29 April, 2020
By Mike Simpson
Today, there are over 675 million LinkedIn users. That’s more than double the population of the United States. Holy cow, right? Not only is that an impressive figure, but it also showcases the trial many LinkedIn users face when crafting their LinkedIn summary and the rest of their profile.
What trial might that be?
It’s the fact that you have to stand out in the veritable sea of other people on the platform. That’s no small feat.
But you aren’t afraid of a little challenge, right?
Didn’t think so. And you shouldn’t be.
With the right approach, your LinkedIn summary can be a shining beacon, like a lighthouse cutting through the fog of blasé profiles. Let’s light that candle, shall we?
What is a LinkedIn Summary?
Before we dig into how to write a LinkedIn summary, let’s talk about what one is and its purpose. After all, you don’t want to spend valuable time creating one only to realize later that a LinkedIn summary isn’t what you thought it was.
First, unlike the name suggests, you don’t want to simply summarize your profile in this 2000 character space. If all you do is rehash your work history, you’re missing out on an opportunity. Plus, that approach is ridiculously boring.
So, what is the LinkedIn summary section for?
It’s a spot where you can discuss yourself freely, using your own words. It’s a free-form supplement, giving you the ability to give your career some context, highlight a bit of personality, and otherwise put your best self on full display.
What Makes a Great LinkedIn Summary?
Alright, we know the description above is a little ambiguous. It seems like you can technically take your LinkedIn summary in any direction, and that could leave you paralyzed. After all, nothing welcomes writer’s block like unlimited options.
We want to make sure that doesn’t happen. By understanding what a good LinkedIn summary looks like, you can make sure yours fits the bill.
One point that is critical to understand is that, unlike a cover letter or resume, your LinkedIn summary shouldn’t be overly targeted. While you want to speak to your ideal field or niche, don’t draw down onto one job or employer. You aren’t updating this section every time you apply for a job, so it’s best to use a slightly broader stroke. Cover your bases, but don’t screen yourself out of opportunities by mistake.
Additionally, make sure your first 300 characters or so really pack a punch. Why? Because the summaries aren’t on full display. Only the initial 300 characters shows when your profile is viewed on a computer. On mobile devices, it’s truncated even more. You have to entice people to click “show more” to get to the rest. If you don’t enthrall them in those first couple of sentences, they won’t.
When it comes to the content, focus on your talents and accomplishments. Craft them into an engaging narrative, punctuating it with impressive metrics.
As you write, make sure to include relevant skills and traits. Consider what hiring managers and recruiters typically want to find when filling jobs like the kind you want to have. Incorporate those whenever possible, increasing the odds that they’ll see the value you provide and will show up in search results.
Common LinkedIn Summary Mistakes
As mentioned above, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is just rehashing your work history. However, it certainly isn’t the only misstep you can make.
Being overly rigid doesn’t typically work in your favor. Imbuing a bit of personality into your LinkedIn summary is a good idea. It adds a degree of authenticity and makes the content more engaging.
Another mistake is going the wall-of-text route. You have to break up your summary into multiple paragraphs. Otherwise, the eyestrain hiring managers and recruiters will experience when trying to review your profile is going to be a major turnoff.
Finally, while you want to be a bit broad, don’t go full-blown generic. You have to focus the content on something general, like your preferred kind of role or specialty. If you go too wide, you don’t seem focused, and you won’t be able to showcase the value you could provide to the right employer.
5 Great LinkedIn Summary Examples
Alright, now it’s time to get to the part that you’re probably most excited about; the LinkedIn Summary examples. By reviewing the information below, you can see what it takes to craft a good LinkedIn summary that really showcases you as an amazing talent.
1. All About Your Mission
Deep down, every professional has a mission. It’s essentially a goal for how they want to help companies, putting their skills to use for specific gains. With this approach, you can talk about what you do, where your professional passions lay, and how you apply your skills.
“Today, content makes the world go ‘round. Marketing isn’t just about showcasing products or services; it’s about crafting compelling stories that engage audiences and resonate with the masses.
I strive to be the bridge between brands and consumers. Along with embracing data analytics to identify customer needs and interests, I also use that information to create strategic content. My goal is to enhance the company’s brand, increase conversion rates, and drive sales, all through the power of digital marketing and SEO.
