LinkedIn Challenge TIP 2: How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Summary‏

LinkedIn Challenge TIP 2: How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Summary‏

October 31, 2013 LinkedIn

Does your LinkedIn summary tell a good story about your accomplishments, motivations, and future interests? Has it made anyone want to meet you? Let’s continue the ultimate LinkedIn challenge.

LinkedIn Challenge TIP 2 out of 5: 

When a recruiter or potential employer reads your summary statement, they want to learn about the person beyond the great professional photo. Side note: Make sure that you don’t have a selfie!  They are looking at your personal profile to learn more about you!  Think about your summary as a long-winded “elevator pitch” that you can share when someone asks you, “what do you do?”. You have 2,000 characters to entice a viewer to connect with you.  Make each character count.

Your Summary Section

This is your opportunity to build your professional brand by uncovering a bit of your personality and to expand upon your headline statement. Given the latter point, imagine that your LinkedIn headline is the outline for this summary statement. Write in the first person. Start by considering your responses to the following questions to get your juices flowing:

  • What have been my three most impressive career accomplishments?
  • What projects or special assignments have I worked on that were the reasons beyond my promotions in recent years? 
  • Are there any certifications or academic credentials that can help me stand out from the X-thousand other professionals in my sector?
Measure it: Note how many LinkedIn views you received most recently right before making any updates to your summary section and see how often you had appeared in search results before making any updates.  This is easy:

1 – Go to “who’s viewed my profile” page
2 – Look at the statistics on the right navigation bar

Test it: Draft a summary statement while considering the above questions. Showcase your industry-specific accomplishments, while telling a story that your resume does not expose.

Here is a sample summary:

During a 10-plus year career in media planning, I have delivered integrated communications strategies across 11 sectors (i.e. Food, Computer Games, Not-for-profits, Internet, Hospitality, Automotive, Consumer Goods, Telecommunications, Health, Wellness and Fitness, Financial Services, and Pharmaceuticals). I have worked on both B2C and B2B clients with $2MM-$100MM-plus budgets. Also I have earned six promotions and coached others into their own career-building assignments.

One of my own career-building assignments was when I collaborated with multi-disciplinary agency partners on the behalf of a food giant. The target audience was baby boomers. The Boomer+ Many, Many Reasons campaign ran online and offline; the work culminated into our 2010 Gold Effie win, and in a +.10% market share increase. The key to that win and success in media is starting with a consumer insight, supporting it with data, and empowering clients to sell ideas internally. The latter led to my ability to consistently build strong client relationships.
While leading the marketing and business development team at my current firm, I won $250MM+ in incremental billings. In parallel, I refined the existing pitch process and increased our success rate by leveraging all the levers that I, my team, my current firm, and external partners had to ensure our resources were best allocated. In turn, I now know the key factors that an agency should consider when it comes whether or not to pitch.
Meanwhile, while at my current firm, I founded a origami club and blog on its internal website. Personally, I serve as a judge for my high school’s Drama Club.
I want to further contribute my ability to derive and execute upon consumer insights, creatively optimize budgets, and develop the careers of my team members. I have already been fortunate to do this while working on new and established products.In contrast, this is NOT what you want to have:

Specialties:Corporate Finance, Forecasting, Budgeting, Variance Analysis, Investment/Credit Evaluation, Regression, Statistical methodology, GAAP, Portfolio Mgmt, Speaking Skills, Basic Law

In a nutshell, you don’t want a pithy summary section with a laundry list of keywords. This summary does not make me want to meet him at all. Honestly, the guy sounds boring. Don’t you think?

After updating your story-like summary statement, see who is looking at your profile and how often people have viewed it a day or two after the changes have been made.

You are not just figuring out the best summary for you but also you are generating interest from your connections.

Let’s review:

Update your LinkedIn summary so that it tells a story around your accomplishments and industry achievements; tell a story that your resume does not reveal about you.

Writing a summary statement is hard. If you are breezing through it then you are not thinking strategically enough about how you want to be perceived. This is actually the hardest LinkedIn section for every s-i-n-g-l-e one of my clients and that is why I get paid to craft them.

Side note: If you want me to help you write your summary section then give me a shout. I’d be more than happy to share my pricing options so that you can move beyond this point.

Recruiters do read your summary section and they will judge whether you’ll be a good employee based on it’s content or lack thereof. I’ve spoken with hundreds of recruiters who specialize across different sectors, including financial services, marketing, real estate, pharmaceutical, retail, information technology, education, media and entertainment, law, government, international organizations, and airlines – each recruiter relies on LinkedIn and they start reading profiles from the top.

And what’s on the top of your profile?

The summary section.

Final point:

If you are an aspiring career changer then your summary section will play a bigger role…it should (when done well) link what you’ve done in the past with what you want to do in the future.

Ok, I am getting off of my soapbox.

Onwards and upwards!

Email me melissa [at] with your progress following your summary update and testing.

I will be posting 5 total tips –   Look for my tips and share your thoughts / progress with me directly via email or in the comment section below.

Can’t wait to see what you do!


About the author

Melissa Llarena: is the CEO and career coach behind Career Outcomes Matter. Her craft is coaching top executives on how to dissect and deliver the perfect job interview. Her client base includes US-based as well as international business leaders with 15-plus years of experience who are undeniably really good at what they do yet simply want a strategic partner who can quickly fully understand their tangible and intangible contributions to effectively scale up their interviewing skills for the toughest interviews. Click to gain instant access to her 20-page interview preparation kit to gain an edge then schedule a phone call to see how she’d leverage her most powerful insights based on your unique situation -- all in time for your next interview.