probably heard of SEO in web pages and marketing, but did you know you can also use it to boost your LinkedIn profile? You can infuse keywords into your summary to improve your search ranking on LinkedIn and Google.

An easy way to do this is to add a “Specialities” section or a similar section where you can list a few bullet points of your top skills. Keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo it—keyword stuffing can make your summary sound awkward and inauthentic. Instead, aim to add just a handful of your target keywords to give your summary a leg up. 

Include other media

While you are technically limited to text in your summary, linking to other media types is a good idea. You can add photos, videos, and more in other sections of your profile and refer to them or introduce them in your summary.

Again, as always, be sure to keep it relevant. That trending TikTok you made might be awesome, but if it has nothing to do with your work, it probably doesn’t belong on your LinkedIn page. However, if you have a clip of your award-winning presentation, that belongs!

Related: How to Create a LinkedIn Profile

Avoid buzzwords

If you’re a hiring manager, reading summary after summary can get repetitive and even downright boring—especially since a few words are especially overused in professional settings.

Try to avoid jargon and buzzwords to help your summary stand out. For example, instead of simply stating, “I’m creative and flexible,” try sharing an anecdote that demonstrates those qualities. 

Keep it personable

LinkedIn is a professional network, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be dry and humorless. While your summary isn’t the place for your stand-up routine (unless you’re a comedian), you want your writing to sound like you and to be enjoyable to read. A little less formal and a little more personable. 

Break up the text

No one wants to read a wall of text and run-on sentences. Break up your summary with short paragraphs, bullet points, and stand-alone one-liners. Opt for shorter and simpler over long and complicated. 

3 examples of impressive LinkedIn summaries

Looking for inspiration? We’ve got you covered with three excellent examples of LinkedIn summaries that go the extra mile. 

#1 Framing the past and highlighting accomplishments

Screenshot by author, from LinkedIn

Gary dives right into his story and seamlessly weaves his prior experience into his recent and current achievements. He also highlights his top skills and clients, along with the services he creates and provides, giving readers a well-rounded and impressive summary of his professional life. 

#2 Shining with personality

Screenshot by author, from LinkedIn

Fernando gives readers a clear idea of his personality, and his summary reads like a casual conversation. He emphasizes his professional values but focuses more on who he is, including his hobbies and interests outside of work. 

#3—Expert storytelling

Screenshot by author, from LinkedIn

Sally tells a great story starting from her past experience, incorporating key passions and interests, and ending with an invitation to connect further. 

Conclusion

Writing a solid LinkedIn summary is more art than science, but hopefully, this guide has given you the tools you need to get the most out of yours. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you write something about yourself that other colleagues and employers can connect to. 

If you’re short on time and want a helping hand putting together a memorable LinkedIn summary, try out Copy.ai’s freestyle text generator.

How To
9 min

The Complete Guide to Writing a LinkedIn Summary

Nicole Hankey
October 1, 2022

You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” In a perfect world, we should never make snap judgments based on appearances, but unfortunately, this is a basic human impulse that’s hard to escape. It’s also why first impressions are so important. 

You’re not a book, but your LinkedIn profile page functions as your professional “cover.” It gives the reader an idea of who you are, what you do, and what your skills are—and the first thing potential clients, employers, and colleagues will see is your LinkedIn summary. So, if you want to nail your first impression and invite people to learn more about you, it’s crucial to craft an impressive and compelling summary. 

What is a LinkedIn summary, and why should I write one?

Your LinkedIn summary is in the text box under your profile picture. Think of it like an ‘About Me’ section. It’s your chance to summarize yourself, your professional profile, and the image you want to project to colleagues and employers. 

As we mentioned above, your summary is a key piece of the first impression you make on people checking out your LinkedIn profile. While it may seem like a lot of extra effort to write one, it’s worth it. Your LinkedIn summary gives employers deeper insight into who you are as a person beyond the hard facts of your resume and job descriptions. 

With 830 million members on LinkedIn, there’s quite a lot of competition for attention. A killer summary helps your profile stand out and grab the attention of your connections. 

Your summary is just as important as the profile, the types of content you post to LinkedIn, and the imagery. Every word, message, image, or idea you post on Linkedin is important. 

Related: How to Use LinkedIn for Business

What should I include in my LinkedIn summary?

LinkedIn gives you up to 2,000 characters to describe yourself and showcase your best qualities. To make sure you make every character count, you’ll want to cover a few key points.

Talk about your passions

You are more than a list of jobs on a resume. Use your summary to talk about your passions and overarching professional values!

These passions don’t all necessarily have to be work-related, but you should try to emphasize at least one interest. You want to appear excited and motivated about your work, so talk up an element of your field that you love or an accomplishment you’re proud of. 

Bonus points if you can tie what you love to do outside of work to something you love to do at work. This helps tie together a larger theme to your professional life. 

Describe your current role

Refrain from just copying and pasting your job description. You want to try to paint a picture of your role in a meaningful way. What problems do you solve? Who are you working with/for? How do your contributions support the big picture?

Describing your work in this way helps employers envision you in similar positions in their organizations instead of boxing you into a job title and bullet-point list of skills and tasks. 

Shine a light on your successes

This is your chance to highlight your unique accomplishments and special responsibilities. Instead of just listing them out,  try to frame them more naturally. Think of what you’re known for at work, the highest compliment you’ve received, or an especially impressive sales figure you hit. 

