How to Write a LinkedIn Summary

By Nigel Cliffe

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I often get asked this question.

Along with: “What should I put in my LinkedIn ‘About’ section?” (LinkedIn used to call the ‘About’ section your ‘Summary’ section).

People typically default with:

  • A pitch for the company they work for
  • A version of their CV
  • A one-liner, thinking it provides clarity
  • Providing two lines of text because they don’t know what else to say
  • Nothing. Nothing at all…and I’ve written before about why you should NEVER leave your LinkedIn Profile blank.

Here Is What I Think a Good Summary Should Consist Of:

  1. What have you done?
  2. What are you doing?
  3. What would you like to do?

Breaking it down into three stages can be a good starting point.

What Have You Done?

I’ve got this far (in reviewing your Profile) so let me know what you’ve been up to. Where has life’s journey taken you? What have you learned? Where have you been? What have you achieved?

What Are You Doing?

So here you are today. What’s going on? What are you presently working on? What do you enjoy doing? Who are you doing it with? What gives you a buzz? What drains you?

What Would You Like to Do?

Now, this is the fun bit. What does the future look like? What will success look like for you? Tell me what your ambitions are, where you’d like to go. Paint the picture that you’d like your future to be.

But What If You Have More Than One ‘Job’?

It’s becoming increasingly common for people to have more than one job, and sometimes those jobs aren’t related to each other at all! So how do you convey the different sides of you and what you do on LinkedIn? I share my strategy in the quick video below.

Telling YOUR STORY in this way will be attractive to the reader and will provide them with a great insight into you and your ambitions.

Yes, LinkedIn is a business platform, but show some personality too. If you have a passion outside work, I’d share it here too. I want to get to know the whole person that is YOU!

There Are Some Other Tips I Would Offer Too:

  • Always write it in the first person. “I …….”. This is YOUR Profile, please don’t relate to yourself in the third person.
  • Make sure that all the keywords you’d like to be found for are richly served in this Summary/About section. Make a list of them beforehand and make sure they are sprinkled throughout your About section, and for that matter, your Headline, Experience section, and your Skills.
  • Add in your contact details. Your email address and possibly your contact telephone number. Unless you are already 1st degree connected to a person, they will not be able to see your contact details on LinkedIn. Make it easy to be contacted. Not everyone is ‘LinkedIn-confident’. Give them the option to get in touch without the need to be a Connection.
  • Make sure that the first 4 lines of your ‘About’ section read well and stand alone as a suitable introduction. People will see this first, before being given the option to ‘see more…’

  • Make it visually appealing. Create a lot of paragraph breaks. A long rambling paragraph or a wall of text is not easy on the eye. White space is good. Using emojis is your choice. Just make sure it represents your personal brand if you do. Just ‘cos you can, doesn’t mean you should!
  • Add in some rich media to your Profile. It’s free. It’s visual. (A picture paints a thousand…you know the rest…)
  • Create a useful PowerPoint describing what you do and what problems you solve for your customers or Connections.
  • Add a video of yourself to say hello.
  • Add some documents that answer questions people typically ask of you.

Give value.

The ‘About’ section on your LinkedIn Profile is possibly the most useful feature there is on LinkedIn. A person hasn’t shown up at your door for no reason. They wish to know more about you. Don’t miss the chance to maximise this opportunity.

I’d be super-pleased to learn of any tips you have, please feel free to share them with me over on LinkedIn!

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