Your LinkedIn summary isn't just a decorative piece of flavor text on your profile, it's a huge key to conversion.
Imagine someone clicks on your profile, scrolls down past your headline and taps that “read more” button. Anyone who gets to this point has already delved deeper into your profile than 99.9% of LinkedIn members will ever do, so it’s safe to say that they’re a valuable lead.
You want to make sure that your summary is relevant and interesting to these people, because they’ve put in a fair bit of work to get to your summary. After all, LinkedIn has over 774 million users, so if you have an opportunity to stand out, grab it!
Why It Matters
Your summary is a bit like a cover letter. Your profile displays your experience, skills, and accomplishments, but your summary allows you to make your background personal and real to the reader. You get this one spot to speak for yourself and inject personality, vision, and energy into your profile.
Plus, LinkedIn uses your summary to influence the search algorithm, so skipping a summary is a good way to get shuffled to the bottom of the pile.
Start with a Hook
A “hook” in the marketing world is a short phrase or sentence that will draw potential readers in. When done well, a hook is appealing, intriguing, and conveys your actual personality.
One of my clients (a badass feminist life coach) Kara Loewentheil uses a question for the hook of her summary section: “Are you a smart, feminist woman who wants to be more confident?”
You can immediately see what she’s offering, who her target demographic is, and get a sense of the dynamic energy that Kara brings to her work. Plus, the way it’s written is engaging and interesting. It grabs attention and gives a clear picture of who she is behind the profile, which will motivate them to read on.
Outline Your Expertise
One of the best things about the summary section is that you have the opportunity to outline your expertise. The rest of your profile can show what jobs you have and where you worked, but your summary is a great place to include any relevant certifications or high-level pieces of information that are immediately relevant and attractive to potential clients or employers.
For example, the founder of Fringe Professional Development, Rachael Bosch includes her impressive history at Harvard Law School, her industry-specific skills in things like DiSC behavioral assessments and the EQi 2.0© emotional intelligence index. These immediately give you an idea of her expertise and her skills.
Highlight Your Awards
If you’ve won any awards, the summary is a great place to mention them. LinkedIn keeps their accomplishments and certification sections below your work experience, which means they can sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
If you won an award or are consistently a top performer at work, mention it! The most compelling awards and accomplishments are specific and have a date or a number attached.
- I’m a top performer, consistently ranking in the top 10% of sales associates at my company over the past 2 years.
- I was a 2019 Webby Award nominee and a 2020 GLAAD award winner.
End with a Call to Action
Lastly, make sure to give your attentive reader something to do once they’ve reached the end of your LinkedIn summary section. Remember, if they got to this point of your profile, they’re interested in something about you, so don’t waste a chance to make a connection. Facilitate communication by giving them a clear next step.
Are you hiring? Looking for a new position? Seeking networking with other members of your field? Maybe you’ve got a free lead-magnet you want to drive traffic to. Whatever it is, give them a clear next step.
- Copy and paste this URL into your browser to check out some of my work!
- Book a one-on-one with me by heading to www. URL .com
- I’m currently accepting new clients, so feel free to add me and send me a message here on LinkedIn if you’d like to connect
While hyperlinks aren’t active, you can certainly give this potential interested person a reason to copy/paste to their browser.
Executive coach Linda Taliaferro provides her links to book a complimentary consultation or visit her sales page.
Your summary section is a powerful tool in your personal branding arsenal, so have fun crafting it. Remember that it’s a representation of who you are as a professional, so be concise, honest, and clear.
(And definitely check for typos before posting!)