How to write a good LinkedIn profile summary
How to write an excellent profile summary on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is becoming a widely used social network platform all over the world. The overall number of registered users exceeds 500 million, and more than 100 million people use it regularly. LinkedIn is a platform that helps to increase the number of your business connections, search for a new job and business opportunities, build your personal or company’s brand, or hire people.
When you are prospecting or hiring on LinkedIn, your personal profile is your business card, so it has to look well-arranged and professional if you’re aiming to attract the attention of prospective clients, as these are the people who will visit it before making the decision to answer your invitation request or ignore it.
A profile summary is one of the most eye-catching and important sections of your LinkedIn profile for your prospective clients and partners. If you want to be efficient in selling on this network, you first have to understand that your summary is an overview of your professional life. Writing a great profile summary is an important step if you hope to increase the credibility of your LinkedIn account and generate more leads through this social network.
So, how do you write an eye-catching and impressive profile summary so that each potential client has no doubt that you’re the best professional to cooperate with? In the following article, we will share the main tips about writing a catchy profile summary and making your profile work for you.
Why does the LinkedIn Profile Summary Matter?
Your profile summary is the first thing people read before making a decision about whether to connect with you or skip ahead. It is the way in which you give information about yourself. Imagine you are introducing your main skills and you have a time limit of only three seconds to grasp the reader’s attention. Each summary should leave people with a clear understanding of who you are, what you do, and what value you bring.
To check out a really catchy example, read below:
This profile summary explains only the main aspects of experience, mixed with a lively presentation of skills and personal traits. The writer has highlighted his uniqueness and successfully encouraged us to read more about his story.
The Linkedin profile summary is not just a few words about you, it is your personal brand. Prospective customers read it first before they decide whether to work with you or not. Specify the prospect’s problem in your summary, share solutions, and prove it with the different services you provide. Share skills, experience, vision, education, interests. Alongside this, include keywords to help LinkedIn and Google search engines suggest your profile upon relevant requests.
Tips on How to Write a Catchy Profile Summary on LinkedIn
Address it to your prospective clients
If you are a salesperson, you are not targeting recruiters and hiring managers, you are appealing to buyers. Your profile summary should speak of your expertise in the industry, and your interest in helping people to achieve results. So, in your summary, you should describe your experience, qualifications and background to show you are a professional in this field.
Here is an example of a great profile summary:
In this summary, we can clearly understand the core expertise of the company that this person represents: “We create projects for the advertising promotion of real estate such as residential complexes, offices, many multi-purpose complexes, interiors”. Although there is little detail about the whole range of services the company provides, this profile summary encourages the reader to scroll down and read more information about the company or even visit the company’s website.
Provide data to back up your results and achievements
Share your main professional achievements in your summary. Mention the projects you have worked on, the issues you resolved, and the results that were finally reached. You do not need to list all your achievements and previous experience; you should give just 2 or 3 of the most important and impressive. Catch the reader’s attention.
Listed achievements will help prospects understand your previous responsibilities, as well as the extent and complexity of work you are able to handle. Focus on your unique accomplishments.
In this profile summary, we can read about Jeff Weiner’s, CEO at LinkedIn, core achievements. Though they are not listed using bullet points, the summary looks well-arranged and reads smoothly. So, what information can be gleaned from this summary?
1. Currently, Jeff is CEO at LinkedIn. His most notable achievements in this position are that LinkedIn has grown its membership base from 33 million users to more than 675 million users, revenue has increased from 78 million dollars to 7.5 billion dollars, and the team has expanded from 338 employees to over 16,000.
2. He is currently a member of the board of directors for Intuit, Donorschoose.org and Everfi.
3. He was an Executive in Residence at Accel Partners and Greylock Partners.
Even if you are not LinkedIn’s CEO, you definitely have something impressive in your professional portfolio worth telling. Think that over and don’t forget to mention it in your profile summary on LinkedIn.
Use a numbered list to highlight your achievements and define moments
Do not make your profile summary a plain, boring text, divide it into sections. A good option is to enrich your summary with a numbered list, in such a way that you will catch the eye of the reader. You can make a numbered list of your previous places of work, your achievements, completed projects, etc. Each point will help to attract the reader’s attention.