My experience as a content strategist and creator has not only ignited my passion for branding and inspiring consumers but has given me skills that allow me to support growth initiatives. Digital media and design, social media marketing, and company branding are just some of the specialties I use to support companies who want to reach greater heights.”
2. Soft Skills Through a Personal Anecdote
Usually, sharing details about your technical prowess on your profile isn’t overly challenging. But, giving hiring managers and recruiters a glimpse into your personality traits, that’s a different story.
If you want to highlight your soft skills, consider using a personal anecdote that’s particularly intriguing. This approach can also work well for anyone who doesn’t have a substantial amount of professional experience. It puts your traits on display, and that can help when you’re working on landing entry-level roles.
“When I was 25, I hit a ceiling. Yes, even though I was young, I realized my career was about to dead-end. I didn’t want that to happen, so I made a choice. I went back to school.
While working full-time, I enrolled in college full-time to finish my bachelor’s degree. While I already had more than two years of school under my belt, the prospect was daunting. The amount of perseverance required was hard to fathom at the start. I had to rely heavily on my time management skills and remain calm under pressure.
As I moved forward, new challenges arose. Mental fatigue was hard to battle, so I had to approach my work strategically. I was accountable for all of the work, so remaining organized to ensure I met every deadline was a must.
Ultimately, my diligence paid off. I completed my bachelor’s, and graduated with honors. The entire process taught me more about dedication than nearly every other experience. It also showed me the benefits of hard work, as, while it was difficult, it was certainly a journey worth taking in the end.”
3. When You’re Highly Experienced
If you have a ton of experience, sometimes that is worth showcasing. Most hiring managers and recruiters aren’t going to review your work history to find employment dates and then do the math to determine how long you’ve been in the field. However, you also want to touch on your skills and tell a story, so make sure to go the extra mile.
Along the way, I also discovered a new passion: leadership. Recently, I have stepped into the role of project manager, guiding the work of other software developers and other technical experts to ensure the solution was developed correctly, on-time, and on-budget. I strived to focus on collaboration, mentorship, and communication, ensuring every team member could be at their best.
Overall, I find the ability to combine the technical with leadership incredibly fulfilling, and I aim to carry my past experiences forward, ensuring I can embrace past lessons while continuing to grow.”
4. All About Achievements
If you’re an active job seeker, making your LinkedIn summary all about accomplishments can be a great option. It lets hiring managers and recruiters see exactly what you’ve pulled off in the past, eliminating a lot of questions about your value.
“Many companies want additional market share. At times, they hemorrhage money, all in the name of capturing a few leads that may or may not pan out. But what if there was a better way.
As a sales professional, I understand the challenges associated with cultivating a customer base and retaining paying customers. Growth is my main focus, and I believe in using innovative approaches to spur customer interest and entice conversions.
In 2019, I implemented a new approach that specifically targeted past customers, and often under-tapped segment. My goal was showcasing a value proposition that focused on the benefits of a long-term relationship and additional product acquisition. Once in place, customer reorders increased by 218 percent, augmenting this source of revenue for the company dramatically.
The same principles can be applied to other segments, ensuring greater conversions and retention. My aim is to help companies experience those results, first hand. After all, seeing is believing, and I want to ensure you get results that aren’t just what you expect, but so much more.”
5. A Bit Pro, A Bit Not
Sometimes, highlighting a little bit about your professional experience as well as some tidbits that highlight your personality is a wise choice. It’s a bit more casual and personable, so it can work well for people who spend their days working directly with people as well as those in creative fields.
Begin by discussing your current role and an achievement or two. Then, shift to something a little more quirky or unexpected.
“Over the past 7 years, I’ve cultivated my skills as a recruiter. I focus on helping businesses secure the talent they need to thrive, both when it comes to skill sets and culture fit. With that combined approach, I’ve been able to reduce turnover by 38 percent with my current employer, ABC Company.
When I’m not recruiting, I enjoy spending time swimming laps at the community pool. I was once a competitive swimmer, and it’s still a passion. Not only does it keep my healthy, but it also lets me maintain a bit of a competitive edge, as I’m always striving to outdo my best time each time I hop in. Plus, it’s a great de-stressor, giving me an outlet that ensures that, while I am at work, I’m always at my best.”
Putting It All Together
Ultimately, creating a good LinkedIn summary takes a bit of work, but it can be done. Use the LinkedIn summary examples above to get your creative juices flowing, then give it a try. You might be surprised how easy it can be to get it right.
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