linkedin summary

How to Write a LinkedIn Summary That Will Get You Hired

One of the first steps that a recruiter takes when evaluating whether to call you in for an interview is to look you up on LinkedIn.

In fact, according to a study by Jobvite, an astonishing 87% of recruiters find LinkedIn most effective for vetting candidates.

Of course, most job seekers know this and update their LinkedIn profile accordingly.

But, there’s one piece of the LinkedIn profile that most will get stuck on: the dreaded LinkedIn summary.

In case you’re wondering, the LinkedIn summary is the first section on your profile where you can write a little bit about yourself.

Having worked at LinkedIn myself, I can tell you that the LinkedIn summary is one of the few places where LinkedIn will let you express yourself freely.

But, this poses a problem. 

What should you write for your LinkedIn summary?

First, let’s cover the two most common mistakes that you should avoid when crafting your LinkedIn summary.

  1. Don’t write in 3rd person.

Remember, this is your chance to show your personality. You’re not announced at a red-carpet event, so there’s no need to say, “Jonathan is an accomplished writer with 9 years of experience…”

You’re speaking to one person and one person only, the recruiter.

  1. Don’t write your full life story.

On average, a recruiter will spend about 10–30 seconds reading your resume and not much more time on your LinkedIn. You want to grab their attention, give them a brief synopsis of who you are, and get them to put you in that “yes” category for an interview.

Your LinkedIn summary is just one part of what will get you to LinkedIn All-Star status, so don’t overdo it with just this one section.

With that in mind, let’s talk about…

The 4 Parts of a Great LinkedIn Summary

A good LinkedIn summary will usually have 4 parts:

  1. A short introduction to who you are
  2. Linear story of your work experience
  3. Something impressive you’ve done outside your career
  4. What you’re doing now and why you’ll be valuable to a team

Let’s break down each piece of the summary.

1. Introduce Yourself

This is the most difficult part to write, so I usually advise people to save this for last.

If you feel ready to tackle this part, here’s what I recommend you include:

First, tell them your job title and rank. 

You don’t need to get fancy here. Just be straightforward and to the point.

Things such as “I’m an engineer…” or “I’m an executive…” work well.

Whatever you do, do NOT start this section with fluffy adjectives such as “I’m a passionate, committed, data-driven, blah blah blah.” 

Many people use words like this, so using them just makes you sound like every other job seeker who is “passionate.”

Instead, concentrate on telling them a few things that you do well or problems you help solve.

For example: “I help companies create sales systems that bring in consistent revenue.”

Here is what this formula looks like in practice on my profile:

“I’m a creative Content Marketer who builds strategic campaigns, creates engaging content, and connects customers with forward-thinking ideas.”

2. Your Work Experience Story

Next, you’ll want to tell them a brief story about your work experience. The most important thing here is to show:

a) how you’ve grown

b) the value you’ve brought

I recommend keeping this section between 120–150 words and usually two short paragraphs. 

Make sure to only include experience that is relevant to your target job. Don’t add that here if you took a break from work or a detour into a completely different job.

You also want to explain what skills you developed at each stage. Give context so that the reader can understand why your career journey made you a better candidate.

Here is an example of the work experience I shared in my LinkedIn summary:

“I launched my career in the wonderful world of Hollywood, where I worked for the Emmy-award-winning production house 44Blue. Working with the leading professionals in my field on shows such as Lockup on MSNBC and Pitbulls & Parolees on Animal Planet, I gained unique insights about creating hit entertainment that both educates and excites. After working my way up from production assistant, to camera-op, to production coordinator, I moved to the national branding agency Miles Media.

As Director of Photography at Miles Media, one of the largest agencies for the US travel industry, I directed over 58 travel campaigns across the United States. Working in different environments (literally), I developed the skills necessary to run various campaigns and provide quality deliverables on tight deadlines. At Miles Media, I managed production coordination, client interfacing, principal photography, commercials, and post-production teams.”

3. Something Extra You’ve Done

Now that you’ve established your credentials, you want to give them something outside your career that interests you.

Similar to why you should add color to your resume, you want to add “color” to your LinkedIn summary to stand out from other candidates.

Here are some ideas of what you can add:

  1. Side projects
  2. Volunteer experience
  3. Travel
  4. Time off

This doesn’t have to be related to your current job but should show how you’ve been bettering yourself even when not at work. Here is what my “something extra” is:

“In order to develop my skills beyond the commercial world, I invested time into producing a non-profit campaign called Risking Gravity. The campaign focused on telling the stories of 8 athletes in order to inspire kids to build community and gain a better education. While coordinating this overseas campaign, I learned new skills that expanded my understanding beyond video production. I developed social media campaigns, built WordPress sites, performed A/B testing, and measured ROI all within the acceptable confines of the non-profit’s budget.”

If you’re having a hard time thinking of something impressive for this section, I recommend talking to a friend or family member to get some ideas of what they think may have been impressive.

4. What You’re Currently Doing

Lastly, you want to end your LinkedIn summary with something punchy about what you’re currently doing.

A simple formula for writing this is to write about:

  1. What you currently do 
  2. What your current company does

Here is an example:

Currently, at LinkedIn, I am focused on producing content that drives demand for our B2B division. Combining our proprietary data with well-researched thought leadership content, my goal is to educate talent developers on how to build outstanding learning and development programs for their organizations.

Your Perfect LinkedIn Summary

And that’s it! When you break down your LinkedIn summary into 4 paragraphs and treat each as its own task, it becomes much easier to write.

Here’s what all 4 paragraphs look like together:

I’m a creative Content Marketer who builds strategic campaigns, creates engaging content, and connects customers with forward-thinking ideas.

I launched my career in the wonderful world of Hollywood, where I worked for the Emmy-award-winning production house 44Blue. Working with the leading professionals in my field on shows such as Lockup on MSNBC and Pitbulls & Parolees on Animal Planet, I gained unique insights about creating hit entertainment that both educates and excites. After working my way up from production assistant, to camera-op, to production coordinator, I moved to the national branding agency Miles Media.

In order to develop my skills beyond the commercial world, I invested time into producing a non-profit campaign called Risking Gravity. The campaign focused on telling the stories of 8 athletes in order to inspire kids to build community and gain a better education. While coordinating this overseas campaign, I learned new skills that expanded my understanding beyond video production. I developed social media campaigns, built WordPress sites, performed A/B testing, and measured ROI, all within the acceptable confines of the non-profit’s budget.

Currently, at LinkedIn, I am focused on producing content that drives demand for our B2B division. Combining our proprietary data with well-researched thought leadership content, my goal is to educate talent developers on how to build outstanding learning and development programs for their organizations.

If you’d like to learn more job search best practices, you can get more job search, resume, and interview help at GrowthHackYourCareer.com

About Bogdan

Bogdan Zlatkov is the founder and lead instructor at growthackyourcareer.com. Prior to starting GHYC, Bogdan was a LinkedIn employee and author of “The Ultimate Guide to Job Hunting,” ranked #1 on Google. Today, Bogdan works with award-winning coaches, best-selling authors, and Forbes-Council members, to create free job search courses and guides that will get you hired.
 

Angie Callen, Founder

I created Career Benders to inspire confident professionals. In just three years, we have helped nearly 500 professionals navigate job searches, nail interviews, and find satisfaction in their careers. We’re here for you!

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