Tips to write a strong LinkedIn summary
Follow these steps to ace your profile and wow recruiters on social media.
LinkedIn can be a great networking tool—the site says it has more than 706 million uses worldwide, and about seven in 10 recruiters in a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey said it’s the most effective social media site for finding talent—but you won’t get far without a well-crafted LinkedIn summary.
The summary, or “about” section, is essentially a billboard that allows you to showcase your talent, skills, and career goals. It’s the digital equivalent of an elevator pitch for making a great first impression on anyone who sees your page, such as recruiters, hiring managers, co-workers, and influencers in your field. Follow these LinkedIn profile tips to compose a solid summary.
How to write a great LinkedIn summary
1. Ace the first three lines
By default, visitors can view only the first three lines of your summary before they have to click “see more”—so you’ll need to pack a punch right up front.
Lead with the most important thing that recruiters need to know about you. (“I’m an executive with a proven ability to develop and implement real estate strategies that support business and financial objectives.”) Consider quantifying achievements that highlight your accomplishments. (“I’ve led key initiatives that reduced operating budget by $32 million and contributed to 550% stock increase.”)
Are you in an industry that emphasizes written communication skills? A narrative driven approach can help you sell yourself while also demonstrating that you’re a great writer. (“I fell in love with copy editing while working for my high school newspaper.”)
2. Weave in relevant keywords
In order for you to profile to appear in search results, you’ll have to incorporate keywords. Oftentimes these are the same buzzwords that you’ve woven into your resume.
One way to see if your LinkedIn summary contains strong keywords is to check what words people have searched to find your profile in the last week. You can do this by clicking the “search appearances” box in the dashboard that’s below your summary.
Pro tips: Use an optimization tool, such as Jobscan’s, to see if your profile’s summary is search engine optimized; also, search for your target job on Monster, and review job descriptions the most frequently requested skills in job postings.
3. State your career goals
Your LinkedIn summary should be crystal clear about what your career goals are. This will help recruiters assess whether you fit the mold of their ideal job candidate, while also conveying what you’re looking for in your next job. For example: “I’m an administrative assistant, skilled in all aspects of office management, who is looking for a job at a startup in the technology sector.”
If you’re an entry-level job seeker, tie in your college experiences to your career goals. (“As a lead designer of State University’s student newspaper, I look forward to staying on the cutting-edge of design trends as I progress throughout my career.”) If you’re changing careers, spotlight your new career aspirations.
4. Include contact information
LinkedIn users can send you a request to “connect,” but you can also make it easy for people to reach out to you by including your email address and other contact information in your profile’s summary. Consider writing a call to action at the end of your summary; “I’m always looking for new contracting opportunities, so don’t hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Avoid these common mistakes
Here are three rookie blunders to avoid when writing a LinkedIn summary:
- Making vague claims of experience. Trite statements, such “accomplished professional” and “natural-born leader,” just waste valuable space.
- Sharing your life’s story. Don’t treat your summary as an opportunity to write your autobiography.
- Making typos and grammatical errors. Like your resume, your LinkedIn summary must be free of copy errors. Have a second pair of eyes give your summary a once-over.
Get more job offers
Taking the time to write a solid LinkedIn summary can help you quickly stand out. Want another great way to get noticed by hiring managers? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads. Team up with Monster and get your applications in front of more people with minimal effort on your part.