LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful tool to advance your professional career. Whether or not you are actively looking for a new job, having a clean LinkedIn profile can create some interesting career opportunities. In effect, it is your first impression to your digital professional network, so you’ll want to ensure that it represents you well.
While there are many important components to a LinkedIn profile, we want to examine your LinkedIn summary.
The summary is one of the first things that visitors see when visiting your profile. Even though it may be easy to spend two or three minutes on the summary and move on, your summary is a terrific opportunity that should not be ignored. As we take on this new decade, we encourage you to spend time carefully crafting your LinkedIn summary. You won’t regret it.
What to Focus On
Your LinkedIn summary is the text box that is at the top of your LinkedIn profile. Located just below your photo, it is an open-ended space (with 2,000 available characters) that you can use in whatever way you’d like.
According to guidance provided by LinkedIn itself, the summary is a great place to put your best self out there. You can almost think of it as a Twitter bio, except longer and more professional. The specifics are up to you, but LinkedIn suggests that some great ideas include putting your career choices in context, highlighting your biggest achievements, or even showing off your personality.
As a simple example, if you just graduated from college, you may want to use your LinkedIn summary to focus on your academic honors (if any), work experience during college, and the subject areas that deeply interest you. On the other hand, if you have been working at a company for several years and would contemplate attractive opportunities, you can use your summary to highlight leadership roles at your current company, any major goals you have achieved, and even your interests outside of work.
Ultimately, the summary is an excellent opportunity to go beyond your resume and provide more color on your professional background. You can make it more narrative or can include several vignettes that reveal your experience, intelligence, and character. It’s up to you and your creativity can be rewarded.
Some Great Examples
At a minimum, you should not ignore this opportunity. The summary is a great way to immediately hook your audience so that they continue viewing your profile. However, ensure you have a professional profile picture that goes together with your summary.
That said, to better explain the power of the LinkedIn summary, it is helpful to analyze some examples. There are plenty of great LinkedIn summaries, but the following stood out to us.
First, let’s look at Micah’s LinkedIn summary (number six on this list). Here, Micah presents a comprehensive look at her passion for her current role at The Muse. Not only that, but she provides some color on her responsibilities there, ranging from coaching her sales team to improving internal processes. We also like how she includes some fun facts at the end. These can be potential icebreakers if a recruiter or company wanted to reach out.
Second, there is Nanci’s LinkedIn summary (the first on this list). Nanci starts her summary by sharing a deep, personal memory from childhood. Instead of just leaving it there, however, she ties it in with her career representing victims of domestic violence and other clients in her family law practice. She also shares her values today and what drives her in her current work.
Third, we like Karen’s profile (number five on this list). Karen keeps the reader in mind when sharing her summary. She essentially separates her summary into six key points that highlight interesting things about her. She is extremely concise in summarizing her job and leads off with impressive facts about her work experience. It is a fun read and shows that she is an interesting, driven individual who loves her work.
Finally, take a look at Tim Herglotz’s LinkedIn summary. Tim hooks his visitors with a direct call to action that invites to continue reading. He clearly makes an introduction that hooks readers to learn more and finally, Tim reaches out to provide a helping hand together with why visitors should connect with him. Tim’s summary is to the point and includes all the necessary ingredients why visitors should care – and most important – should connect or reach out.
Drafting Your Summary
Those are just four examples of great LinkedIn summaries. Whether you find them useful or stumble upon others that speak to you, the most important thing is to get started. Create a quick draft and see what happens. Nothing is stopping you from making edits down the road.
Good luck! Here’s to creating a killer LinkedIn summary that leads to many opportunities this year.