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 Write a LinkedIn profile summary that reflects your career aspirations

Write a LinkedIn profile summary that reflects your career aspirations

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • What is a LinkedIn profile summary?
  • Why is a good LinkedIn summary important?
  • How to create a LinkedIn profile summary
  • Bonus: What not to include in a summary for a LinkedIn profile
  • LinkedIn profile summary examples
  • Key takeaways

Writing a strong LinkedIn profile summary really can be a career-changer. Following specific steps and best practices makes the process easy, and outstanding example summaries can help get your juices flowing. Don’t put off creating this very effective professional tool!

Scheduled on your to-do list this week is to create or update your LinkedIn profile so you can find an exciting opportunity that meets all of your career goals. Your objective is to write an amazing LinkedIn profile summary that reflects your career aspirations!

For some reason it’s one of those ‘to-do’ things that keeps getting pushed down the list. There is always something more pressing or it might be that you feel a bit overwhelmed in terms of where to start. Writing a LinkedIn profile summary that reflects your career aspirations is well worth the time and effort, though.

What should you include in your LinkedIn summary? Can’t you just copy over your professional summary from your resume?  Should you write in a professional tone or less formal? In this article we answer those questions and more, including:

  • What is a LinkedIn summary?

  • Why is a good LinkedIn summary important?

  • How to create a LinkedIn summary

  • Top-rated LinkedIn examples

What is a LinkedIn profile summary?

Your professional summary on LinkedIn is located at the top of your LinkedIn profile or “About” section, just under your photo. The summary is basically a few paragraphs that outline your professional life in less than 2K characters. As such, it needs to be direct, punchy, and impactful to catch a potential recruiter’s attention.

Why is a good LinkedIn summary important?

You may think that the summary isn’t that important, but there are actually many benefits. If you are a business owner it’s a great way to sell your products and services; if you are a professional, you may have an opportunity to advance your career.

Your LinkedIn summary is the first thing anyone reading your page will see and you can make it a lot more interesting by using your personal voice. It’s basically a snapshot of you, your career, and what you have accomplished so far.

While LinkedIn is a professional business platform, the tone is flexible. You have the opportunity to show your humorous side and be informal or stick to a more professional tone if you wish. Recruiters will use this information to assess whether you will fit into their team or be appealing to their clients.

Expert Tip


Keywords are the key! LinkedIn uses the summary section, headline, current title, and other factors in their algorithms. Creating a summary with relevant keywords will help you get noticed more often by prospects and recruiters in their searches.

How to create a LinkedIn profile summary

LinkedIn Summary Checklist





1. Create an outline for your summary section.


2. Use a catchy opening sentence to grab readers attention.


3. Explain why you do what you do.


4. Highlight any industry expertise.


5. Detail any specialist skills or experience that sets you apart.


6. Provide at least three accomplishments with tangible results.


7. Tell them what you can bring to the table.


8. End with a call to action.


9. Write in first person.


10. Create short paragraphs that are readable online.

1. Create an outline for your LinkedIn summary section

Creating a plan for your LinkedIn summary will enable you to focus on the relevant information that will capture a reader's attention, rather than rambling off into the weeds and not getting your message across in an impactful way. Try the following format:

  • Opening hook:  LinkedIn only shows the first couple of lines of your summary so the reader has to click on “See More” if they want to read on. Clearly, you need to make this opener catchy so you “hook” them in and they continue to read.

  • Mission: Explain why you do (and enjoy) what you do.

  • Skills and expertise: What are you good at?

  • Achievements: Provide highlights of your accomplishments in your career to date, backed up by specific facts and figures.

  • Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition): What can you bring to the table that sets you apart from others?

  • Call to action: Describe what you want people to do after reading your summary and how they can connect with you.

2. Hook the reader

Ensure you hook the reader of your LinkedIn profile summary, so they are compelled to read on. This can be achieved by creating a loop that requires further explanation or by making a claim that peaks curiosity.

Example


“How many content writing, video producing, graphic designing, SEO white hats who can’t whistle do you know? No guesses? I’ll give you a hint: at least one! Welcome to my profile, I’m glad to have you here.” Basha Coleman | LinkedIn

This opening is confident, articulate, and outlines the skills of the candidate in an impactful way that will compel a hiring manager to read the rest of the profile.

3.  Tell the reader why you do what you do

You can build connections with people on LinkedIn by explaining not only what you do but also why you are passionate about doing it. Highlight what attracted you to your profession, your career aspirations, and mission in life to make your profile summary impactful.

4.  Showcase industry expertise

Including a few points that highlight your industry expertise backed with tangible facts and figures is a good strategy to enhance your LinkedIn profile summary. These can be two or three highlights of your background and qualifications.

5.  Focus on any specialties and skills

What sets you apart from the crowd? If you work in teaching, do you have additional language skills and experience teaching overseas? Are you a marketing professional with significant exposure to SEO and social media? Whatever your specialty, this can definitely set you apart from the crowd.

