Looking to optimize your LinkedIn profile? You can learn A LOT by spending a little time analyzing some of the compelling LinkedIn summary examples that some of its users have uploaded.
It’s one thing to hear about the importance of having a great LinkedIn summary and another to understand what that means. Sure, you can read all kinds of blog posts about what to write, including some on my own website, but seeing these principles in action is quite different. And because your LinkedIn summary is such an important part of your professional online presence, it’s something that you want to write carefully.
The easiest way to learn what truly works well on LinkedIn is to see some profiles that have proven to be successful. For that reason, I have compiled this list of inspiring LinkedIn summary examples. By learning from these examples, and my best practices list, it will be much easier for you to apply the rules of profile writing and boost your presence on LinkedIn.
What is a LinkedIn Summary?
Your LinkedIn summary is a synopsis of who you are professional. It includes your experience, education, skill set, accomplishments, and more. For many of the better LinkedIn summary examples, the author will tell a story. That story could include how you arrived at your current job or maybe about a professional triumph. But no matter what you write, the idea is to introduce yourself to your readers.
In other words, your LinkedIn summary terms you from a generic professional to somebody with a personality, talents, and accomplishments. If you have been using LinkedIn for a long time, you are probably used to hearing about the LinkedIn bio or about section. These are the same thing.
Why Bother Writing a LinkedIn Summary?
The biggest reason to write a LinkedIn summary is that the summary serves as an introduction. However, it’s not the same type of introduction as you would make at a conference or in person, because it is online. Nonetheless, we should treat the summary with the same level of care. When you are reaching out to your potential leads or when your potential leads prospect you, your summary section should offer a clear picture of:
- Who are you? In other words, what is your name, and where do you work? Or for a job candidate, what kind of profession are you?
- What have you done? It’s okay if you’re just a student, everyone’s been there. But if you have professional experience, then you need to mention what you have done previously, even if you want to change careers.
- How can you help them? Essentially, you want people to see what your value proposition is. For some people, it is expertise in a particular field that you can use for consulting purposes. For other people, it’s as simple as learning how to work as a team at McDonald’s. But whatever it is, people need to know why they should reach out to you specifically.
Look at it this way: If your LinkedIn headline grabs your leads’ attention, your summary should nudge your prospect to read further and make the decision to connect with you. This means that you need to stand out above the competition, especially in low to mid-level jobs. Similarly, some careers involve a lot of philosophical or methodological concerns. In those situations, you may want to try and differentiate yourself along those lines too.
Benefits of a Thoughtful LinkedIn Profile Summary
A well-written summary will provide more information than just your name, job title, and company. It’s an opportunity for you to tell your story in a concise way that helps people understand what makes you unique. With that in mind, let’s look at the benefits of making your LinkedIn summary into something special.
Make Your Profile Stand Out from the Crowd
Even in a tight labor market, it can sometimes be difficult to get yourself noticed. After all, employers are looking for workers who have specific skill sets. And for consultants and other professionals, there’s still a lot of competition for people’s eyeballs. In other words, even if you are not looking for a job, you want your profile to inspire people to reach out.
Remember, just like a regular commercial brand, your LinkedIn profile is for you as a person. Therefore, you want to make sure that plan your profile shows up in somebody’s search box, that they will take a better look at you and, hopefully, remember you when it’s important.
It Gives You the Chance to Highlight Your Expertise
One of the best things about LinkedIn is that it lets users showcase their expertise. In other words, LinkedIn is ultimately a lot more than a list of professional names and contact information. Rather, it’s an important place to find people who have certain expertise. Even when your career is stable, you never know. LinkedIn is one of the most important ways that this happens.
For that reason, you want to do more with your LinkedIn summary than simply tell people what job titles you’ve had. Rather, as you will see in each of these LinkedIn summary examples, you should always discuss your expertise. This way, people will have a chance to get to know you before any contact even happens.
