Tag Archives: Summary Statement

4 reasons why you need a strong LinkedIn Summary

I still remain perplexed that some LinkedIn members put little effort into their Summary section, or don’t have one at all.

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Would you go to an interview or business meeting without shoes? Of course not. So I wonder why people feel that a Summary statement on their LinkedIn profile is unnecessary. Having viewed hundreds profiles, I’ve seen many  that simply begin with the Experience section and have no Summary.

The absence of this section of your profile can greatly hurt your potential of capturing the attention of visitors, e.g., potential employers, networkers, and business associates.

Read: Create a kick-ass LinkedIn Summary

I have three theories why people don’t include a Summary: 1) they don’t have the time or energy to write one; 2) they don’t know what to write; and 3) they follow advice of those who say, “Recruiters don’t read a Summary statement. You don’t need one.”

I can understand the first two reasons, although I don’t condone them, but the third one escapes me. Many pundits, recruiters included, say a Summary is necessary, as long as it adds value to the profile. So if you don’t have a Summary because you lack the energy or don’t know what to include, consider 4 reasons why the Summary is important:

It gives you a voice. You’re given more freedom of expression on LinkedIn than you have with your résumé; so use it! Be creative and make the employer want to read on. Your voice contributes to effective branding. It should be some of your best writing and can be written in first person voice or even third person.

Most pundits lean toward first person, as it expresses a more personal side of you. A Summary written in first person invites others into your life. Not many people pull off the third-person voice well; it can sound stilted. But if done right, it can also make a powerful branding impact. People who are established as leaders in their industry warrant a third-person Summary.

It tells a story. Perhaps you want people who would consider connecting with to know you on a more personal level. You have aspirations or philosophies to share; and it’s not about impressing people with your accomplishments in marketing in the nonprofit sector, for example, as much as the positive impact your work has had on the population you serve. You want people to connect because of a share common bond.

The Summary is also a clear example of how LinkedIn differentiates itself from the résumé. It’s a known fact that the majority of hiring authorities don’t enjoy reading a résumé, which is due, in part, because of its Summary. The Linked profile is more creative because it tells your story, your aspirations, and philosophies.

You can make an immediate impact. Stating accomplishment statements with quantified results are a real attention grabber. If a visitor is going to scan one section of your profile to determine if he’ll read on, make it be your Summary, and leave him with a positive image of you.

Here’s part of a Summary from Doug Caldwell, who calls himself a Facilitator Extraordinaire. (I told you I read a lot of profiles.)


✯ Improving unit output by 2,200% over a five-year period.
✯ Reduced manufacturing cycle time by 30%.
✯ Achieved cost saving in excess of $25,000 annually.

Read the rest of his Summary to feel it’s power and excitement.

It’s another place to include keywords. Keywords are the skills employers are looking for, and the more you have the closer you’ll be to the top of the first page. So don’t think “less is better.”  In this case, the more of the 2,000 characters you’re allotted, the more you should use. Please don’t use your Summary as a dumping ground for your keywords, though.

I tell my Advanced LinkedIn workshop attendees that excluding their profile Summary is like neglecting favorite pet. You shouldn’t do it. Find the energy to write one, figure out your story or unique selling proposition, and get to work writing an attention-grabbing Summary. By all means, don’t listen to naysayers who don’t believe in this very important part of your LinkedIn profile.

Next read: 5 reasons why you can’t ignore your Experience section.

Don’t lead with a boring summary statement on your résumé

Nearly two years ago I read an article by Laura Smith-Proulx, Award-Winning Executive Résumé Writer, called Is Your Résumé Summary Boring Employers? In her article, she asserts that jobseekers need to state accomplishments upfront in the summary, not simply save them all for the work history.

I took exception to Laura’s assertion, thinking why reveal the good stuff so early in the game. I mean wouldn’t it be like showing the opposing team your best routes in football warm-ups or your homerun power during batting practice or giving your kids the best Christmas gifts first?

So I contacted Laura and asked for her reasons behind showing the firepower so soon on a résumé. I don’t recall her exact words, but the general gist was get the employers’ attention quick and, yes, save enough fire power for the rest of your résumé. This made complete sense to me.

Since our correspondence, I’ve rethought my reasoning and believe in the great WOW statements that Laura describes so aptly in her article. I now tell my workshop attendees (of all levels) that a summary full of clichés, lofty adjectives, and broad statements of greatness are garbage. And why would an employer want to read thoughtless verbiage, let alone a boring summary?

Allow me to quote Laura: “You’re boring hiring managers if your résumé contains an opening paragraph like this: Accomplished professional with proven experience leading cross-functional teams, managing budgets, increasing revenue, and creating strong customer relationships. Able to work effectively in fast-paced environments, lead teams to successful project delivery, and communicate at all levels of the organization.

Instead, she advises to start with a concise, quantified accomplishment: “Logistics Director noted for launching global supply chain that cut expenses by $1M, plus orchestrating consistent supplies across U.S. operations for 19 distribution centers.”

The difference between the former boring summary and the latter precise, metric-driven WOW statement hits you over the head. Proudly displaying three or four accomplishment statements in your summary will prompt employers to pick up the phone immediately and schedule the interview.

Jobseekers, read Laura’s article and practice what she tell us. Employers will not be bored and will look forward to reading the rest of your résumé.