6.  Tell people about your interest and hobbies

Your professional interests and hobbies can be a great way to show your personality via your LinkedIn profile summary and in turn build connections. Whether you love sports, contribute to society via charitable work, enjoy traveling and new cultures, or are an artist in the making, tell people about it! 

7.  Summary for LinkedIn profile & Call to action!

If you are actively looking for work on LinkedIn, then closing out your profile summary with a call to action is a must. This just tells a recruiter what you are looking for, how you can help them, and most importantly how they can get in touch with you. 

Do

Don't

Write in first person and avoid heavy blocks of text. Focus on being direct, succinct, and impactful via short paragraphs and bullet points that pop out to the reader.

Include a call to action if your current employer is not aware you are job seeking. Employers do check social media, so best to omit this section to avoid any issues.

Bonus: What not to include in a summary for a LinkedIn profile

Here are our top tips on what not to include in a LinkedIn profile summary to make sure you keep on track and get the best results.

1. Don’t copy and paste your resume

Try to avoid copying and pasting information from your resume. The tone of LinkedIn is much less formal than a resume, and it doesn’t translate well if you use the same tone as your resume. Hiring managers and connections are looking to learn more about you on both a personal and professional level.

2. Don’t tell your life story

While it is great to get your personality across, try to avoid giving too much information about your personal life story. The key is to keep things relevant to your career direction and eliminate anything else that detracts from this focus.

3. Avoid the clichés

You are an expert, master, and a guru in your field! This terminology is just going to make recruiters move on and look at the next potential candidate.Ditch the clichés in favor of specific facts, figures, and experience that showcase your achievements.

LinkedIn profile summary examples

Here are some standout LinkedIn profiles that will provide you with some inspiration to get started on a killer LinkedIn profile summary.

1. Career Coach LinkedIn Profile Summary

An amazing LinkedIn profile summary that really stands out due to the content, format, and tone. Here is a direct link: (8) Sarena Tseng | LinkedIn

#1 LinkedIn Profile Summary - Career Coach


Hey there! I’m Sarena - an Atlanta native, a LinkedIn Speaker and Coach, and a University Recruiter.


My story:


- I’ve always enjoyed writing and love sharing stories from my life and career tips on LinkedIn!


- I didn't know what I wanted to do...so I majored in Psychology and Sociology in college and eventually found my way into University Recruiting - super grateful for the journey!


What I am currently up to:


- My passion is helping young professionals thrive in their careers and beyond. This includes placing students in internship positions and coaching beginner content creators to grow their brand on LinkedIn.


What I've done:


- Grown from 400 - 16k followers in 1 year of posting on LinkedIn


- Guest spoke at 9+ conferences/meetings and 9+ podcasts/live shows by invitation


- Worked with 100’s of students & young professionals all over the world to build their personal brands and land roles


Outside of work:



- I'm a huge foodie and part of the Yelp Elite!


- I love traveling locally and internationally - 8 countries down and counting!


- I’m probably listening to a business or faith-based podcast, weightlifting, or journaling!


- For brand partnerships and speaking engagements, please email [email protected].


*Please note that all statements are my own and not representative of past or present employers.



Follow along for tips & tricks on recruitment and content creation!

This LinkedIn profile pops! We have a background story, what the person is passionate about, achievements, hobbies, and a call to action. The format of this profile is also really impactful, not only in terms of content but readability online.

What we love:

  • Opening profile summary tells us why the person chose their career path and why they are passionate about it.

  • Accomplishments show that they are good at what they do!

  • Personality builds connections. You really feel that you are getting to know this person as they are giving you an insight into what they enjoy outside of the workplace.

  • Call to action outlines what the person is seeking in terms of future opportunities, but also demonstrates they support others via tips and tricks.

2. Entrepreneur LinkedIn Profile Summary

Don’t forget that being short and sweet can also be really impactful in terms of your LinkedIn profile summary. This profile is direct and impactful, including specific facts and figures for achievements. Here is a direct link: (8) Timothy Armoo | LinkedIn

#2 LinkedIn Profile Summary - Entrepreneur


At 17 years old, I built and sold a media business - EntrepreneurXpress.


It changed my life and had me hooked on the game of business and social.


In 2017 at 21 years old, I started Fanbytes - a marketing company whilst in my second year of university.


Within 5 years, Fanbytes grew to a team of 70 people working with brands like Estee Lauder, Deliveroo, Samsung and even the UK Government.


In May 2022, we announced that Fanybtes was acquired by global digital powerhouse Brainlabs in a landmark deal for the industry.

What we love:

  • Storytelling allows us to follow the journey of the individual and this builds a connection.

  • Specific dates, facts, and figures back up this successful career journey and create momentum.

  • Keeping the LinkedIn profile summary short and sweet compels a potential hiring manager to read on and learn more about the candidate.

