14 tips for creating an "About Me" with substance and style.
LinkedIn is an interesting place. Like any social media platform there's a lot of noise and it can be challenging to navigate how to use the platform in meaningful ways. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform where you can connect with new/former colleagues and interest groups, create a digital resume, blog about your knowledge sets, search for and apply to jobs, to name a few of the key features.
The profile feature allows you to customize a page showcasing your career experience, education, interests, and skills to potential employers and connections. Writing a strong LinkedIn profile "About Me" that communicates who you really are will give you more return on investment than a summary that lists job stats and position titles. The tricky part can be knowing what exactly to write.
Writing a winning profile summary is really all about substance and style. What you say draws people in and how you say it helps to increase interactions on your page. While there is no right or wrong way to present yourself in a profile bio, here are some suggestions on what you can say and how you can say it.
(Please note: We refer to the "About Me" section interchangeably as a profile bio or profile summary.)
7 Suggestions on What To Say in Your LinkedIn Bio
Below are 7 of the most common talking points that can help you communicate who you are in effective ways. The goal here isn't to include ALL of these, although you can if that works for you, but rather to address at least a few to ensure you're telling the key points of your story.
1. Describe what brings you joy Passion is what the best stories are made of. Opening up about what you love to do adds context to your career highlights. What excites you most professionally? What is your "why" beyond just a paycheck?
2. Explain your present role What do you currently do? To keep it simple is to tell about your impact. What problems do you solve, for whom, and how? In this way, you show us rather than tell us about your skills, industry knowledge, and/or work style.
3. Frame your past You control the narrative when describing your past work experience. You choose what's important in your job history and can put aside whatever is not. If you’ve made career pivots or have held seemingly unrelated roles, connect the dots by describing your journey, including any major lessons or life changes that impacted you along the way. It's often very effective to frame any discord or gaps in your resume as an advantage and explain why it sets you apart.
4. BIG UP YOURSELF
What are you most proud of in your professional life? Look across roles/job experiences and combine accomplishments if you can. If you don't have a ton of formal accomplishments or experience, dig into your portfolio. What work/projects can you reference that displays your creative and technical skills? They don't have to be complete or polished. You just have to be able to describe your process.
5. Reveal your character Show who you are as a person, not just a professional, through stories. Great LinkedIn profiles hint at traits such as gratitude, humility, and humor. Authenticity is a major key **DJ Khalid voice** so be honest with yourself. Think of the one trait you’re most known for, and weave it in. If you're not sure who you are, young Simba, ask your inner circle to describe all the ways in which you are talented or to share stories of times you have positively impacted them. There will be plenty of inspiration in those convos!
6. Show life outside of work Highlight personal parts of your identity by sharing a hobby, interest, or volunteer role. Relate your outside passions to your work if you can. Knowing you on a human level is what builds trust and increases our understanding of who you really are.
7. Add rich media Sometimes it’s easier to explain your impact or achievement using an image, video, or an article — don’t be afraid to add media to your profile. Show off your best portfolio pieces!
7 more suggestions on how to style your LinkedIn Bio Once you have your core content and your stories, follow these tips to format and set the tone of your bio.
8. Make your first sentence count Every word matters in your summary, but your first words leave an impression. If you don’t hook your audience right away, you’ll lose them. “Hi, I’m XYZ and I’m glad to meet you.” and “Thanks for visiting!” aren't a good use of your bio real estate. Don’t waste precious characters on filler — cut right to the good stuff to hook your reader. And remember the good stuff has to be who you really are, so let your voice shine through.
9. #keywords To improve your search rank on LinkedIn and Google, include keywords that highlight your top skills. Listing ‘Specialties’ at the end of your summary is one way to pack them in. Which words? Check out relevant job descriptions and other profiles to find. what keywords are trending.
10. Cut the jargon Avoid overused words that have lost meaning, like “strategic,” “motivated,” and “creative.” You won't need to use these because the stories you curated earlier will SHOW you have those traits. At a minimum, cross-check your summary with the most overused buzzwords on LinkedIn profiles.
11. Write how you speak Think about how you would speak to new contact at a conference, and write that way. Read your summary out loud so you can check your voice. If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it which means writing from first person will sound more natural. It's okay to use "I" in your bio.
12. Tell stories Stories make you memorable. Leading with “When I was 11 years old...” or “My former boss sat me down one day…” to reveal why you love coding has more punch than just stating, “I’m passionate about coding.”
13. Create white space People will skim your summary, so help by breaking up the text. Steer clear of long paragraphs. Simple language will take your far, as will bullet points or numbered lists.
14. Ask for what you want Think about what you want your audience to do after reading your summary. An invitation to connect is a great way to end, but depending on your goal, you may ask for something else. Be specific and you’ll be more likely to get what you want.
At the very least make sure you have a sentence or two in your bio. This is strategic content and by investing in telling your story, your profile will work for you!