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How to Write a LinkedIn Summary That Will Make Recruiters Want to Call You

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You already know a LinkedIn profile is a critical part of a quality job search.

But it’s not enough to throw one together and slap it online. Each component must be carefully composed.

One part of a LinkedIn profile that sometimes gets overlooked is the summary section.

That’s too bad because that section is kind of a big deal.

LinkedIn allows you 2,000 characters to talk about your mission, achievements and goals, so here’s how to use them to make a good impression.

1. Keep It Short

Resist the urge to share everything that led up to where you are now, beginning with your first steps when you were 2 years old.

Hiring managers want to know the basics: what you’ve done professionally, what you’re good at and what kind of work you’re looking for.

“The 2,000 characters you have are more than enough to pull off a great overview of your professional life. Generally, 3-5 short paragraphs should do the trick,” writes independent content strategist Kate Reilly on LinkedIn.

2. Draw Inspiration From Your Elevator Pitch

Your LinkedIn summary should be succinct, so your elevator pitch is great place to draw inspiration.

If you don’t have one, now is the perfect time to craft a spiel about your professional goals and experience that you can deliver in about 45 seconds.  

That’s also about the same length of time it should take someone to read your LinkedIn summary. Funny how well that works out.

3. Use the First-Person Point of View

Grammarly social strategist Celeste Mora recommends writing your summary in first person. “Unless you’re a celebrity or public figure, we all know you wrote it yourself.”

Penny Hoarder data journalist Alex Mahadevan agrees. “It feels more personal,” he says.

“It’s like you’re having a conversation with the reader.”

4. Avoid Jargon and Buzzwords

Stay away from using jargon in your summary to make sure your meaning is clear and to avoid misunderstandings.

For example, don’t say, “I’m an INTJ with INFP tendencies” because you can’t be sure everyone who reads your summary will know you’re talking about Myers-Briggs personality types.

Also, resist the urge to use buzzwords like “experienced” or “passionate.”

They don’t tell the reader anything about you, so look for better ways to communicate your skills and strengths.  

For instance, “Working as a professional fiction writer for the past 12 years has helped me hone my craft into something I am proud to share with readers of all generations.”

5. Give Recruiters a Reason to Call You

Hiring managers and recruiters read dozens — maybe hundreds — of LinkedIn summaries a week.

Make yours stand out by pointing out why you’re worth an interview.

“Highlight what’s in it for recruiters to contact you, such as your achievements, honors, and success stories,” recommends business, career and finance writer Gwen Moran in Fast Company.

Once you’ve written a summary you can be proud of, there’s one more thing to do before including it in your profile.

Give it to a mentor or trusted friend to check over for grammar, clarity and errors.

You don’t want all your hard work to be derailed by a typo or missing word.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves helping readers land their dream jobs so look her up on Twitter @lisah if you’ve got a tip to share.

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