3. Marketing LinkedIn Profile Summary

Solving a problem is a great approach to creating a compelling LinkedIn profile summary that will likely attract a lot of attention. Check out this profile to see how you can speak directly to your clients and eliminate their pain points. Direct link: (9) Dina Calakovic | LinkedIn

#3 LinkedIn Profile Summary - Marketing


There are only two ways to get paying clients:


1. Reach out to them.

2. Get them to reach out to You.


Most businesses fall in the first category.


Even if you're very good at what you do, your prospects are NOT CONFIDENT you can solve their problems.


Heck, they even have no idea who you are, or what you bring to the table.


Your Brand Authority is WEAK.


As a result, you're wasting thousands of dollars on marketing, sending tons of cold messages just to convert a single lead, and are constantly worrying about where the next client will come from.


Best case scenario - you get a client through referrals.


On top of that, you're probably struggling to communicate the REAL VALUE of your offer.


"What goes on my website? How do I stand out? What should I post? Where?"

What we love:

  • Identifying problems that resonate with your target audience is a great way to connect with your clients.

  • Talking directly to your clients makes this profile more personal and impactful.

4. Technical LinkedIn Profile Summary

Talking about your passions, specialities and expertise is a great way to catch attention on LinkedIn. The following profile ticks all these boxes as well as connecting with the reader via the first person tone. Here is the summary and a link to the profile: Katrina O. | LinkedIn

#4 LinkedIn Profile Summary - Technical


I caught fire coding.


I always thought my dream was to be a proofreader for a little indie publishing company, sipping my cafe con leche and reading the opening lines to the next best-selling vampire novel. It seemed like an appropriate dream given my BA in English.


I gravitated toward proofreading and quality control positions and even started my own proofreading business. But I kind of just felt meh. I yearned to learn more, yearned to learn something different.


And that's when it happened; the spark I was missing ignited the instant I clicked play on my first Python tutorial video. (I mean seriously, how could it not be great when it's named after Monty Python's Flying Circus?) Since then, I can't get enough. 


Web development calls to all my passions; it incorporates creativity and problem solving and I'm allowed to break it to improve the code (in a separate Git branch, of course).


I love applying responsive design principles and watching my web pages shrink into mobile screens and still look amazing. It's oddly satisfying. I think in a way I'm kind of like those web pages; I'm moldable, but I still keep my creative flare intact.


My specialties include quickly learning new skills and programming languages, problem solving, domain driven design, responsive design principles, website optimization, and the Model View View Model (MVVM) and Model View Controller (MVC) methods of organizing code. 


So far I have C#, .Net Framework, SQL, JavaScript, TypeScript, HTML, CSS, Angular, and Git/GitHub under my belt. I'm still enthusiastically grabbing onto any other programming languages, frameworks, or principles I can integrate into the coding web in my head.

What we love:

  • Personal tone of the profile summary talks directly to the recruiter and tells a story about why the person chose their career and why they love it.

  • Specialities are outlined in detail to highlight the level of education and expertise the candidate has acquired in their career to date.

5. Operations Manager & Executive Assistant

Transferable skills and experience are really important to include in a LinkedIn profile summary, particularly if you are seeking a change in career direction. This profile really resonates in terms of the transferable skills the candidate has to offer:

#5 LinkedIn Profile Summary - Operations Manager & Executive Assistant


Being an Operations Manager and C-Level Executive Assistant is exactly what you'd think it's like. I'm the colleague at work that everyone wants to know but nobody wants to be. If you want to get something done, you come to me - everyone knows that! Yet no one wants to have to do what I do because of the amount of personal time and effort that goes into being everyone's go-to.


I'm obsessed with staying organized and making everyone's life easier. It brings a genuine joy to my heart to take the burden off of my loved ones' shoulders, and I always do anything I can to enhance that. Work is no different. There aren't many things that can grow a company the way that trust and dependability can, and I pride myself in being dedicated to both.


When I'm not at work or in denial about having a social life, I'm at home mothering my favourite little six-year-old munchkin. My son is my absolute rock and has helped me to really understand my purpose. The love I have for my son is so infectious that I can't help but radiate it onto anyone I cross paths with. I truly just want us all to succeed, and will go out of my way to ensure that.


At the core I'm just a mom, and that's all it really comes down to. I believe in everyone and their goals as if they were my children. I will bend over backwards to help others' dreams come true, but I also understand the importance of standing your ground and holding your own - Balance.


The most important lesson being a mom has taught me? How to make the horse drink the water.


Feel free to reach out if you ever need any emotional support, career guidance, or advice on those tricky horses; we can get it done together.

What we love:

  • This profile highlights a strong team ethic and commitment to delivering work of the highest standards.

  • Transferable skills are highlighted and equally important in terms of organization, employee support, loyalty, and commitment.

Key takeaways

  1. Your LinkedIn summary is the first thing anyone reading your page will see. Take time and effort to create a compelling profile that will build your network and connections. 

  2. Include an opening hook to catch the reader's interest. Talk about your mission, skills, expertise, and achievements, and don’t forget a call to action to get in touch.

  3. Stand out from the crowd! Try to make your LinkedIn profile summary as unique and interesting as possible so you can catch the eye of potential recruiters.

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