How do you fit your entire career, all your skills, and accomplishments, hopes, dreams, and goals into just a few sentences? How do you grab the attention of that perfect buyer, potential co-founder, or even a hiring manager that will guarantee that dream job you’re after.
However, salespeople have the toughest job, since they must capture the attention of potential customers in a very short amount of time, and keep them interested enough so they keep scrolling, reply to the message, or engage with their latest post.
How to Write a Good LinkedIn Summary
Your LinkedIn summary is basically your elevator pitch – a way to capture the attention of the right person, tell them what they need to know and intrigue them to learn more about you or your brand. A strong LinkedIn summary will not only help you land jobs, but also land that perfect client that can generate even more leads, refer more business to you, and ultimately allow you to scale your business. In a nutshell, your LinkedIn summary is:
An outline of who you are
Your short-form cover letter
The first thing anyone sees when they visit your profile
The summary of a human, not a brand
What should you focus on when writing your summary? You’ll want to focus on highlighting the best you can offer without sounding too “selly” and automatically throwing people off. You want to include humor, share your passion, and tell your story in a concise, precise, and data-rich manner.
Show your passion
Have a strong first sentence
Write at least 40 words
Use natural language
Break it up into paragraphs
Show your personality
Use a call to action
Show your passion when crafting a perfect summary. No one wants to read about a person who is doing their job just because they have it. If you are passionate about sales, about your brand, or about growing your business, show it! Let people know that with you they are in good hands and that you are the person who will bring their company from zero to hero.
Include keywords relevant to your brand in your summary. Research keywords that will rank well with the potential buyers, as well as recruiters that come across your profile. You can see which keywords your searchers used when they viewed your profile. Click on the dashboard under the summary and click on the “search appearances”. This will give you some insight into which keywords you can enhance or add, and which ones you can remove. If you cannot see any, it means that your profile is not optimized and that you should spend some time crafting the perfect summary that is keyword-rich.
Exclude buzzwords. Buzzwords are annoying, cliché, and do not add any value to your summary. Steer clear of them and try to make your summary valuable, not buzzwordy. Instead, use an optimization tool that will show you which keywords to include in your summary.
Write a strong first sentence. LinkedIn shows only about 300 characters before the “see more” button. Therefore, you need to make a strong first impression with a captivating initial sentence that will keep the reader interested. Think about what you want people to know most about you? What is your biggest achievement? Did you help grow your previous company? Did you generate a lot of revenue? Craft a strong opening statement and the rest of the text will flow naturally.
Use at least 40 words. This is the minimum required for your summary to show up on a LinkedIn search. However, do not write novels in your summary. Keep everything short, concise, and precise, just a few sentences will be enough.
Use natural language. LinkedIn is a social media platform, not an academic research piece. Therefore, there’s no need to use overly complicated language and archaic terms. Keep it simple and it will be more impactful!
Break up your summary into paragraphs if you are writing more than two sentences. Include a lot of white space to make it easier for the reader to quickly glance over your summary and understand what they need to know about you.
Show metrics. Include some useful data in your summary. Did you increase sales by 68% in your first two years in the company you worked with? Show numbers to prove your point.
Show your personality. Let people know that you are a person, a real human, not a soulless salesperson or brand that only cares about profit and nothing else. Humanizing yourself will bring you closer to potential leads or hiring managers, as they will realize that you are doing this because you love it, not because you are a corporate robot.
Include a CTA. At the end of your statement, include a call to action to draw people in. Let them know they can contact you anytime for solutions, problem-solving, or just to chat about business.
Best LinkedIn Summary To Generate More Leads
What is the best LinkedIn summary for you? It is a string of sentences that will get you to where you want to be – simple as that. But what does this mean?
LinkedIn summaries are your 30-second read cover letters that should make an impact, leave the reader intrigued to find out more, and inspired to contact you or respond to your message.
The best LinkedIn summaries often include a strong start, and a perfect formula is:
An example above shows some of the possible variations of your introductory sentence. For example:
“I develop sales strategies for brands”
“I help companies solve problems”
“I create content that generates traffic”
The formula is simple and it gets the point across, you do something that helps someone with a problem. It is clear, concise, with no unnecessary buzzwords, clichés, or selly language.