In this profile summary example, we can see a short but astounding bullet list of Hunter’s achievements and positions at present. It looks better than plain text.
Write a summary in the first person
When writing your LinkedIn profile summary, do it in the first person, and detail all your achievements and results of your work. A summary written in the third person makes your text de-personalized. Share your own experience, personal outlook, important decision-making process, the success story of how you reached this current position, and what challenges you had to overcome. Make prospects feel your story in detail and believe in it. If we compare a LinkedIn profile summary with a company summary where the team experience is mostly shared, the second one does not need to dive into first-person writing.
Here is a bad example of a recommendation, because it is written in the third person:
Though it is well-arranged, full of important information and a person’s achievements, it would look much better if it were written in the first person. If a profile summary is written in the third person, it looks as if it is a recommendation. Sure, recommendations are also very important in your LinkedIn profile, but do not confuse those sections.
Use domain- or expertise-specific keywords
To improve your search ranking on LinkedIn and Google, include keywords that highlight your top skills and achievements. Prospective clients and partners may search for a combination of skills and other keywords to find the right people.
LinkedIn shows search queries used to find your profile. You can check out the dashboard underneath your summary, where you can view profiles of people who viewed your profile, which of your articles were viewed, and search appearances:
After clicking on “Search appearances”, you are able to see a report detailing your searches:
If you do not see any search appearances or relevant search terms, it means that your profile keywords have not been optimized for searches. In this case, you should enrich your profile summary with keywords that will help potential clients and partners find your profile among thousands of similar profiles of LinkedIn.
Here you can see an example of a recruiter’s profile summary, rich with relevant keywords:
In this profile summary, we can see a list of positions open in a company, which also serve as keywords and will rank this profile in a LinkedIn search.
Show your life outside work
The majority of customers are searching for a relevant expert with a broad list of interests. Being the right specialist is not enough to grasp the attention of prospecting clients. It’s a good idea to reveal some aspects of your life outside work because people don’t just sign an agreement with a company, rather they sign an agreement with a person, so a subjective impression is important in this case. People opt for people. That’s why humanity is a must in building strong relationships. Explain in a few words about your hobby, interest, or volunteer role. Relate your outside passions to your work if it is possible. If you share a personal story, be sure it serves to reinforce your professional strengths.
Choose story-telling as an option for writing a profile summary
You can choose story-telling as one of the ways to write a good profile summary because people love success stories. In this case, add some emotion to your text to make it lively and captivating. You can even mention some interesting facts from your childhood if they have impacted your character or career.
Here is a summary of Richard Branson, a famous entrepreneur. Though it is not framed very smoothly, it is a nice example of story-telling:
Add some media
Sometimes it’s easier to explain your achievements using a photo, video, or an article, so don’t be afraid to add media to your profile and tee it up in your summary. You can add links to the best of your finished projects, some videos, photos, etc. – everything which demonstrates you as a professional in this field.
In this summary, we can see a link to a company’s portfolio on Behance as well as some photo examples of design work, as this person represents a web design company.
Include your contact information
Your summary should state the kind of work you do, what you offer, and how to get in contact with you. So, it is a good idea to add your email address, Skype ID, WhatsApp number, or any other means of connecting with you.
The best idea is to finish your profile summary with contact information, as in the provided example. We can see 4 different ways to contact this person – a mobile phone, Skype ID, email, and WhatsApp, and, as a result, choose the most convenient one. Providing your prospecting clients with contact information will encourage them to write you a direct message if they have something in mind to discuss with you quickly.
LinkedIn Summary Example for Marketing Professionals
Marketing professionals are keen on pushing the right message to the audience, that’s why the summaries from CMO are usually good samples. Marketers know how to raise brand awareness and which words to use for quicker engagement with the audience.
The summary below is a sample of a passionate professional with an energetic position. Just check the first lines of this LinkedIn profile summary, where a person uses the words “passionate, cross-functional, creative and results-driven marketing professional” which demonstrates his individual experience in the marketing sphere.
The things we could point out from this summary are:
1. A long list of relevant skills along with the long list of keywords. The customers could quickly find this profile doing a usual search on LinkedIn. We have previously mentioned the importance of keywords, and this example demonstrates how they should be used.
2. The user’s flair is added directly to the first paragraph to show his traits and individual attitude: “I’m a believer that data should drive decisions, but with fresh creativity to support it”.
