Searching for a job today looks very different than it did 20 years ago. Before, applicants either mailed or took a resume or job application into a workplace and handed it to an owner or manager.
Now, professional platforms like LinkedIn allow employers to scout out prospective employees in advance of actually meeting them. Because of this shift, it’s essential to know how to write a LinkedIn summary that impresses hiring teams and recruiters.
LinkedIn is a social media platform for businesses and professionals. Its vast network of employment opportunities is an excellent place for job seekers to pursue new contacts, research a field, and find open positions. It also has a “Jobs” section that lets people apply for jobs right from the platform.
Eight people are hired on LinkedIn every minute — and you could be next.
What should be in a LinkedIn bio?
The LinkedIn summary is the introduction to your profile, like a biography section on other social media. This is where you present your abilities, attitudes, and availabilities in a clear, concise manner.
Think of the summary as a cover letter for any recruiter or hiring manager that finds your page. The blurb should encourage employers to scroll through your profile and look at your skills and experience.
LinkedIn summaries have a 2,600 characters maximum, so don’t include every detail about your professional history and education — those are detailed in later sections. Instead, use the space to present a bite-sized and unique introduction to you as a professional.
Your LinkedIn summary should include:
Your name. This may seem redundant, but your summary should feel personalized and unique to you — not copy-pasted and generic. Including your name also helps you stand out in the minds of prospective employers rather than becoming just another profile.
Expertise. Remember, you’re trying to sell yourself and your skills in this brief bio. Make sure that anyone reading your profile gets an immediate and clear idea of the skills you bring to a prospective job. Don’t dive into all the details, but include a concise list of 3–5 key traits that represent who you are as a professional.
Prior experience. Like expertise, your full experience is listed elsewhere in your profile. But if you can squeeze in a few words about your proven track record in a particular field or notable companies you worked at, it may entice an employer to keep reading.
Contact information. Provide a safe and professional means of contacting you, like a business email address, so prospective employers can get in touch. You may check every box that an employer is hoping to fill, but if they can’t contact you outside of LinkedIn, they may move on.
Why is a LinkedIn summary important?
A good summary stops a potential employer in its tracks. They don’t click on to the next profile — they stick around to learn about the person who wrote the engaging bio.
A complete LinkedIn profile includes all the information you would have on a resume, outlining previous employers, education, and marketable skill sets. But skills and experience are only a part of what employers consider while recruiting.
The short bio that prefaces all this information is where you can use your own words and ideas to describe yourself. How you present your unique professional flair and personality matters for finding good cultural fits and detail-oriented employees.
How to write a good summary on LinkedIn
Your bio should communicate to recruiters that you’re an interesting, capable, and reliable professional who would be a great addition to their team. Here are some tips for your summary to keep potential employers on your profile:
Hook them with your introduction. Don’t waste the first sentence. Starting off the summary with “My name is…” makes your profile blend in with the rest. Begin with an attention-grabbing statement about yourself, your experience, or your professional values.
Talk yourself up. You’re on LinkedIn to impress business contacts. Your summary should reflect the pride you have in your achievements and highlight your best work and skills. Define what success means to you and how you’ve wowed past employers.
Use keywords. Include relevant keywords in the bio that align with what employers in your field are searching for. Pepper in industry- and role-specific words and phrases, such as “editing” or “copywriter,” so your profile appears in LinkedIn search results more than competitors.
Show some personality. A bland summary is forgettable. Make sure your uniqueness shines through in your summary while remaining professional. Include a unique fact about your life or career and allow your voice to be heard through the writing.
How to make your LinkedIn summary stand out
Once you’ve drafted a summary that describes your skills, personality, and experience, it’s time to make it shine. Follow these suggestions to grab readers’ attention:
Be conversational. Professional doesn’t mean rigid or stilted. Write in the first person and keep your summary conversational, as if you’re introducing yourself at the beginning of an interview rather than lecturing them about your qualifications. Making a personal connection is often the beginning of creating a professional one.
