10 LinkedIn Summary Tips You Need to Know
If you’ve taken the time to create a LinkedIn profile, it’s well worth taking the extra step to make sure your LinkedIn summary tells your story as effectively as possible. Your story is your brand and part of your job marketing.
Following these LinkedIn summary tips can lead to a marked improvement in your overall profile and your job prospects. After all, you never know who may check your profile out! If you want some expert help polishing your LinkedIn summary or your whole profile, our LinkedIn profile writing or overhauling service is just what you need.
Your summary may not seem that important, but reading through these LinkedIn summary tips will show you how an effective profile can improve your job marketing efforts.
1. Stay within LinkedIn’s character limits
Believe it or not, 2,000 characters can go a long way—and serve to put the brakes on wordiness. Try to keep your summary between three and five short paragraphs. Leaving white space between them helps readability. Only the first three lines of your summary, about 300 characters, will show by default, so make an early impact and hook your readers so they’ll click through to read the rest.
2. Be yourself and show something of your personality
If you’re a little free-wheeling and have a good sense of humor, bring that out in your summary—in moderation, of course. If you’re in the midst of a job search, you want to be professional but not stuffy. Share some personal interests along with your professional story, and aim for an appropriate balance between those two worlds.
3. Keywords are key to reaching recruiters
If you’re not used to the term, don’t fret. In the case of jobseekers, keywords are words or terms related to the specific requirements for a position. They include skills, abilities, credentials, and other facets that recruiters and HR representatives look for, sometimes using an applicant tracking system as a screening device. Use several types of keywords, including those that relate to your hard skills and soft skills, and sprinkle them throughout your summary. It almost goes without saying, but make sure the keywords actually apply to you.
4. Become a storyteller
Tell your story using those keywords. This might seem a bit daunting, but you want to engage your audience with a capsule summary of who you are and what you have to offer. You don’t have to be Mark Twain; just be open and sincere about your background and your career aspirations. A conversational tone is okay and makes you sound approachable.
5. Show your stuff with rich media
If possible, use digital photos, videos, links to articles (especially any you’ve written), or slideshows that illustrate and demonstrate some of what you have to offer as an employee. Of course, make sure your media are relevant to the story you’re telling in your summary.
6. Avoid embarrassing grammatical errors
You see them everywhere. Typos happen, but with care and effort, you can reduce the chances they will show up in your summary. Proofread your summary draft, walk away from it for at least a few hours, and then proofread it again. It’s amazing what you might catch in that second or third review. Our tip? Don’t trust your spellchecker to find every typo or grammatical faux pas in your LinkedIn summary.
7. Stuffy, puffy words and phrases are just that
Do not resort to meaningless industry buzzwords in your LinkedIn summary. You may be “driven to succeed,” but find some more genuine words to describe yourself—and show rather than tell while speaking in the first person: “I’ve been privileged to take part in many successful projects while working with XYZ Company.”
8. Know your audience
While you want to adopt a conversational tone, ensure you’re writing for your intended audience. You need to appeal to recruiters and company personnel involved in hiring. You’re also writing for search engines. It’s great if you know something about search engine optimization, or SEO. If not, you can still do well by remembering to use keywords in your summary.
9. Use bulleted lists
Bullets are an age-old and efficient method of making concise points that stand out. Especially in this age of digital media, attention spans are shorter. Two or three bullet points are best, and short, punchy words can make a significant impact on the reader. Sub-heads can also help guide your readers and may get them to read your summary from start to finish.
10. Include your accomplishments
There’s a difference between bragging and actually showing results. If you increased sales by an average of 5 percent for seven consecutive quarters, talk about it. If you’re just starting a career, that might be a little more challenging; perhaps something from an internship or your college courses stands out. For example, you should mention it if you were on the dean’s list or received any awards for your academic work. If you have three achievements you want to highlight, those could be your bulleted list.
There’s no perfect way to write your LinkedIn summary. Once you have a draft completed, ask others for feedback, and make sure you keep your profile fresh by reviewing it any time you make a change in your professional life.
If you need some professional assistance to get your LinkedIn summary or your entire profile in shape for an upcoming job search, explore our LinkedIn profile writing or overhauling services to see how we can increase your chances of success.