Each LinkedIn profile should have a summary section that is informative. It should get people to take an interest in you. The summary is your unique opportunity to open the door wide-open for people who are just taking a peek at your profile.
The summary section is limited to 2,000 characters and it should be filled with keywords related to what you want to be found for in searches on LinkedIn.
Many people make the mistake of using the summary section incorrectly. The summary section is about you as a person and about you professionally. It is not about your current job. It is not supposed to be another list of places where you have worked.
As mentioned already, the summary needs to be keyword-rich. It can be an enticing biography or short paragraph that highlights your strengths and skills. It can show your career accomplishments, too. The summary is not something you only write one-time and then forget about it. Customize it to what you are doing right now. If you are in the market for a new job, customize the summary towards your preferred position.
The overall goal is to have people read your summary and then look at your entire profile. It does not matter how well you rank in LinkedIn searches – a weak written summary can destroy all the hard work you have put in already.
Take a look at this random example of a summary:
This is not very impressive if you ask me. It looks like this profile owner simply copied something from her resume into her LinkedIn profile.
While the next example has a bit more information, it still is not very useful and will not help to get people to read more of the profile.
Now, as mentioned the summary needs to be about you, and not your current or past job. Below is the text that I am currently using in my own summary section on LinkedIn.
Summary Text LinkedIn
Are you looking for an experienced IT Professional who combines a deep set of technology skills with business and leadership skills?
For almost 2 decades I have helped my employers to accomplish extremely challenging IT related tasks. As a systems administrator I have supported environments of up to 30,000 users and very large server/data center environments (10,000+ servers). As an IT Lead I am responsible for people management as well as managing complex projects like data center consolidations, Disaster Recovery, or point to point office moves. I am also responsible for day to day operations and system administration.
I enjoy the leadership work and I am definitely interested in expanding my career in that area by taking on more responsibility and management tasks. I am known as a high-energy, decisive problem solver with a zeal for creating well-considered, efficient IT solutions.
As a Lead Systems Administrator I am specialized in computer system virtualization – designing, building and maintaining solutions based on VMWare vSphere (vSphere 4, vSphere 5 + 5.1 + 5.5, ESX 4.x, ESXi 5 + 5.1 + 5.5, vCloud Director 5.1) technologies. I have designed and implemented several VMware environments from the ground up – using the latest available technologies. I have also come to the rescue and stabilized failing environments and dramatically improved up-time and performance in badly managed VMWare environments that I inherited in one way or the other.
I am very experienced with disaster recovery/BCP related tasks, data replication, and managing the related pieces in offsite data centers in case disaster strikes. At several companies I have played a major role in disaster recovery preparedness and have helped to improve existing BCP plans.
Skills: VMWare vSphere, ESX, ESXi, VMWare, VMWare Design and Architecture, vCloud Director, VMWare Virtualization Specialist, Windows Server administration, Active Directory Administration, SCOM, Citrix, Xenapp 6,
In this example, the summary text is clearly about me as a person. I am highlighting my skills (lots of keywords I want to be found for), but I am also providing information of where I want to go with my career. A recruiter who reads this section of my LinkedIn profile instantly knows what I specialize in and where I currently am with my career. I am highlighting a few items from the past that I deem important.