Contextualize your past

Unless your career has been a straight shot from school to relevant jobs, you probably have roles or gaps in your work history that don’t immediately make sense or fit with your current path. This is your chance to frame those experiences however you want, hopefully putting them in context with your larger journey and career trajectory. 

Think about how you use skills from prior careers in your current role or how a seemingly irrelevant degree still gave you the tools you use in your field today. While it may seem disjointed on paper, you are free to frame it in a cohesive, positive way that demonstrates your tenacity and flexibility.  

Display your unique character

Professional skills aside, employers want to get a taste of your personality. Here, you can let them know some of your soft skills, how your coworkers would describe you, and anything else that you feel highlights your best qualities in the office and beyond.

Again, feel free to enjoy this and let your true self shine through. Don’t be afraid to describe some of your less common quirks and traits. Not only does this show your true personality, but it helps set you apart. 

Include your life outside of work

It’s okay to mention your life outside of the office if this matters to you or if you’re involved in pursuits outside of work that are particularly important to you. This is the place to mention hobbies or interests, leadership roles outside of work, community service involvements, and more.

This section is most effective if you can find a way to weave it into your professional life. Try to emphasize the interconnectivity between what you do outside of work and how you perform your job. It’s your chance to show readers that you are a thoughtful, well-rounded person. 

Tell a story

Ideally, your LinkedIn summary should read like an expertly crafted story. Narratives have much more power than a list of facts and timelines, so even though you have limited space for content, strive to create a compelling tale that chronicles your career adventures and outlines your professional values. 

Technology can lend a hand if you’re stuck on the actual writing part. Try one of Copy.ai’s free tools to help you break through writer’s block and create an excellent LinkedIn summary. 

Be direct

You might be familiar with using a call-to-action (CTA) to prompt people to click a link or make a purchase, but did you know you can use one in your LinkedIn summary, too? 

While you obviously shouldn’t use your LinkedIn summary to make a sale, you can (and should) still be clear about what you want. If you’re looking for a specific role or responsibility, say that. If you want to build connections, you can ask people to connect with you. 

6 tips for crafting the perfect LinkedIn summary

Now that we’re clear on the what, let’s dive into the how. Here are some tips to set you on the right track and ensure you end up with a summary that employers love. 

Start with a strong opener

Your opening line is where you will either capture your reader’s attention or lose it. Unfortunately, many people use too much filler in the first few sentences of their summary.

There’s no need to introduce yourself since your name is already clearly visible on your profile. There’s no need for formalities either—don’t waste time greeting your audience or thanking them for reading your page.

Since your space is limited (and so is your reader’s attention span), you want to cut to the chase and launch right into your story. 

Weave in keywords

Chances are you’ve probably heard of SEO in web pages and marketing, but did you know you can also use it to boost your LinkedIn profile? You can infuse keywords into your summary to improve your search ranking on LinkedIn and Google.

An easy way to do this is to add a “Specialities” section or a similar section where you can list a few bullet points of your top skills. Keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo it—keyword stuffing can make your summary sound awkward and inauthentic. Instead, aim to add just a handful of your target keywords to give your summary a leg up. 

Include other media

While you are technically limited to text in your summary, linking to other media types is a good idea. You can add photos, videos, and more in other sections of your profile and refer to them or introduce them in your summary.

Again, as always, be sure to keep it relevant. That trending TikTok you made might be awesome, but if it has nothing to do with your work, it probably doesn’t belong on your LinkedIn page. However, if you have a clip of your award-winning presentation, that belongs!

Related: How to Create a LinkedIn Profile

Avoid buzzwords

If you’re a hiring manager, reading summary after summary can get repetitive and even downright boring—especially since a few words are especially overused in professional settings.

Try to avoid jargon and buzzwords to help your summary stand out. For example, instead of simply stating, “I’m creative and flexible,” try sharing an anecdote that demonstrates those qualities. 

Keep it personable

LinkedIn is a professional network, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be dry and humorless. While your summary isn’t the place for your stand-up routine (unless you’re a comedian), you want your writing to sound like you and to be enjoyable to read. A little less formal and a little more personable. 

Break up the text

No one wants to read a wall of text and run-on sentences. Break up your summary with short paragraphs, bullet points, and stand-alone one-liners. Opt for shorter and simpler over long and complicated. 

3 examples of impressive LinkedIn summaries

Looking for inspiration? We’ve got you covered with three excellent examples of LinkedIn summaries that go the extra mile. 

#1 Framing the past and highlighting accomplishments

Screenshot by author, from LinkedIn

Gary dives right into his story and seamlessly weaves his prior experience into his recent and current achievements. He also highlights his top skills and clients, along with the services he creates and provides, giving readers a well-rounded and impressive summary of his professional life. 

#2 Shining with personality

Screenshot by author, from LinkedIn

Fernando gives readers a clear idea of his personality, and his summary reads like a casual conversation. He emphasizes his professional values but focuses more on who he is, including his hobbies and interests outside of work. 

#3—Expert storytelling

Screenshot by author, from LinkedIn

Sally tells a great story starting from her past experience, incorporating key passions and interests, and ending with an invitation to connect further. 

Conclusion

Writing a solid LinkedIn summary is more art than science, but hopefully, this guide has given you the tools you need to get the most out of yours. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you write something about yourself that other colleagues and employers can connect to. 

If you’re short on time and want a helping hand putting together a memorable LinkedIn summary, try out Copy.ai’s freestyle text generator.

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