3. The user has added a link to his advertising blog as the action point to forward users directly to his space. It shows that he is in tight engagement with the content, and people can check his experience. From a business value perspective, his LinkedIn profile is an additional traffic source for the blog.
4. The final humoristic section on the last line warms up the audience. What is more, it is an example of adding a part of private life, life outside work, to a profile summary.
LinkedIn Summary Examples for Sales Professionals
For sales professionals, as well as for marketing specialists, LinkedIn is a platform for spreading your network. Sales professionals are more active within this network as their main task is doing lead generation through LinkedIn, as well as gathering as many new leads as possible. The primary responsibility for salespeople is not to scare users by their overactivity. To sell without direct selling is the core aim of each successful sales professional.
The summary example below is written by a Senior Sales Manager; it attracts the reader’s attention with its smooth and clear structure.
The things we could point out from this LinkedIn summary are:
1. The goal “to help companies grow by implementing online marketing and sales best practice” is clear from the first line. Such a method attracts more than an open selling goal.
2. The user expresses his passion: “I’m very passionate about sales & marketing”. He shares that his work is his life, and he enjoys it greatly. Passionate people care about quality, and they always enjoy the process. Professionals who are satisfied with what they do are usually desired partners to cooperate with. The user shows himself as the desired partner.
3. The person discloses how he can help others: “I work with CEO’s, CMO’s, VP’s of Sales & Marketing to adapt their marketing & sales strategy to match the modern customer journey”. The method of tightening the audience helps clarify the working area and the type of people you may help. Moreover, keywords of people’s job titles are also relevant.
Another sample of a LinkedIn profile summary is written by an Account Executive at PandaDoc with the catchy title “Helping Reps Drag Deals Across the Finish Line”.
From this summary, it is clear that Brian is passionate about sales. He has included bullet points to underline the results he achieved in the sales field. Then he uses some jokes and phrases to get closer to the original ‘human’ language. The list of reviews and education he mentions are also important things to prove expertise and knowledge. The way the user talks about his experience is more like talking.
This summary also contains Brian’s contact data (email, mobile phone, and website), as well as a link with the possibility of booking a timeslot to talk with him directly.
So, your LinkedIn profile summary should sum up your biggest value propositions for the outcome you hope to achieve. It is one of the first and the most important things people read when they look through your profile, so you should do your best to attract their attention and convince them that you are a person they can trust.
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1. How long should the LinkedIn summary be?
Though there is no limit on LinkedIn about how long your profile summary should be, it should not be lengthy. Ideally, your summary should be a short story about a long professional journey. It should be anything from 3–5 to 10–12 sentences.
Do not forget the most important tips about how to write a good LinkedIn profile summary, which are as follows:
1. Address it to your prospective clients.
2. Provide data to back up your results and achievements.
3. Use a numbered list to highlight your achievements and define moments.
4. Write a summary in the first person.
5. Use domain- or expertise-specific keywords.
6. Show your life outside work.
7. Choose story-telling as an option to write a profile summary.
8. Add some media to back up the services provided and past achievements.
9. Include your contact information.
2. How should you write a catchy headline?
A headline is also an important field every prospecting client will focus on when they visit your LinkedIn profile. It appears next to a person’s name and is used to describe what the person does in fewer than 120 characters. This phrase appears everywhere together with your name, that’s why it should also be noticeable and memorable.
How to write a catchy and working headline? Ideally, it should be written in such a way that it intrigues the reader and makes them want to check out your profile. Write down who you are and what you do, but do that in a unique way. Optimize your headline to boost the credibility of your LinkedIn profile by adding your job title with a blend of relevant keywords.
3. Which fields of the profile are most important to fill in when prospecting on LinkedIn?
Your LinkedIn profile is your business card which may either attract the attention of people or push them away.
The most important fields of your profile to focus on:
1. Update your profile picture.
2. Choose a unique background photo.
3. Improve your headline.
4. Write a profile summary.
5. Choose the right location.
6. Create a customized URL.
7. Fill in all the fields in your profile with relevant information.
8. Ask for and give recommendations.
9. Publish articles and share interesting and helpful content.
10. Reach 500+ connections.
11. Add contact information.
12. Connect with your team members.
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