Nailed It! 5 Ways to Create a Killer LinkedIn Summary

Posted by Wendy Marx

Nailed It! 5 Ways to Create a Killer LinkedIn Summary


(Updated Feb. 2, 2017)

Without a doubt LinkedIn is one of the top means for B2B thought leaders to acheive success -- with 107 million users in the US alone! In the wide world of social media it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. So you're just another business leader, marketer, dedicated and hard worker... blah, blah, blah. 

However, those who are tuned in know that carving out a niche for themselves has to start somewhere. And a killer LinkedIn profile summary is where it's at in terms of lead generation and personal branding. We've updated this post to include even more great pro tips on how to improve your summary and reel in more leads through an engaging profile.


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About 25 million LinkedIn profiles are viewed every day -- so what makes your LinkedIn profile more than just a quick glance? Ultimately, you want people to act on what you present. It should inspire people to want to know you better, and connect personally with you -- not just move on to the next person in the line-up. But what LinkedIn best practices will make your profile stand out among your competitors?

Before you even put finger to keyboard, it's important to have a clear idea of what message you want to convey in your summary. The following are a few questions that will help you determine just that.

  • Who is your ideal audience? Who do you want to read your summary (and act on it)?
  • What do you want them to learn about you? What do you want them to do?
  • How do you want them to feel?

With that in mind, we've assembled five key elements that will make your LinkedIn profile summary a home run. 

Creating Your Killer LinkedIn Summary

1. Leave out the New Year's Eve photo.

While your photo is not technically part of your summary, it is usually the first thing LindkedIn hunters notice (and makes people 11 times more likely to stop and read your profile).

Ditch the Facebook profile picture of you and your significant other in the caribbean, or your New Year's Eve photo (just because you looked super awesome that night doesn't mean it will help you land a job) for a clean, no-nonsense head shot. 

Another mistake I sometimes see in profile photos is people use their company's logo as a profile photo. However proud you may be about your company, people read your profile to learn about your personal career and skills. Your profile photo should show them the kind of professional you are. 

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2. Be Engaging and Original

Telling someone to be original might be received with a deer-in-the-headlights expression. There's no need to be afraid. You are original because no one has your experience, wit, or personality. So let your profile visitors see that. 

Take note of the things that set you apart from your peers. You could mention:

  • Noteworthy accomplishments.
  • Values and passions.
  • Superhuman abilities -- what you bring to the table that no one else does.
  • External validation -- any awards or accolades you've earned, as well as testimonials from others.

For instance, instead of beginning your summary with:

Detail-oriented business analyst with strong problem-solving skills.


I was the kid who spent hours trying to solve every puzzle and riddle I could find. Ever since then I've never shied away from and task that seems impossible, or any beat-your-head-against-the-wall challenge that crosses my path.

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3. Write in the first person

LinkedIn is all about connecting - not just professionally, but on a personal level as well.Take the opportunity to include "I", "me", and "my" in your summary. 

Sometimes I see people hide behind their company with pronouns like "we" or "us". This is not your company's "About Us" page, so make sure the focus is on you, and your personal story.  

Pro Tip: Skip any and all jargon, and just focus on being conversational.


Your summary is your story -- the story of your career and whatever else you want the world to know about you. --Liz Ryan


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4. Define who your audience is and speak directly to them.

Obviously you would not write your LinkedIn profile in the same manner you would write your online dating profile. You have to know your audience. After all, you are in the marketing game. Are you marketing yourself to clients, potential employers, or recruiters? Then answer the following questions.

  • What does my audience want to know about me? 
  • What is on their minds when they search through profiles?
  • What would capture their attention?

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5. Include a Call to Action 

If you're a covert job seeker, you obviously don't want to blurt out a call to action like, "I'm actively seeking new career opportunities. Please contact me." That kind of desperation will most likely send people in the opposite direction.

However, you can be pretty clear on what you'd like to happen next, without outing yourself. Make it engaging, or even humorous. Consider something like:

"I'm always looking for a new problem to solve, so if you've got a doozy you need a hand with, feel free to contact me directly at"

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You must "seal the deal" by making sure that, after your profile visitors read your summary, they will be sold on you and want to initiate contact. --Neal Schaffer


Need to see these suggestions in action? Check out how these thought leaders have used their LinkedIn's profile summaries to be a step ahead of the crowd.


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From his clean and professional profile photo, to his humorous approach to his job aspirations, Craig Japp's summary hits each of our points head on. 


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Kay Allison takes us on a journey with her summary -- from her first business insights as a little girl, to the various entrepreneurial ventures of her adult career, and the passions that drove her along the way. 

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Inspirational examples for sure! Always remember that, in the end, your profile needs to be unique to you, and help you stand out from the crowd. With that in mind, don't be afraid to turn expectations on their heads, and to expand beyond whatever rigid rules the textbooks may lay out.

With our top five tools for creating a killer LinkedIn summary you'll be well on your way to inspiring others, and nailing it in the professional world. Let creating a LinkedIn summary become part of your B2B social media strategy. 

Do you have a killer LinkedIn profile that has helped you rise to success as a B2B thought leader? Tell us all about itin the comments section below!

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Jul 9, 2014

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx