The 39 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that the new LinkedIn profile Summary has been dramatically altered. You’ve noticed that it no longer has a section header and that it is included in the Snapshot area, where only two lines are displayed—or approximately 39 words. If your visitors want to see your whole Summary, they’ll have to click “See more.”

What you might not know is that you must revise your Summary, at least the first 39 words or so. And you should do this quickly. Furthermore, you’ll need to develop a branding statement that grabs the readers’ attention with those 39 words. Failure to do so essentially renders your Summary nonexistent.

This sounds harsh, but the reality is that your Summary is not the one you wrote a year, two years, or three years ago. The folks at LinkedIn are sending a clear message that its new, slimmed down profile has no room for the expanded Summary of old. Too bad.

With the expanded Summary, your value statement/s could be seen at a quick glance, particularly if they where placed within a HIGHLIGHTS section; or if you set them apart with “THE VALUE I DELIVER.” In other words, they couldn’t go missed.

What if busy hiring authorities only read those two revealing lines of 39 words to decide if they’d read the rest of your profile? It’s live or die then. Some hiring authorities have indicated that the profile Summary is something they’ll return to. Why not entice them to click “See more”?

Writing an eye-catching opener

Here are some eye-catching openers from my connections.

Take the direct approach with your call to action. Bobbie Foedisch lets her visitors know how to contact her right off the bat and follows with a branding statement, telling visitors that CCI drives business results.

Bobbie Foedisch
★ (E) bfoedsich@cciconsulting.com
★ (M) 610.457.2561 | (W) 215.527.0237
★ (S) bobbie.foedsich

CCI’s Services Span the Employee Life Cycle, Optimizing Human Capital to drive business results.

There’s no hiding her contact information; she wants to be contacted and is making it easy to do so. Perhaps job seekers should take the same approach.


Talk about your industry. A former client of mine, Gerald Schmidt, begins his Summary with a statement of how new technologies are relevant to product development, and that he’s a player in this arena.

New technologies have the power to transform a business, especially when brought to market in the form of new products and services. That is what I enjoy doing.

Read the rest of his profile to see his major accomplishments. They’ll blow you away.


Show you can help. Sarah Elkins is a storyteller coach who has a strong passion for helping people gain success through telling their stories.

Improve Your Communication Through Storytelling <> Coaching, Workshops, Keynotes <> No Longer Virtual <> I am a consultant, coach, and speaker, and I can help you improve your communication through proven storytelling 

This is  a clear statement about the services Sarah provides for helping people tell their stories.


Say it with confidenceLaura Smith-Proulx is an executive resume writer who makes a very strong opening statement.

Powerful Results for Executives ● http://www.AnExpertResume.com LINKEDIN EXPERT ● FORBES COACHES COUNCIL ●FORMER RECRUITER Become the #1 candidate by partnering with the top TORI-winning executive resume writer. 

Laura’s goes on to tout her achievements. She is one who believes that achievements should be stated up front. I agree.


Use humor. Selling snow to an Eskimo? This is how Donna Serdula explains the difficulty of trying to sell oneself. A little bit of humor can grab a viewer’s attention.

➡ It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, it’s not easy to write about yourself! You can manage complex projects, sell snow to an Eskimo, or lead exceptional teams but sell yourself? That’s HARD! Besides, who can find…

Donna’s statement rings true for many job seekers and salespeople. Her opening makes people want to click “See more.”


Start with your storyMario M. Martinez is a CEO and founder of Vengreso who had a dream. His dream came true, and he wants to help you succeed.

Almost one year ago, I had a dream. That dream came true on June 20, 2017, when I announced the 7-way merger of the world’s top Digital Selling minds now under one brand. Vengreso is committed to one thing – your sales success! 

I like Mario’s message of meeting a goal and dreaming big.


Start with a quoteBrian Ahearn, Chief Influence Officer, let’s Robert B. Cialdini, PhD speak for him. This is a very effective way of demonstrating his value.

“When Brian Ahearn speaks, people listen. That is so because he knows his material thoroughly, and he knows how to present it superbly. The upshot is that the genuine insights he provides are not just immediately….”

I tell my clients that others’ words can speak louder than theirs. Brian starts with a bang to draw viewers’ attention to his Summary.


Have a strong branding statement like Michael Spence. There’s a lot of strength behind Michael’s 26-word opening statement.

I help executives accelerate growth by improving employee experience and increasing productivity through technology, training, and outsourcing partnerships. I’m motivated by creating win:win relationships and putting…

I read the rest of his Summary and was impressed with the statement: “My teaching roots proved to be a great tool, equipping me to train and boost the intellectual capital, skill development, and performance of others. ” 


The situation is more dire on your smart phone

The bigger challenge is writing a Summary opener for LinkedIn’s app. First of all, visitors only see approximately 10 words. And secondly, they have to know to tap on these words to open your Summary.

So now LinkedIn users have to ask themselves, is the Summary on their computer adequate for their smart phone app? Give it a spin to find out.

*How I came up with the number 39 words

My Summary opener contains 39 words. I’m sure the ones I included above contain more or less than 39 words, but mine fails to reach 40.

I empower job seekers to land rewarding careers by delivering today’s job-search and LinkedIn strategies, as well as blogging on these topics. If you’re unemployed, you don’t need to be told how difficult being out of work can be….

When I wrote my 39-word opener, as soon as LinkedIn truncated the Summary, I thought about my contribution to what I do. Although I couldn’t quantify my results with job placement numbers, I tried to think of the most powerful verb I could, “empower.”

Source