One of the most important tools for a job seeker is their LinkedIn profile. But without a great LinkedIn summary, a profile is bound to fall flat.
A well-written, engaging LinkedIn summary tells people who you are and where you plan on taking your career. If it’s compelling enough, it has the power to attract recruiters, land interviews, and even convince a customer to use your product or service.
So, what makes a LinkedIn summary unique and how do you write a good one?
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LinkedIn Summary vs. Resume Career Objective
A huge mistake that a lot of job seekers commit is treating their LinkedIn summary the same as their resume career objective and using the same text for both. Even though they both appear at the top, LinkedIn summaries and resume career objectives are fundamentally different in two ways.
Difference #1: Available Space
Because resumes have limited space, your career objective needs to be concise. Specifically, it shouldn’t be more than 3 sentences. This doesn’t give you much time to express who you are and what value you bring to a company.
However, LinkedIn summaries have a 2,000 character limit, giving you much more space to creatively express yourself. You can use this space to show off a bit of personality and highlight professional interests, as well as elaborate on future goals, allowing employers to see a side of you that a career objective can’t capture.
Difference #2: They Serve Different Purposes
Because career objectives are used exclusively for job hunting, they always hit the same points: here is what I bring to the table and here are my goals. After reading it, a recruiter or hiring manager should be able to answer the question—are you a good fit?
LinkedIn summaries are quite different. People have LinkedIn profiles regardless of whether they’re actively job hunting, which means that they aren’t written with the sole purpose of attracting job offers.
Because of these other purposes, when you craft your LinkedIn summary, you need to approach it differently than if you were writing a resume introduction.
5 Writing Tips
1. Establish Your LinkedIn Summary Audience
Before you write a single sentence, you need to figure out who your audience is.
To determine your audience, think about whether you are:
- Catching the attention of hiring managers or employers
- Attracting candidates to work for your company
- Advertising your products or services
- Expanding your network
Once you pin down the primary goal, you’ll be able to decide how personable or professional your writing tone should be, as well as what key information you want to highlight.
2. Pay Attention to Keywords
Before you start, research and incorporate keywords throughout your LinkedIn summary to ensure your profile shows up when employers search for candidates via keywords.
Great places to look for keywords are:
- Job descriptions
- Job listings
- LinkedIn profiles of prominent people in your field
One way to provide an extra boost is to list keywords at the bottom of your summary—like tags on a blog post—which increases the chances your profile appears in search results for a specific keyword.
3. Break Up Your Writing
Nobody who lands on your profile wants to read a huge block of text. This rationale applies to viewers of your LinkedIn profile as well.
When you’re writing your LinkedIn summary:
- Break up the text into short paragraphs
- Keep sentences succinct and to the point
- Organize information into lists
- Leave plenty of white space
Using these strategies makes your LinkedIn summary easier to read, as well as more interesting and appealing.
4. State Your Future Ambitions
Regardless of what your LinkedIn summary’s main purpose is, you should clearly state your career goals. Doing so helps your audience better understand you as a professional, and if they’re a recruiter, lets them evaluate whether your aspirations align with those of potential employers.
Here are common goals and corresponding reasons why you should include your future ambitions:
|LinkedIn Summary Goal||Why You Should State Future Ambitions|
|To get you hired||Your employer knows whether or not your career trajectory fits in with their hiring needs.|
|Attracting candidates||Candidates know what kind of employee you’re seeking, as well as your company values.|
|Advertising products or services||Potential customers understand why you run your business, and decide if they would like to purchase your goods or services.|
|Expanding network||Those seeking to connect understand what you’re about and whether you’d be a valuable member of their network.|
When specifying your career goals, it filters out unsuitable opportunities early on and ensures that the LinkedIn contacts you gain are relevant.
5. Include a Call To Action
A Call to Action’s (CTA) purpose is to jolt the reader into performing an action. For LinkedIn, you’re usually encouraging visitors to your profile to reach out and connect.
A CTA can be a few sentences long, and usually starts with actionable verbs.
Usually, you want to place a CTA near the very end of your LinkedIn summary, because it encourages your audience to interact with you rather than simply leave your page.
- Reach out over email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in connecting to discuss future business opportunities.
- Check out my online store at mystore.com or reach out over email at email@example.com if you just want to say “hello”.
Two Examples for Students & Job Seekers
Here at Resume Genius, our goal is to help you in your job search. If you’re a job seeker wondering what a stellar LinkedIn summary looks like, take a look at our LinkedIn summary examples below.
Example for Students
I’ve always loved learning—even if it’s just for learning’s sake. As an English major at UCLA, my eyes have been opened to how literature reflects and affects the world around us, shaping my worldview.
I’m an avid traveler as well. When I had the opportunity to conduct research on the socio-economic ramifications of Shakespeare’s works in the Elizabethan era while studying abroad in England, I jumped at the chance. My research spanned three different cities, and I interviewed 10+ individuals while I was there.
I’m also no stranger to leadership roles. For instance, tutoring at Westwood Community College has given me ample experience leading freshmen students in their writing studies and collaborating with an English professor to create lesson plans.
Despite having yet to graduate, I would like to channel my wealth of experience into a junior research associate role.
If you would like to chat or if you would like to discuss future job opportunities, please reach out via email at HarperStewart@gmail.com.
My skills include: research, writing, English, adaptability, Microsoft Office Suite, Spanish, accuracy, attention to detail, organization, prioritization, flexibility, time management, conduct interviews, create lesson plans, and tutoring.
Example for Job Seekers
When people think two steps ahead, I think ten. As an administrative assistant at Redford & Sons, I mastered the art of multitasking and became a jack of all trades skilled in everything from scheduling and coordinating meetings to managing travel and expense reports.
Over the course of my 6+ year career, I have developed a passion for improving how the office is run and finding value in the little tasks that keep a business going. I enjoy forming bonds with my manager and creating new processes so that he can continue focusing on big picture tasks.
Even though I am happy as part of the Redford & Sons family, I am looking to grow as a professional. In particular, I’m currently seeking new managerial opportunities. Recently I started training newly hired administrative assistants for Redford & Sons, and this has opened me up to the idea of taking on a more management-focused role for the next step of my career.
If you feel that I would be a valued team member for your company, please contact me at Sona.Smith@gmail.com.
I am always open to connecting with other like-minded professionals!
Some of my specialities include: Microsoft Office, Excel, Spanish and English fluency, presentations, facility reports, maintaining confidentiality, coordinating meetings, paying attention to detail, adhering to company policy, travel and expense reports, typed documents, and transcribing meeting minutes.