Creating Influence On Linkedin: 7 “Must-Haves” For Your LinkedIn Summary

linkedin-jediEditor’s Note: This Article was co-authored with Dennis Koutoudis.

When creating or upgrading your LinkedIn Profile, one of the most important areas you need to focus on, is the “Summary” section. It is one of the first things your LinkedIn Profile visitors will look at, together with your photo, headline and background image.

After analyzing hundreds of successful Profiles, we are pleased to share the following 7 “Must-Haves” for your LinkedIn Summary section.

Bear in mind, that LinkedIn has a limit of the number of characters (2000) you may use in the Summary section. You therefore need to focus on making the best use of the characters you’ve got! This is where a keen sense of your goals, a focus on important and most effective keywords, precise and grammatically correct language and a very sharp pencil for editing will serve you well..

So let’s get down to business, here are the “Must-Have” sections for your Profile’s Summary section.

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1. WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)

Here, you have to reveal the benefits the visitor will get from your expertise or service if he/she reads any further. Use clear and to the point language to make your LinkedIn Summary stand-out right from the beginning.

2. Universal Problem

What is the problem or situation that many people in your target audience are experiencing? What are the pain points of your potential prospects? Here you try to appeal to their emotional state and articulate the issue they want to solve.

3. Why You? Unique Resource / Expert.

Why are you uniquely qualified to solve this problem or situation? What are your credentials, the unique experience that make you the one or the company to help with the problem?

In the advertising and marketing world, this is called the USP – the Unique Selling Proposition. No need to be subtle or modest here. SAY IT! In as clear and focused language as you can. Try to use words that are crisp, unusual – don’t just say “we’re the best” and have worked with……blah blah blah. Everyone says that – what sets you apart from the pack?

4. Show the Urgency & Opportunity

All right, all of this might be “nice to know”, but you want to convey the urgency of the situation. What can you say that will cause your visitor or prospect to “act now”? Why must he/she not wait a moment longer – the competition is gaining on you, your skills are becoming obsolete, you’re missing out on a trend that is happening right now. Whatever that situation is, say it!

5. The Solution you offer

Here is another chance to describe your service, why it’s a solution to the challenge/situation you mentioned earlier. This should be short, sweet and to the point (remember the Summary’s word limit).

6. Contact Info

Just the facts, here: how you can be contacted by email, phone, website, other social media.

By providing these contact details in your LinkedIn Summary, you will make it easier for your target prospects to know how to contact you. This will ensure that the right leads come your way as rapidly as possible.

7. Specialties – for LinkedIn Search Engine Optimization Purposes

Here is where you can use your most important keywords (see our previous Article: How to create Influence on LinkedIn: Keywords and Beyond) – and you can use them over and over again. In an ordinary document, this string of words might look strange or redundant. But on LinkedIn, all these keywords are catnip for the search engines. Identify the one or two most important words that prospects might put into the “LinkedIn” search box when they’re looking for a certain resource or person, and use those words in different phrases.

In Dennis’ case, he wants to be known (and hired) for his expertise in doing LinkedIn Profile Makeovers; Elaina wants customers to hire her company for a “Secrets of Influence” training program, hire her as a speaker (Influence Expert, Influence Trainer) for their next event or buy her books and other educational products. [/message][su_spacer]

If you want to see how all the above is implemented, visit our LinkedIn Profiles:

Dennis Koutoudis

Elaina Zuker

We hope this has helped you see how important the Summary section of your LinkedIn Profile is, and how much Influence you can create by the careful design of this section.

Happy Networking and Influencing!


Elaina Zuker
Elaina Zuker
ELAINA is the president of Elaina Zuker Associates in Montréal, Canada. She has taught seminars to hundreds of employees and managers at major corporations such as AT&T, IBM, American Express, and MCI International, and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and industry events. She is the author of six books, on leadership, management, and communication. Her best-selling book, “The Seven Secrets of Influence” (McGraw-Hill), the recent Main Selection for the Business Week Book Club, has been translated into four languages and its new, revised 2021 edition is now available on Amazon in paperback and as an e-book on Amazon Kindle. Her new book about Peer Mentoring YOUX2 has also just been launched on Amazon. Her internationally successful program “Secrets of Influence ™ is now available as an online learning program, either as a completely online self-study program or in a hybrid version. The program, created with the latest educational technology, can also be customized for an organization’s specific requirements. Ms. Zuker holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Management/Organizational Development, and is the 2004 recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from New York Polytechnic University. To engage Ms. Zuker as a speaker or consultant, to book a seminar for your company or organization, or to learn how to become a licensed Affiliate for Secrets of Influence, visit or contact us at [email protected]

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