How to Write a LinkedIn Summary

by Susan Varty, Managing Partner

Please re-use this formula in any training or other materials with the credit cited as: How to Write a LinkedIn Summary or Short Bio Copyright © 2018 HeadStart Copywriting.

About the LinkedIn Summary Formula

A professional LinkedIn Summary with great keywords for “searchability” follows a four paragraph format. HeadStart Copywriting uses third person narrative to appeal to search engines, and to elevate someone’s online persona – like a speaker’s bio for a conference. Third person narrative makes an individual sound more professional (or experienced in their industry) and avoids repetitive sentences starting with “I”.

Paragraph 1: HOW THEY WORK WITH OTHERS

  • Do not start with years of experience – incorporate their first and last name and talk about how that person helps others and their working style. Answer the question – what is it like to work with them? Describe what they are good at, or what they prefer to emphasize.
  • Avoid repeating job titles as they are in the headline/job title area already. The focus is on what they can do for others, not a list of items about what they have done.
  • List any qualities that make them different. If they speak additional languages, this should be mentioned as soon as possible because it is a significant differentiator, especially in North America.
  • For example: Leonard DiKaprio is a persuasive business leader with extensive experience in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and all aspects of financial management. Leveraging his strategic business sense, Leonard is adept at providing a calm approach and multidimensional solutions to complex business issues across multiple sectors.

Paragraph 2 – WHAT EXACTLY DO THEY DO?

  • Describe, in a couple of sentences or more, what they do specifically to add keywords.
  • What kind of credentials, background or experiences do they have that support what they do or demonstrate their expertise?
  • Ensure that their specific industry(ies) is mentioned.
  • For example: As a leader, Leonard is recognized for creating innovative strategic plans, leveraging new technologies, building attractive growth opportunities and fostering highly motivated teams. Leonard is also a CPA with broad-based financial and C-suite experience in a variety of sectors, including technology, medical devices, publishing, packaged goods and online media.

Paragraph 3 – BONUS MATERIAL (Organizations, Community Involvement, Boards, Awards, etc.)

  • Include information about their community involvement or where they’ve been published or conferences they have spoken at. If nothing, highlight a specific project, more ways they help others or an approach to their work.
  • For example: With his interest in education, youth issues and technology, Leonard currently sits on the board for X and on the Advisory Board for Y. He is a former board member for Z and a former Vice President and President of the Board of the Publishers Council.

Paragraph 4 – CALL TO ACTION

  • Direct readers to a website as the next step, or add your email to re-emphasize that it is okay to get in touch.
  • Alternatively, write a short paragraph about the company or what they should do depending on the situation. For example, ask people to sign up for a mailing list or contact someone in HR if interested in working there.
  • For example: Leonard is interested in board roles at high-growth technology firms in Toronto, Ontario. Please contact him at <email address>.

photo credit: vastateparksstaff Relic a guy writing on notepad while at beach Fairy Stone State Park Va via photopin (license)

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