The rest of your summary should follow up on the introductory sentence. Explain how you do what you do, what results you accomplished in the past, how you helped companies grow, brands develop, and websites generate traffic. Don’t be afraid to brag a little and show off your skills and abilities, but make sure to show your personality as well.
Write about a personal experience that made you who you are today. Share what you love doing, what makes you happy, and what makes you inspired to go to work every day.
Examples Of The Best LinkedIn Bios That Convert Leads
If you need inspiration and a real-life example of a good LinkedIn summary, here are some of the most creative examples of people who managed to represent themselves perfectly on this social media platform.
Mike Volpe, CEO at Lola.com
Mike does a great job with his introductory statement. He clearly says what his company does: making business travel easy. In the next paragraph, he lists his skills and achievements and provides plenty of data while still managing to stay brief and to the point.
Max Levchin, Co-Founder and CEO at Affirm, Inc
Max does an amazing job with his opening statement. He uses as little words as possible to explain what he is doing and how he operates. He listed his specialties and clearly stated what he does in a few more words, expanding on his opening statement. Clear, concise, and to the point – again.
Jonah Silberg, Sales Manager & Video Strategist at Wistia
Jonah makes every word count. He gets to the point immediately and shares his mission: to help businesses make marketing videos. The next two sentences show who he is, but also tie back to the first one, where he states that he helps businesses be more human. He also included a video, which is a great way of introducing yourself in just a few minutes.
Fernando Moura-Silva, Enterprise Account Executive at Vimeo
Fernando takes a different approach to his summary. He starts off by telling a little bit about himself, which is a great tactic, since his profile visitors can see that they have something in common with him, which, in turn, makes him seem more approachable and human. He then briefly describes his experience and spends more time on his passion, building relationships, driving growth, and solving problems – just what his potential customers need.
Brynn Johnson, Founder and Conversion Copywriter at Swandive Co.
Brynn is great at capturing her reader’s attention. She makes the most out of the space she has available by including a funny statement in her headline, making brands internet famous. In her summary, she keeps the first sentence short and powerful – she writes words that sell.
With her witty remarks, she keeps the reader engaged, wanting to see what the next sentence will be. Her potential clients can see that they will get a human approach to their content, not something written just for the sake of writing.
She also included a highlight, letting people know that they can contact her for volunteering, pro bono consulting, and non-profit boards, which shows that she cares about a cause and wants to help others.
Dan Sally, Inbound Marketing Specialist at HubSpot
Dan Sally definitely delivers on his headline promise – the funniest man in software opens up with a joke while at the same time giving his background in a witty and relatable manner. His profile visitors can relate to seeing their children (and not letting them starve), chuckle, and then move on to Dan’s impressive work experience and cool things he has done, such as juicing with Martha Stewart.
Manan Javeri, Head of Growth and Competition at Uber Eats
Manan Javeri is another person who manages to keep it short and sweet. He states what he does, what drives him, and what his work experience is in just three sentences. His summary is to the point, does not waste the reader’s time with unnecessary information, and accomplishes exactly what it needs to – letting people know that he loves building and growing businesses.
LinkedIn Summary Examples for Sales
Sales reps have it particularly hard when it comes to LinkedIn. They only get a little under 30 seconds to capture the potential customer’s attention and interest them enough to read more. The goal of a perfect LinkedIn summary for sales is to:
Grab the attention
Interest the reader
Inspire a response
Let’s take an example of Raphael Parker, Head of Strategic Growth at Newfront Insurance. Parker’s summary is short, however, he manages to capture the reader’s attention with the first several words he uses. He jumps into the topic in medias res, by first stating what his previous positions were.
His choice of vocabulary matters. Instead of beginning with “I worked as…” he simply states: “ex-corporate lawyer, ex-non-profit founder, ex-tech exec”. By using the prefix “ex” he shortens his summary and makes the reader want to read more and learn about his history.
Then he moves on to his personal life by stating that he is the ex-round-the-world cyclist, which allows the reader to get to know him better and connect on a personal level. “Hey, I was a cyclist too before I injured my knee! This guy is cool!” – one might say. Finally, he mentions that he used to be a Nigerian federal government employee which shows that he is an adventurer at heart who has international work experience.
