Jun 26, 2023

5 Key Elements of a Killer LinkedIn Summary (& 5 Great Hacks)

Even as it enters its second decade, LinkedIn remains one of the most popular sites not only for job hunting and recruitment but also for professional social networking.

When you're looking for a job or even just promoting brand 'you', it's important to have a killer profile and summary. At any time, a potential employer could 'drop by' your digital CV and check you out or a recruiter could see you're the perfect candidate for a new role.

Let's look at 5 simple ways to create a LinkedIn summary that rocks (and we've also included some hacks at the end)!

1. Focus on Accomplishments

Focusing on your key accomplishments is a good idea no matter what your field, background, or interests – why? Because employers want to see proof of what you can actually do, not just what you say. But you still should try to frame it in a unique way.

Here’s an example of a boring LinkedIn lead summary:

“I’m a graphic designer who has built 20 websites.”

A better one would be something like: “I’m a graphic artist with extensive experience in print and digital marketing. I’ve helped (x) brands with major campaigns such as …” 

Then you can list any campaigns or include metrics such as leads generated or click-through rate to show performance (in other words put some numbers behind it). You can also include a URL to an online portfolio, blog, or landing page that showcases your work. 

LinkedIn Creative Director summary example
LinkedIn Creative Director summary example

Look at this summary from Claudio Eduardo Vieira, a freelance Creative Director. In the summary he not only lists his great accomplishments by starting with the fact that he is 'award-winning' but it also shows off his personality and passion. 

"My work? Oh, it's been showered with over 20 international awards. But here's the kicker: it's not just about the trophies. Nah, my creations have gone beyond, grabbing people's attention, capturing the media's gaze, and making those brands go, "Hell yeah, take my money!"

His words are also backed up with examples of his work, with his portfolio linked in the 'Featured' section followed by testimonials. 

Ultimately this is about selling yourself. You need to show off your experience, passion, and reputation. 

2. Get Personal

If you’re really looking to get people’s attention in an industry that's focused on creativity or storytelling (for instance), you may want to consider opening with an interesting personal statement that shows off your storytelling or writing skills.

Here's an example from Karen Abbate that gives an insight into how her career started and a personal insight about her husband's cancer diagnosis to show her reason for having a passion for pharma advertising. 

Karen Abbate profile
Karen Abbate profile

This type of summary will likely end up showcasing soft skills, although you still want to include your brief list of core competencies somewhere within the first section of your profile as well.

It also works well if you are focused on using LinkedIn more for actual networking than specifically job-hunting. When people know something interesting about you and your personal story, they will be naturally intrigued.

3. Keep it Simple

If you’re not sure where to start, start at the beginning and lead with the basics. You will want to tailor your wording according to the type of professionals you’re hoping to attract, no matter what. If you are in a field that might attract more technically-minded people, it makes sense to keep it simple and to the point, including a lot of numbers.

For instance:

“I have five years of experience in digital marketing and am currently working as the lead content strategist at x company.”

Of course, you’ll want to say more than this and include a list of core competencies somewhere within the first 100 words or so as well.

Here's a simple example from Quiana Cooper-Jarrett who is in a data analyst role as a social researcher. 

5 Key Elements of a Killer LinkedIn Summary (& 5 Great Hacks)

4. Try a Blended Approach

Not sure which of the above to use? Why not try using a combination of two approaches?

For example, you can open up with some accomplishments and then include a personal story below. This is a good strategy if you want to showcase a mix of accomplishments and metrics.

This LinkedIn summary combines Magdalena's passion for her company and industry and then moves on to what her skills and talents are.

"I specialize in IT recruitment for global companies. I have experience in the whole recruitment cycle, talent acquisition, client management, career development, and assessment centers." 

Magdalena Wozniczka-Mleczko LinkedIn profile
Magdalena Wozniczka-Mleczko LinkedIn profile

5. Use keywords

If you want to get found on LinkedIn, there's no better tactic than using keywords in your summary. 

When choosing keywords for your profile, do some research to find the terms others may use to search for your role or profession. For example, if you work as a social media marketer, then the keywords to use could be 'social media', 'TikTok' (as it is the platform of the now), and 'paid social media'. 

Adding keywords to the skills & endorsements sections is a powerful SEO strategy for your profile so maximize it where you can without overdoing it.

Note: Given a choice between a 'hard skill' (such as 'data analysis') and a character trait (such as 'leadership'), employers may prefer to search for specific competencies.

LinkedIn Hacks

Do you want to learn more about how to get a job on LinkedIn? Here are a few basic tips you can use to ensure that you get the attention you deserve.

1) Be Creative with Your Title

Using an eye-catching title as part of your personal branding can help boost your profile. Consider using something like “wordsmith,” instead of “writer” or “creator” instead of “artist,” and make it as specific as possible beyond that.

Another thing that you can and should do with a summary is to include a short list of 4-8 specific skills or competencies in a succinct way close to the top of your summary – for instance:

Skills: Strategic content creation, Facebook Ad creation, WordPress, email list automation

The point is to make the first few lines of your profile stand out as something unique, clear and detailed without cramming so much that viewers will not feel overwhelmed and move onto the next profile. 

2) Keep Details Up-To-Date

This may seem obvious, but keeping your LinkedIn profile as up-to-date as possible, including your current position, is an essential part of a successful job hunt.

Having things like your education and location listed on clearly your LinkedIn webpage is another seemingly tiny detail that could actually make or break a recruiter’s decision to reach out in a matter of seconds. This can also help if you are looking to find jobs in your area as any experience or certification can reinforce your various connections especially if you're industry or specialty is niche - like digital marketing.

3) Treat Linkedin as Social Media

Just because LinkedIn is a professional network doesn't;t mean it's not a social network that requires good and entertaining content.

Consider posting content like blogs, videos, slideshows, or images in the feed section, just like you can on Facebook. If you get into the habit of posting here daily or weekly just like you might on other social sites, you have the potential to generate a lot more traffic.

Don’t forget to use eye-catching images and titles when you do create and share these posts.

4) Go Premium

LinkedIn Premium is a great tool for those who are serious about their networking and job searching. The network claims that Premium members are 2.6x more likely to get hired on LinkedIn.  

On Premium, you can contact people using InMail to connect with recruiters or peers. You can also see who has viewed your profile over the past three months. You can also access LinkedIn learning courses to show the level of your skills or hone existing ones. 

5) Include Recommendations & Endorsements

LinkedIn makes it easy to request a recommendation via a current job post. All you do is see how you are connected to the hiring manager and ask for a recommendation from someone else.

Endorsements are also something that you can just do for others for free in the hopes that they will reciprocate. Don’t hesitate to message people you trust and who know your skills and ask them to endorse you for various skills on our list.

Conclusion: LinkedIn Summary

Who your summary attracts will depend on a lot of different factors, and some of that might just be luck. What’s important is that you incorporate keywords and phrases that might catch the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. The key to the success of your LinkedIn marketing is going to be keeping it professional but still genuine.

Your LinkedIn job-hunting experience is going to be a lot smoother if you pay attention to the little details in your profile, and your summary is key to catching people’s attention. But try not to stress about it too much - everything is an experiment, and this can be a really fun way to get to know yourself better.

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