Helps You Rank Higher in LinkedIn Search Results
No matter what your goals are for maintaining a LinkedIn profile, one of the most important things you can do is boost your position on LinkedIn search rankings. Generally speaking, when people run a search, it’s because they want a particular kind of professional. Alternatively, they might be looking for an old contact they haven’t added to the network yet. In both cases, however, having a quality summary helps you get found by the right people at the right time.
Remember, there are several types of LinkedIn searches. For instance, somebody might look for a person with a particular name. This is more common if a user is looking for an old schoolmate, an old boss or coworker, or even a well-known person in business. Another common search is by company. In this situation, they might be looking for a corporate decision-maker, a recruiter, or even just somebody who works for that company.
However, for a LinkedIn summary, one of the most important searches is by talent or skill. Often, these searchers are looking for a potential employee, contractor, or consultant. As you will see in the LinkedIn summary examples below, well-written summaries always include this information. Ideally, you will do some research to ensure that you’re using the right keywords. SEO applies to LinkedIn, not just your own website.
Gives You a Chance to Show Off Your Personality
Even in industries where professionals get a reputation for being humorless, everybody agrees that workers have their own individual personalities. Your personality can help a recruiter determine if you’d be a good fit for their employer or client, but make people like you. In other words, your unique personality plays into the parts of the business that aren’t always transactional. Rather, they help make you a more memorable professional that people will want to work with.
Try and think about it this way: some companies are known for having a good sense of humor. For instance, there are some tech companies that have very quirky advertising. Then somebody who is recruiting for that company may look for somebody who has a quirky sense of humor. Alternatively, somebody seeking and management professional might want somebody who knows how to be assertive but also doesn’t take themself too seriously. But no matter where you are professionally, showing off your personality is a great way to increase the chances of landing opportunities that fit you well.
Helps You Build a Personal Brand
So far, I’ve been circling around one particular issue: branding. In particular, your LinkedIn summary is one of the best personal branding opportunities. In other words, what should people know about you as a professional? Why they should message you about that hot job opening, the latest conference speaking opportunity, or even a consulting gig?
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter so much what you write specifically on LinkedIn. Instead, what matters most is the personal brand that you have established. Because ultimately, people offer you opportunities because that brand resonates with them. With careful branding, you can find that your skills are in more demand than ever.
Especially if you are in a more professional field, you want to establish yourself as an authority. This means demonstrating that you know what you are talking about. For example, if you have a Google marketing certification, then you should include that information in your summary. You might also establish authority very clearly through your work history. Someone who has worked as a software developer for 20 years clearly knows how to write code.
Of course, there are a lot of career areas that are rather crowded. For instance, becoming a marketer is very fashionable right now. It may be in the future that competition becomes very stiff. In this situation, you might establish authority in other ways beyond simply stating work experience or certifications. Perhaps you wrote a paper about a particular topic, or you have become a trainer in your field. Your source of authority, be sure to highlight and capitalize on them.
It is easy to argue that I have been ignoring sales professionals with the benefits of a good summary so far. That’s not true. In fact, all of these features, like skills and subject matter authority, can provide credibility for sales professionals. For a salesperson or a recruiter, there’s another important benefit of quality LinkedIn summary examples. Specifically, a strong profile can help you generate leads.
How? Simply put, people pay people. This is a cliché in the world of sales, but for most sales professionals, it’s easy to think of that maxim primarily working in person or on the phone. But with a quality LinkedIn summary, showing your personality and expertise can easily make you the person who gets paid. Ideally, people will reach out to you for the needs you can provide rather than your competition.
Further Reading: How to Use LinkedIn to Increase Lead Generating Traffic to Your Blog
7 Tips on How to Write a Catchy LinkedIn Summary that Entices Your Potential Leads
As we have already mentioned, your LinkedIn profile summary should be powerful and effective. It should inspire your audience’s trust while also establishing your authority and credibility. Nobody likes to work with robots, and in fact, corporate robots are consistent fodder for memes and comic strips.
With that said, there is an art to composing the best LinkedIn summary examples possible. Part of it is about word choice, and part of it is about the contents themselves. Sometimes the way that you say something is more important than what you say. With that in mind, here are some tips for writing a dynamic LinkedIn summary.
