Your Job Seeker LinkedIn Summary: Best Practices for Writing an “About” Section that Gets Results!

February 15, 2023 | By | Reply More

writing a linkedin summary or about section

Does writing a LinkedIn summary give you writer’s block? Follow these steps to have a great About section that gets results!

When written correctly, a LinkedIn summary helps you show up in recruiter searches. It can also help set you apart from other candidates by demonstrating your value to your target audience.


At some point, we’ve all opened a person’s LinkedIn profile only to find next to nothing. Perhaps their some of their profile areas were filled in; but their LinkedIn summary, or “About” section, was merely a repeat of their job title, employer name, and specialty. Our interest in that person suddenly fizzles.

You have the impression they aren’t very active on LinkedIn. Or they aren’t very open about themselves. Worse, maybe they just don’t care!

If you’re a person with a skimpy LinkedIn About section, hopefully you’re getting a glimpse of what runs through the minds of recruiters who want to learn more about you, but find nothing.

I understand. The About section is notoriously difficult to fill in. After all, most of us aren’t copywriters. In fact, a recent survey showed that the About section is the most difficult part of building a LinkedIn profile for nearly everyone.

The good news is you don’t need to be a copywriter to write a winning About section. You just have to learn a few steps, and follow some best practices. This article will walk you through the process of writing a great About section.


This article will explain

The importance of a LinkedIn summary

Tips or best practices to writing an effective About section

Steps to writing a full and engaging About section


Your LinkedIn “About” section

Sometimes known as a LinkedIn Summary or professional bio, the About section is one of the most important parts of your profile. This section’s content is crucial for being found through searches by recruiters or other interested parties. However, in two separate Premium member surveys, we learned that writing in general, and the About section specifically, were the biggest drawbacks to having a completed profile.

“Simply signing up for an account, quickly filling in the blanks and then letting your profile remain dormant won’t do you any good,” writes CNBC’s MakeIt contributor, Dustin McKissen. “Of the many elements that make up a strong profile, two of the most important ones are your professional headline and ‘About’ section.” [Emphasis added.]


poll about linkedin summary

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linkedin summary or about section

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Admittedly, trying to define yourself in a few paragraphs—as a professional and a person—is no simple task. Even if writing is your forte, when writing about yourself, the mind often freezes. There is so much you could say, but what should you say? Further, self-promotion is always intimidating, or at least uncomfortable, for even the most accomplished people.

It feels safer to write just a few sentences than to write a LinkedIn summary that might bore a reader; or worse yet, give them the wrong impression. So the About section gets filled in with planning or forethought: Short, sweet, and to the point, as we end up rationalizing it.

Which is too bad. A LinkedIn summary not only gives you a chance to stand out from other candidates; it’s key to being found in the first place! The About section, when written correctly, helps you show up in recruiter searches, and can set you apart from other candidates by demonstrating your value to your target audience.


Importance of a LinkedIn summary

Writing your About section is never a one-and-done event. Changes will occur in your career. You could get a new job or receive a promotion in your current position. You might accomplish something significant, or contribute to an important project. Perhaps you’ll make a professional move aside from your current job. There are many reasons to tweak or update your About section.

Your LinkedIn summary helps to clarify your brand. Everyone should have a brand, including employees and job seekers. In fact, it’s often a job seeker’s brand that sets them apart from other candidates, making them the choice for an interview or hire by employers.



“The purpose of a bio is to tell the reader who you are and what you do, listing your experience and achievements, and backing your claims up with facts and figures. All these parts will form the credibility of your personal brand,” writes Jörgen Sundberg for the Undercover Recruiter.

Before we outline the steps to creating a winning job seeker About section, let’s cover important tips that will help steer the process. These tips offer “best practices” for any LinkedIn summary to make sure it’s focused, relevant, and achieves your goals.


Tips for a great LinkedIn summary

best practices for linkedin summary

Before jumping into creating your LinkedIn summary, learn some best practices, or tips.


Your LinkedIn summary is part introduction, part story, part sales brochure, and even part instruction. With these smaller pieces added together, anyone can put together a full About section.






Before getting started, be very clear about what your career objective is. This might surprise you, but many people—even those seeking specific positions—haven’t identified what their overall career goal is!

Be clear on who your audience is, as well. Don’t try to appeal to everyone. Decide who your important readers are for your About section, and direct your copy toward them. In your case, your desired readers are recruiters or employers looking for candidates for your target position.

But, even though your desired audience is recruiters, you don’t want your About section to read like your resume or cover letter.






Draft your About section offsite so you can take your time. You can even save your completed prose as a  “master professional bio,” and pick parts of it for your various platform profiles, maintaining consistency.

Begin your draft with an outline. Starting your LinkedIn summary with an outline will keep you from rambling on or accidentally going off track. (Jump to Steps, below)

First or third person voice? Your About section should be in the first person. Unlike other bios written for marketing collateral, readers of you LinkedIn summary should feel like they are hearing directly from you, not a publicist.






Put catchy info at the top. Only the first three lines of your About section are initially visible to visitors, so at least one of those lines should be your hook.

Provide answers, quickly. There’s a reason a recruiter visits your LinkedIn summary. They have questions about you. Offer those answers quickly and concisely. If they appreciate your answers, they’ll be inclined to contact you to answer other questions they will have.

Use the journalist’s inverted pyramid tool, suggests Selena Marc. “Give the important facts first to grab your reader’s interest. Start with your greatest accomplishments and drill down from there.”






