At the top of your LinkedIn profile, under your picture, is a section called “About.” 

(Not always—you can remove it if you wish.) 

That spot is where your summary goes.

Do you not have a LinkedIn summary yet?

Or do you want to optimize yours and make it more attractive?

I can help.

What is a LinkedIn Summary?

A LinkedIn summary tells the story of your professional life in 2000 characters or less. Preferably less. 2000 characters are about 300-500 words. Aim for 300. 500 max.

Your summary should be brief and to the point. It needs to quickly convey who you are, what you do, and what value you bring to the table.

Your LinkedIn summary is like an easy-to-read elevator pitch with keywords.

Think of how short most elevator rides are. Reading a LinkedIn summary takes about twice as long as that, up and down the elevator shaft. That’s all the time you get to make your points.

The reading time for 500 words at 160 words per minute is about three minutes. This is the longest it should take. Even less is better. 300 words at 160 words per minute is just under two minutes.

If you can tell your story in fewer words, that’s great.

Don’t overdo it.

Just do it well.

LinkedIn Summary Characteristics

Here are the primary characteristics of a LinkedIn summary. 

  • Clear: Use short sentences and plain language.
  • Concise: Brevity is your friend. Keep it short.
  • Easy to Read: Don’t make people struggle through it.
  • Engaging: Keep them interested from beginning to end.
  • Persuasive: Convince them of your skills and professionalism.

LinkedIn Summary Structure

Summary structure is essential, especially for a short read.

Throughout this structure, you are telling your professional story. Like an elevator pitch—or any story—it is a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. Then, you call your reader to action.

The trick is to make it compelling while covering all the bases.

Here’s a good structure to use. To keep it organized, you can divide your summary into these eight brief sections. 

Section 1. A Compelling Hook

The hook is a sentence or two that grabs your readers’ attention immediately. 

Since the first three sentences of your summary are visible in the preview, your hook should be no longer than that space allows. 

Do keep it professional, but make them curious about what comes next. Get them to want to click and learn more.

You can:

  • Begin telling your story.
  • Share a unique fact about yourself.
  • Ask a question. 

Section 2. A Professional Introduction

Now, continue your story by diving into who you are professionally. Describe your place in the scheme of things in a couple of sentences. Keep it relevant.

Section 3. Show Expertise and Achievements

Detail your professional journey, highlighting key achievements and the skills you’ve honed along the way. Use specific examples to illustrate your points. Don’t overdo the details, keep it brief.

Section 4. Value and Differentiation

Explain how your unique blend of skills, experience, and personal qualities sets you apart.  Show how you add value for a potential employer or client.

Section 5. Career Goals and Aspirations

Share a vision for your future career path, including the kinds of roles, projects, or impacts you plan to achieve.

Section 6. Personal Insights

Offer insights into the personal interests that intersect with your professional life, helping readers get to know you beyond your résumé.

Section 7. Call to Action

Include a specific call to action, inviting readers to connect, explore potential collaborations, or simply reach out to discuss shared interests. This is a crucial part of the structure. 

Section 8. Contact Information

Provide a way for your readers to reach you directly, whether by email, phone number, or a link to a portfolio.

Note that the story flows smoothly from beginning to end, from sections one through eight. Don’t let it ramble.

The result is a LinkedIn summary that people want to read, not skip over. 

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Summary

Use these steps to make your summary attractive to potential LinkedIn connections, recruiters, and clients.

  • You want to keep your summary up-to-date. By frequently optimizing it using these concepts, people will always have a current snapshot of your history, progress, and current activities.
  • Tailor your content to your professional audience. Use their language and use industry terminology. Tell them you know what you’re doing and to whom you’re talking.
  • Highlight what sets you apart from the crowd. Show what differentiates you from the others in your field. 
  • Use specific metrics and examples to showcase your accomplishments. 
  • Incorporate relevant keywords strategically throughout your summary. Remember, most people will find your summary through the LinkedIn search engine. Using keywords your industry colleagues would be searching for will land them on your profile page.  
  • Be authentic. Write in the first person. Let your personality shine through. Share the narrative of your professional journey.
  • Make it visually appealing. Use bullet points, short paragraphs, and lots of white space to keep the eyes from getting tired and the brain from getting bored. People skim more often than they read these days, so make it easy for them.
  • Add media elements for even more visual interest. Photos, videos, slideshows, and animations are all supported by LinkedIn.
  • Seek feedback from others to guide your summary’s design. Learning what others think about your narrative is crucial to keeping it alive and com.

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