1. Include a Captivating Lead or a Hook
Writers use this trick all the time. The first sentence or two of your LinkedIn summary should always give people a reason to read on. For some of the LinkedIn summary examples below, the hook is actually humorous. In particular, one of them brings people back to the days of middle school when childhood antics foster good ideas. Other professionals might prefer a different approach, such as briefly describing what they do.
Further Reading: LinkedIn Lead Generation Secrets Every Business Must Use
2. State Your Experience
This one may sound straightforward, but there is still room for thinking outside the box. Almost everyone will want to include their job history, but some people may want to primarily emphasize roles that fit in well with their current goals. For instance, a lot of professionals get fast food or lifeguarding jobs during the summer in high school. By the time they turn 40, chances are that these jobs are no longer relevant. You might want to include them, but they are certainly less important.
On the other hand, there are some people who have nontraditional experiences. That could include volunteering, certifications they earned independently, or even lived experience. A great example of the last category could be someone seeking a homecare role. If they cared for a parent or spouse during a final illness, this is an important part of their experience that might attract a recruiter.
3. Propose a Unique Value Proposition
Within most fields, there are a lot of people who have similar skills and comparable experience. The best LinkedIn summary examples, however, show how each professional is unique. This could be almost anything career related., Maybe you are known for being a team player. Especially in fields like sales, where management often fosters fierce competition between agents, being a team player can be especially valuable.
Similarly, some fields highly value a particular subset of skills. An attorney, for example, may have an especially high success rate at beating insurance companies on behalf of their clients. And it could be that clients find this lawyer especially pleasant to work with. In a high-pressure field like law, this kind of attribute can be very desirable and creates a special value proposition for a potential employer or client.
4. Add Hard Numbers or Data to Back Up Your Claims
Admittedly, there are some areas of expertise where it can be hard to quantify success. But for most professions, there are a number of forms that can help indicate your effectiveness as a professional.
A less obvious example is teaching. At the grade school level, a teacher might brag about how high her students scored on government achievement tests or how well they did on an AP or IB exam. Had the college or university level, they might talk about reviews from students. For instance, some professors may have an unusually high number of students who participate in undergraduate research projects. In both of these situations, it is quite appropriate to brag about your achievements.
Similarly, a sales, marketing, or fundraising professional can brag about how much they have increased sales or contributions. In these professions, metrics are incredibly important, and it would be hard to say that the LinkedIn summary is well written without some sort of effectiveness gauge. The way that you express success in these disciplines, though, should be careful not to reveal confidential data or anything that is protected by company policy.
5. Use Bullets to Break Your Content into Sections
Nobody likes to read one big block of text after another. This is true both on blogs and other website copy, as well as on social media. If you write one large section for each point, some people will decide that your profile isn’t worth their time. Instead, use bullet points and short paragraphs that delineate one thought from another. This practice will also help you keep each point concise.
Keep in mind that you can use more than one bulleted list, so long as they are is a paragraph in between somewhere. Having your copy cut up too much can look almost as bad as not leaving enough white space.
6. Include Relevant Keywords
LinkedIn is like all other social media and search engines in that you use keywords to find content. In this case, the keywords also help people find profiles. By including the right keywords in your LinkedIn summary, you will boost the likelihood of the right people finding you and your profile at the right time.
With that said, it can be difficult to know which keywords to include. Sometimes it’s obvious, such as with industry terms and job titles. However, sometimes you need to do some keyword research to make sure that the job descriptions match what people are looking for. This is even more important now that companies use applicant management systems to filter out applicants who don’t use the right buzzwords.
7. Don’t Forget a CTA
Finally, all of the best LinkedIn summary examples have some form of a CTA. Sometimes this is as simple as indicating what types of things people can send you a message about has an option for this in their profile editing options. However, you can also include other calls to action, such as “check out my website” or “see my project portfolio.”