Focus on clarity. Employers are interested in people who are clear and concise communicators. If a reader gets to the end of your bio and is confused about to what you offer, it’s not doing its job. Have a friend or colleague read over your summary to make sure it’s straightforward but detailed.
Be organized. Match the flow of your bio to the overall structure of your profile. Begin with experience, lead into skills, and finish with contact information. This will make the summary appear intentional and polished.
Touch on motivations and expectations. Offer recruiters a brief window into why you’re following this career path and what you expect to gain from it. If your reasons and expectations synchronize with an employer’s, you’re one step closer to securing a position.
LinkedIn profile examples
Understanding what it takes to create a stellar bio is easier with examples. Bear in mind that these examples are drawn from real LinkedIn profiles — you shouldn’t copy-paste them. Instead, use these LinkedIn summaries examples to guide you as you create your own unique and eye-catching blurb.
The summary below makes good use of the 2,600 characters, packing a lot of information into a short space. Not all LinkedIn bios need to be this long, but if you have a lot to say about yourself and your experience, use all the characters you need.
Pay attention to how the information is presented. The coach introduces themself and jumps straight into a list of unique attributes. Recruiters know right away what sets them apart from other STEM coaches and how to get in touch.
“With almost 20 years of experience in STEM-related fields, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to my coaching clients. Those I’ve coached, and those who know me, would tell you that I’m:
- Compassionate: I care about the people with whom I work. We all need a helping hand every now and again, and I strive to provide that to all who seek my assistance.
- Empowering: I want my clients to come out of our sessions feeling like they can take on the world. An important part of my practice is to make sure clients recognize the progress they’re making and take the time to celebrate it.
Over the course of my professional life, I have partnered with experts in a variety of STEM industries to help them through difficult times in their private and work lives. I have coached over 100 individuals, many of whom have gone on to be significant leaders in and contributors to their fields.
Some areas that I specialize in are:
- Escaping toxic work environments. I can help you figure out how to exit a current role or workplace that is damaging to your well-being, as well as help you get back some of the confidence and excitement that a toxic environment tends to smother.
Getting back to work. Perhaps you’ve taken time off to start a family or take care of an ailing relative, but now you’re ready to get back into the workplace. I’ll help you to understand the nuances of finding employment in the 21st Century and make sure your specialties are recognized by potential employers.
- Leadership. Many who pursue STEM-related fields are scientists and researchers who are happy to be tucked away in a lab, investigating the mysteries of the universe. But it’s important to be able to communicate discoveries to the public and communicate requirements to your staff.
I provide leadership training for those in science and technology fields who may be uncomfortable with their position of authority.
For further information and client testimonials, please see my website: [website URL].”
Human resources manager
This is a strong example of a quick and concise summary. It acts as a rundown of this person’s experience and values without a bullet-point list of expertise. Some positions don’t require you to explain everything you can do — the employer likely has a good grasp of the basic qualifications for your job title.
This summary dedicates the character count to convincing potential employers this person can exceed expectations and take the role to the next level.
“Running a Human Resources department has led me to focus on the first part of that term: humans. I never make the mistake of thinking of employees as cogs in a machine.
I’m engaged in connecting with each of the employees or managers who come through my door and seek to treat each of their questions and concerns with respect and politeness.
I firmly believe that the best way to produce long-lasting business relationships, be they with clients, employees, or bosses, is to make genuine connections with people.
I have over 15 years of experience in HR and have worked in all aspects of the field. I have professional qualifications in Management Studies and am a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). The SHRM considers itself the “voice for all things work,” and I represent that in my workplace.
If you’re looking for a kind, conscientious, professional Human Resources manager, please feel free to get in touch at [email address].”
Be confident in your professional value
A LinkedIn bio is one of the few opportunities you have to talk yourself up to employers before you’re sitting in an interview. You can use that space to take your time to describe your skills, personality, and ambitions without the stress of on-the-spot answers.
Knowing how to write a LinkedIn summary that stands out from the rest will give you the leg up you need to land your next job. Be confident in your experience and skillset — the next amazing stage in your career is right around the corner.