How to Write a LinkedIn Summary That Gets You Noticed
If you already have a profile on LinkedIn, chances are you understand at least the basics of why it’s important:
Connect with clients or customers, employers, referral sources, etc
Improve search rankings for yourself and/or your firm
Platform to generate online leads
When it comes to making your LinkedIn profile work for you, one area to spend time on is your summary. Few people will actually read the details of your experience (although it’s important to keep that section updated), and fewer still will maintain attention spans long enough to read your entire profile. That’s why the summary is so important. It’s your opportunity to make an impression and connect with your readers. After all, what’s LinkedIn about if not connecting with people?
You don’t have much space, so here are some tips to write an effective LinkedIn summary.
If you’re ready to dive in and start writing, take a step back. First, you’ll need some information about who you’re writing to and why you’re on LinkedIn in the first place. Take notes; you’ll need them in a minute.
About Your Audience
Who are your favorite clients or customers?
What issues do they have? In salespeak, what keeps them up at night?
What are your skills or attributes that are useful to this group?
What are your values and passions?
What are your superpowers? These are skills or talents that you do better than anyone else. You’re so good, it’s like you have superpowers. (Get it?)
List your relevant accomplishments and awards.
Do you have any measurable data to share, like quotes from customers, ways you helped customers or clients in a meaningful way? List them.
Next, you need to determine which keywords to use in your summary. The right keywords will improve your search rankings and make it easier for the right people to find you. If you have a marketing department, they can help you with this using Google AdWords or any number of paid keyword generators. If you don’t, or if you’re just curious, go to trends.google.com.
Use trends.google.com to type in search terms related to your work. Think from your customer’s perspective. What words would they likely search for to find you? Or, what are your specialties? Start there. Use the website above to compare search terms, see what’s popular over time, where your search terms are popular (in the U.S. or aboard), and a list of related search terms.
Write down five or six keywords from your search. Keep them handy.
Write Your Hook
Your “hook” is your opening sentence. It’s called a hook because it’s meant to grab people’s attention. A hook is a sentence that’s on the short side, catchy, memorable, and sparks interest. Consider the following:
Make a bold statement
Ask a question
Use vivid language
Share an anecdote or quote
To get you started, think of questions like “did you know…” or “have you ever…” . Maybe you have a bold statement to make about how a major news story or industry trend will affect people. Whatever it is, it should relate to your summary.
Write Your Summary
Put your notes together. Remember who you’re writing to and why; use language and terms that appeal to them.
Use this formula to write a three- or four paragraph summary that’s tailored to your audience.
Write your hook. Include at least one keyword.
What are the top two or three things you want people to know about you? Use your notes as a guide. Include another keyword.
How do your skills solve problems for your target audience? From your notes, look at the issues they face and how your skills address those issues. Bonus if you have an example or story to share from past experience.
Include a third keyword.
Remember, be specific and always mention the result in your examples.
How do your values and passions influence your work? Incorporate your superpowers and any accomplishments or awards.
Include your contact information and any relevant call to action. Examples: ‘send me a message,’ ‘visit my website,’ or ‘call me for an appointment.’
Now, put it all together. Read it back to yourself out loud. Adjust it as needed. Your summary should sound like you and be easy to read. Paragraphs should flow well and it should not come off as salesy.
Write in first person
Use your keywords
Write in a conversational tone
Lead with years of experience
Ramble or use complicated language
Summarize the firm or company
Copy/paste your bio or resume
When it’s done, your LinkedIn summary should be no more than 300 words or 2,000 characters. Your summary is like a written elevator pitch, so make sure it tells a story about you that’s compelling and meaningful. If you’d like help writing yours, let us know.