At the end of the day, you’re on LinkedIn for a reason. It could be that you simply want to keep track of former classmates and colleagues, but the origins of LinkedIn were job hunting. If that’s you, consider using one of the hiring patches that LinkedIn has available. However, this cannot be a substitute for the other steps that I have discussed. It merely encourages recruiters to contact you on that basis.
Further Reading: Top 10 Ways How to Get More Connections on LinkedIn
5 Compelling LinkedIn Summary Examples to Inspire You to Update Yours
Now that we’ve talked about what can make a LinkedIn summary great let’s look at some of the best LinkedIn summary examples I’ve seen. Keep in mind as we go through these that some people are better at selling their companies and getting leads, while others are better at selling themselves. For these purposes, the definition of a lead can include recruiter contacts about a new job or career opportunity. Both sets of goals have a lot to teach us about how we can maximize the power of LinkedIn.
1. David Armano
What can we learn from David’s LinkedIn summary?
- He opens up with a strong and memorable story that grips you. This story insights your curiosity and encourages you to keep reading about David’s incredible experience.
- He then proceeds with a story that not only captivates you but also speaks to his amazing experience without sounding salesy. You can even see David’s personality, somebody who knows how to communicate success without coming across as arrogant.
- By the end of his summary, it is clear the high level at which David operates. You can also see the kinds of businesses he works with, which lets you see his high value as a professional. Clearly, David can wear several hats at a time and manage all of them well.
2. Mike Allton
What should inspire you from Mike’s summary?
- He positions himself in a way that invites other brands and influencers to be interested in Agorapulse as well as what Mike does and how he might be able to help. His summary is as much an advertisement for his company as it is a piece of personal branding.
- His focus on relationships clearly comes out in his summary, humanizing him and making him more approachable to get in contact with. In other words, even though he is a company man, he still values human relationships. Those relationships are what make him a successful sales professional and an asset to his company.
- The final paragraphs demonstrate who he is targeting and how he can specifically help them., Mike’s CTA is to contact him to reap the benefits of Agorapulse.
3. Phil Mershon
What should inspire you from Phil’s summary?
- His unforgettable story grabs your attention and keeps you focused on his summary. Who hasn’t had childhood flights of fancy? You can just see the schoolhouse petition getting circulated many years later.
- After getting to the 2nd paragraph, his statement “Today, I still combine existing products and ideas to create unforgettable experiences.” This really drives the message from his story home, making his summary statement almost as memorable as his opening story.
- He does a great job of inviting people not only to consider inviting him to be an event speaker and connect with him personally, but he equally promotes Social Media Marketing World and Social Media Marketing Society, giving loads of options for the reader to engage with Phil or his employer. I love how he markets himself and his employer at the same time.
4. Steve Fox
- The first sentence is to the point and very specific about his value proposition.
- Briefly talks about his extensive experience to inspire trust.
- Clearly articulates his skills and strengths. You can easily see how Stephen has added relevant keywords and buzzwords to his profile. You can be sure that if he finds himself out of a job, he’ll quickly gain the right kind of attention.
- Includes an email address to make it easy for interested parties to contact him. However, he does neglect to include a clear CTA.
- The opening sentence is clear and to the point.
- Eddie’s summary is quite elaborate, but he uses bullet points to highlight all his achievements and lists them in order from most important to least important. I also like how he uses trophy emojis to highlight his major achievements.
- Puts in some compelling numbers about his successes. Especially in writing, your publications are the best social proof around. Eddie is not afraid to showcase that information.
- Adds a CTA inviting readers to check out his site. This is a very effective way to drive traffic and thereby increase SEO.
LinkedIn Summary Examples Conclusion
Writing a compelling LinkedIn summary is critical to getting the most exposure and opportunities through the network. This is unsurprising since LinkedIn has the same dependence on keywords for search and other functions. Additionally, it’s important to distinguish yourself from your colleagues and competitors online. Not only does this ensure that people see you as an individual, but it helps you edge out the competition for opportunities. Fortunately, by following the tips above, you can write a compelling summary that will get the right attention at the right time.
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