Best Practices For Your LinkedIn Summary

By: Annie Beard @annie_beard

linkedinAs we all know, first impressions are important. A LinkedIn summary can make or break you by determining the first impression you give potential employers who are visiting your profile. In order to create the first impression that you want, consider these five steps:

  • Be authentic. While writing your LinkedIn summary, be sure that your personal story shows through. This is your opportunity to be creative and define yourself the way you want. What makes you stand out? What are you an expert at? What are you proud of? These are questions that should be answered in your summary in order to give potential employers an idea of who you are. And always write in first-person. Writing about yourself in third-person can give your summary the opposite impression that you are looking for by making it seem impersonal.
  • Keep it short. Just like anything else these days, it is important to get to the point in your LinkedIn summary. While you need to tell your story, do it in a concise and simple way. Employers see many resumes and LinkedIn profiles each day, and it is crucial that they be impressed quickly before they get bored or distracted by their busy schedules. Keeping it short will ensure that they read everything you have to say. Another good idea is to break it up. If you feel like you have a lot of information you want to include, break it up into smaller paragraphs to make it easier and quicker to read.
  • Include key words. The types of key words that should be included in your summary are ones that describe what your strengths are and what your expertise includes. I don’t mean key words such as “hard working” or “determined.” A good list of key words could include strategic communications, market research, creative, analytics, entrepreneur, etc. When an employer sees that you are knowledgeable in certain areas that they need, it will make you more marketable.
  • Add a call to action. At the end of your summary, include a call to action that lets people know what to do next. It could be as simple as, “If you want to get to know me more, email me at ________.” Or it could be, “Reach out to me if you want to talk social media, SEO, or shopping.” There are plenty of ways to get an employer to reach out to you. Make sure that your call to action stands out and gets their attention.
  • Write what you would want to read. Perhaps the most important tip of them all. Write a LinkedIn summary that you would enjoy reading if you stumbled upon it, yourself.

7 thoughts on “Best Practices For Your LinkedIn Summary

  1. Hello Annie,

    Yes this does help so much! Thank you very much. So even if I don’t have much experience it is okay just to talk about what I love and enjoy doing on top of the skills that I do have, like WordPress and InDesign? Do you have any other tips to make a students LinkedIn stand out and be rememberable?

  2. Hello Annie,

    I’m currently a student at the University of Oregon and going to start my senior year this fall, so I’m really trying to vamp up my LinkedIn. These tips really help, so thank you! But I do have one question: as student, who doesn’t have much PR related work experience, how do you recommend improving my LinkedIn summary? Right now in my summary I talk about what I want to do, the kind of work I’d like to do along with a few sentences about my personality. Any quick tips or suggestions for someone who will be looking for potential jobs in just a few months?

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    Below is a URL to my LinkedIn and my blog if you’d like to take a look:

    1. Hi, Chelsea.

      Good question, because I know a lot of us are in the same boat with that one! For students, it is important to highlight what your skills are. For example, do you know or are you familiar with using InDesign, WordPress, Cision, etc.? Are you a strong writer? Do you love social media? Do you enjoy networking? Any skills that could apply to PR are important to include. If you don’t have specific experience, talk about the skills that will help you in the job you are looking for. Hope this helps!


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