Make it skimmable. Help your audience easily pick up the different points in your About section by using small paragraphs, bullet points (or dashes), and plenty of white space.

Your About section has a 2,600 character limit. You can share a good deal of information about yourself, yet still be concise. While SEO favors longer pieces with unique content, this doesn’t mean your audience will read your entire LinkedIn summary. Few people read the entire content of something, at least not the first time.






Speaking of SEO, incorporate keywords relevant to your audience throughout your LinkedIn summary. This makes sure it reaches the people you are targeting. Even if you’ve written an About section you think they’ll love, you still have to get them there to read it. Use the best industry keywords in your content, not jargon.

Make sure the piece is of the right length and has original content. Don’t copy and paste your LinkedIn summary from one platform to another. While the content and points will be similar, not having original content will decrease the chances of your profile showing up during a search.






Avoid filling your LinkedIn summary with useless adverbs and adjectives, which are just fluff. They waste your valuable About section real estate, and they unwittingly irritate readers. Instead of writing that you are “highly successful,” give your reader a metric to show that you are successful. Mention years of experience instead of writing you are “very experienced” in something.

Avoid passive verbs. These are harder for writers to spot, but they impact your About section by weakening your prose and accomplishments. For example, if you received a promotion, instead of writing that you “were given a promotion,” try writing that you “achieved a promotion.”

Omit cliches, as they have no place in business (or any other) writing. Cliches, such as “think outside the box,” and “straight shooter,” tire out the reader, and show a lack of originality from the writer.






Another benefit of writing your About section offline is the ability to carefully proofread your prose before it goes live, and a mistake or two remains. Ask a friend or family member to review it for typos and grammatical errors. A LinkedIn summary should be perfect.

Keeping these tips in mind, let’s now look at the steps for writing an About section that hooks recruiters, is optimized for search, and makes recruiters want to reach out to you!


Steps for a winning LinkedIn About section

steps to winning linkedin about section

Your LinkedIn summary, or About section, will look great and attract the right audience by following these steps.


One reason people draw blanks when attempting to write their About section is they try to come up with the entire piece all at once. It feels overwhelming.

Breaking down your LinkedIn summary into steps is a great way to see it clearer, and get a sense of direction. Which, as mentioned in the Tips, is why an outline is so helpful.

Once you complete the smaller elements, you can connect them into a whole. There are several smaller elements that make up an effective LinkedIn summary. Let’s look at the breakdown of these parts. [NOTE: Not every step mentioned will apply to your About section. Use what naturally fits.]






Like a juicy lure on a fishing rod’s hook makes fish bite, your LinkedIn summary’s first sentence or two should entice a visitor to read more. The hook of your About section determines whether your reader clicks “see more…” or moves on to something else.






Introduce yourself as you would in person. Be professional, pleasant, and to the point. The level formality or casualness will depend on your target reader, so know your audience.






Your tagline tells the reader what you do, how well you do it, and why having you do it will help them. You don’t have to be a company to offer benefits. State one of them in your tagline.

Your LinkedIn summary is no place to be shy about your skills and qualifications. Be confident and don’t minimize. Confidence is not arrogance. It is the ability to acknowledge—not boast about—one’s own exceptional ability.






State your Personal Value Proposition (PVP). What makes you uniquely valuable compared to the other job seekers? With many candidates having similar resume stats, what is something that makes you more valuable? Use your About section to clearly state your personal value proposition for employers.






How did you get here? Was there something unusual that brought you to the career you’re in, something that your audience might find interesting?






What’s the driving force behind what you do? Your overall goals, values, or a statement that describes your ethos.






If relevant to your target job, tell your readers about one or two significant professional achievements in your recent career history. This can help raise your value.






Have the media recently mentioned you for something relevant to your career or industry? Make a quick note of it by incorporating it into your About section.






Express gratitude for something complimentary client or colleague said about your work ethic, or a project you worked on together. Humility mixed with a little “bragging” can work.






Depending on your target audience, close your About section with something quirky, or oddly interesting (if appropriate). Or else, go straight to a call to action (CTA).






Now that visitors have taken the time to read your LinkedIn summary, what do you want them to do next? (Yes, you need to tell them!) Do you want them to visit your website portfolio or view your online resume? Do you want them to call or email you?

Naturally, there might be several things you’d like your audience to do, but pick one. Or give them a clear choice between two (tops!) If you ask for more, you’ll get nothing. So, if you’re a job seeker, ask your visitor to view your resume or visit your online portfolio.






Where else can they reach or find you besides LinkedIn or email? Include this in a separate section from your CTA.


LinkedIn “About” section sum up

You did it! You wrote a targeted, meaty, informative LinkedIn summary! Never again will you worry about having to write a profile anywhere, because you have the tips and steps to writing a professional bio for almost any purpose.


A quick wrap up:

Your About section should be assertive, reflecting your level of professional experience and achievements. A LinkedIn summary should emit warmth and personality, giving your reader a good sense of who you are as a person.

Keep your target audience and desired outcome in mind throughout the complete writing process. Try to give answers to their most pressing questions. What you write should support your goal from start to finish.


Your turn: What else can be included in your About section to make an interesting and effective LinkedIn summary as a job seeker?


Do you need help with your LinkedIn profile?

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Category: Featured, Job Search, LinkedIn, Social Media

About the Author ()

Pamela La Gioia is a resume writer and LinkedIn profile expert. She is also a pioneer in remote work, and has been researching and writing about remote work since the early 1990's. You can follow her on LinkedIn, for resume tips, LinkedIn insight, and general career help.

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