The year’s fresh and job-hunting season is on for 2023. It’s that time when we painstakingly think about updating resumes and our LinkedIn profiles.
We want to keep things fresh and highlight our achievements from the past year. One of the best ways to do so is to revamp our LinkedIn Summary. But what exactly is this?
A LinkedIn Summary is also called your LinkedIn bio—but it’s more commonly known as the About section of your LinkedIn page.
It’s one of the first things recruiters are going to see. In fact, statistics from LinkedIn say 93% of recruiters use the platform to hire new candidates.
It’ll be your chance to let your personality shine, define what you want in your career, and showcase what you can offer. All your best bits put forward, collected, and displayed.
So, whether you just graduated and are looking for a job, taking the next step in your career, or updating your LinkedIn Company Pages, a good summary can get you to where you want to be.
Updating your summary can be hard and starting from scratch may be daunting. What we need is a good starting point—templates or tips that can get the ball rolling. On that note, here are the best practices for writing the perfect LinkedIn Summary:
According to a Ladders Inc study, recruiters often skim resumes for 7.4 seconds. Afterward, they’re likely to visit your LinkedIn profile to get more in-depth information such as your LinkedIn Recommendations.
Think of your Summary section as a less formal version of your CV or resume. That gives you a chance to highlight things you often wouldn’t in more formal settings.
The change in tone can catch recruiters off guard and make them want to read more about you. But you don’t want to word vomit. Keep things succinct and don’t be afraid to add a bit of humor.
If that’s not your vibe you can keep things as professional as they can be. Just remember, your summary’s tone helps recruiters gauge if you fit their company culture.
Before writing, ask yourself who you want to reach out to you. More importantly, be clear about what you want from them. Are you looking for a new job, networking, or collaboration?
As mentioned earlier, your summary’s tone will attract the people who think you’re a fit for their company culture. Identifying your target audience also helps you figure out what to highlight.
If you want to target recruiters, you should be highlighting your skills and what makes you great to work with. But avoid bulking up your summary with drawn-out descriptions.
Another way you can talk to your audience is by consistently scheduling Linkedin posts related to your industry or niche.
Whatever you do, please don’t lie. Background checks exist for a reason and lies can catch up to you fast. Don’t set yourself up for disaster. Instead, keep things short and honest.
Be sure that you can back every detail you put in your summary with facts. Highlight specific examples that show off your attributes.
An authentic summary attracts the right people. You also get the added benefit of actually experiencing the things you wrote down.
This makes it easier for you when interviews roll in. Recruiters will often refer to your CV, resume, or LinkedIn profile when asking you questions.
Nobody can be a better you than yourself. Cliche as it may be, showing your personality, helps find the people you’d actually want to work with.
Before the interviews, the only reference recruiters will have about your personality is your resume or CV—which is typically professional, or platforms like LinkedIn.
This will give you the chance to let your personality come alive through your writing. But don’t just say you’re “funny and quirky”. Express it through cleverly crafted sentences.
For example, you can write: “I promise not to be dismissed because of credit card fraud and pretend I was part of the massive Google layoff back in 2022”.
Writing a joke like this can be risky but it can reward you with the opportunity to work with people that can appreciate your sense of humor.
Dedicate a couple of blurbs to emphasize what you do. You don’t have to include all the nuances of your duties. A clear and concise description will do.
Write a summary that gives recruiters a taste of what you can offer in a digestible paragraph. If you’ve just graduated and looking for a job, highlight what you want to focus on.
For example, if you want to be in recruitment or human resources, highlight something specific from college that you studied that relates to the job you want.
You are amazing. Show that through your writing. Don’t be afraid to come out as braggadocious. The important thing is that you can back up what you say with facts and experience.
Let’s take a look at this hypothetical scenario:
You’re a fresh graduate who wants to find a job in technical support with working experience in your uncle’s repair shop. In your summary, you can say:
“Working at my uncle’s repair shop for two years taught me two things—customers think they can do your job better than you and they’re almost always wrong. This helped me develop patience, interpersonal skills, and ways to calm down irate customers”.
Congratulations! You’re at the end of your LinkedIn Summary. In this section, you should leave your readers with a takeaway message—even better, a call to action.
Here’s a quirky little example:
I binged Paul Rudd rom-coms on Netflix and found my mantra: “Know what you want and learn how to ask for it”. Now I’m asking you to take a chance on me—my DMs are open!
Now that we’ve run through the best practices for writing the perfect LinkedIn Summary, here are some great examples of them in action:
Showcasing your interests, passions, or hobbies humanizes you. It also helps to portray you as a personable individual—not too uptight but still able to show professionalism.
Here’s a great example from sales Person, Fernando Silva who wrote:
“A city dweller who loves to travel and find new adventures along the way. I have experience working in SaaS and Start-Ups. I have found that nothing satisfies me more than meeting new people, developing new relationships, solving problems, and contributing to the growth of businesses”.
Source: LinkedIn/Fernando Silva
This summary works because Fernando highlights his passion for travel, work experience, and his love for connecting with others—something you want to see from a salesperson.
MBA graduate, Allison Zia has an excellent LinkedIn Summary that instantly highlights her credibility in her field and her skills.
Source: LinkedIn/Allison Zia
Right off the bat, she highlights the clients she’s worked with and how she helped them grow. She also included a bulleted list of her specialties.
Our next example is from Leadership Consultant, Abbey Louie. She wrote:
“I’m a leadership coach, trainer, and speaker on a mission to help leaders build healthier happier workplaces. After more than a decade of managing Fortune 50 global talent development programs, I pivoted from corporate to consulting with a goal of helping organizations of all sizes equip and grow their leaders and teams”.
Source: LinkedIn/Abbey Louie
She puts her passion forward, highlights her experience, and shows how it’s become the foundation for her goals. She values her beliefs and how dedicated she is to build better working environments for all.
Business Development professional Kimberly Hill highlighted her notable awards and achievements in her LinkedIn Summary.
She mentioned being selected by Jeff Bezos’ leadership team as a recipient of Amazon’s Just do It Award. Kimberly also showed that she was included in Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 under 40 business leaders in Seattle.
Source: LinkedIn/Kimberly Hill
This works because her summary starts strong right off the bat. Remember, you should always talk yourself up—but not in a way that sounds arrogant. Kimberly nails this in her summary.
In her closing remarks, Kimberly wrote.
“I am passionate about the intersection of business, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. I welcome opportunities for board work, philanthropy, or industry connections”.
She highlighted her non-profit work for her community and how she’s open to connecting—a perfect CTA to close out her summary.
Your LinkedIn Summary helps you make a good first impression. Before you start writing your own, remember the following:
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