He managed to say this much in only one sentence that takes less than 10 seconds to read. Already, he grabbed the reader’s attention, sparked an interest, and made them want to read more.
Next, he moves on to his current role. He focuses on praising his team, showing that he is a team player and that with him, you get the support of more than just one person. Finally, he states his mission – help businesses grow faster.
Now, if Parker sent an InMail to a potential customer, that person can clearly see what he is passionate about, how he operates, how important team effort is for him, and what his impressive experience is. A natural course of action is a response, at which point he has another lead he can focus on.
Good LinkedIn Summary Template
Guided by the examples provided above, you can create your own profile summary and start generating more leads. This template is just a guideline, and you are expected to be creative and come up with a catchy way to get your message across.
I help [companies] grow.
My passion is [what you are passionate about] and I have spent the last [X] years growing [company’s] [KPI] by [X]%. My specialties are [X], [Y], and [Z], and I helped build [operation method, software, tactic, etc] that made [sales, operations, etc] [X]% faster at [Company].
Currently I am [current position] at [current company]. My work has been [published, awarded] by [organization].
You can always find me [doing something you love]. Let’s talk - [email]!
Top LinkedIn Bios
Some of the best LinkedIn bios follow the examples presented above. They go above and beyond when it comes to getting the message across. However, many people make the mistake of treating their LinkedIn bio as a cover letter.
Even the most seasoned professionals can fall into the trap of over-explaining, painting too detailed of a picture, and listing every accomplishment they ever achieved. What this results in is a cluttered bio, hard to read, and off-putting.
No one wants to read a wall of text. Your leads surely do not have time to read the unpublished novel that is your entire career history. That is what the experience section is for, no need to mention everything you’ve ever done in your summary.
What you should focus on instead is crafting the perfect elevator pitch. Imagine being in a hallway, heading to your coworker’s office for an important meeting you are late to. Now imagine that a lead stops you and wants to know what is it that you do. But hey, you are already late and your coworker is getting agitated!
How much time do you have? Twenty, maybe thirty seconds to explain your role, how you can help, and how it can benefit them to hire you.
In the Internet era, being brief and to the point is the most important factor when it comes to sales. No one has time for forty-minute presentations from someone who they do not even care about, someone that does not spark interest, and someone who will just talk and talk instead of listening.
However, a good LinkedIn summary is nothing without a good overall profile. You need to pay attention to all aspects of your social media presence and have a well-rounded whole to present to your leads and clients. Doing your research and finding the best LinkedIn practices will help you immensely when crafting your own profile.
Some of the best LinkedIn profiles share a few traits:
A good background
A good, professional headshot
Good activity track record
Your choice of background can depend on the industry you are operating in. If you are in the real estate business, you might include a stunning view of your city; if you are in the luxury field, you can focus on high-end items such as jewelry, cars, etc. Software sales reps can include their company’s logo or a simple infographic.
Speakers can include an image of themselves on a stage giving a presentation, and marketers can show off their skills by creating a custom background to match their brand.
Of course, including a personal photo (if it is high-quality and appropriate) is a great way to show the world who you are and humanize yourself.
A great headshot is another essential item on your LinkedIn profile. A photo should be well-lit, on a plain background, cropped appropriately, and you should, of course, dress professionally and smile!
Your headline is the first line of text people see, apart from your name, so make it count. Use a few words to explain what you do. Do not make it overly complicated or use buzzwords. Just like your summary, keeping it simple is the most effective tactic you could ever employ.
Speaking of activity, you want to show your leads and customers that you are invested in your work. You want to share valuable content that can help them achieve their goals, grow their companies, and learn more about what they can do to scale their businesses.
You’d want to pay attention to the best time to post on LinkedIn to make sure that your content is reaching your leads when they are online. You can engage with posts other users create, leave comments and likes, and engage in conversations with your peers.
According to extensive research many social media automation tools conducted, here are the best LinkedIn posting times:
Thursday – Friday
|Saturday - Sunday|
8 am – 2 pm
9 am – 10 am
8 am – 2 pm