LinkedIn is a great site for job seekers of all levels, especially for students who are looking to start their careers. To make a strong first impression and catch the attention of potential employers, one must have a strong LinkedIn profile summary.
But how do you make your profile stand out? What should you include in your summary?
According to experts, here are good LinkedIn summary examples for students, with tips on how to write your own:
Founder and President, TalentID Group
Selling yourself can be difficult. Selling yourself can be even more difficult when you don’t have much experience to back it up. But as students, you are working hard to reach your personal and professional goals so that you can go down a specific career path when you graduate.
Even if we don’t know what that exact career path is, you should know some things you enjoy doing. With that, you can start crafting your own LinkedIn summary with four main things in mind.
Tell a story — help them get to know you better
Help the reader get to know you. When you don’t have years of experience, you have to draw them in with your story. Connect with them. Leave them wanting to know you better.
“I was born with a crayon in hand. Writing on walls, desks, tables, sometimes paper, and now digitally on a computer screen, I’ve been honing my abilities since I was an infant.
I experimented with different mediums and techniques, from fashion design to painting, pottery, and more. And let’s just say fashion was not my area of expertise. But I did learn in the process that digital design is kind of my thing.”
Demonstrate your passion
This is your opportunity to show that even though you don’t have a lot of experience, you have the passion and desire to learn and grow. Think about what you have done in the past that demonstrates your desire and ability to learn and grow.
Building off the previous example, you might say:
“Before college, I begged my parents to buy me a computer with the Adobe Creative Suite. But they said it was too expensive. So I made a deal with them and worked hard all summer to save up the money to buy one.
When I did, I spent the next month figuring out how to use Adobe Creative Suite (I may or may not have fallen asleep in school a time or two because I stayed up too late the night before learning to use photoshop).”
Explain your experience
You may not have a lot of experience. In some cases, you may not have any experience. And that is where your story and passion come into play.
But, if you have some experience, you can continue building off your passion. You could continue with:
“Once I learned how to use Photoshop, I started editing photos and then quickly caught on to Indesign and Illustrator. I began designing cards for my friends and birthday invitations; in college, I used them for school projects and papers. I would include extra flair on papers and was able to use these pieces to land my first internship.“
Related: How to Get an Internship
Include a conclusion
Your conclusion should include an easy way to contact you. It should also spell out your experience with specific programs, tools, or technologies, as well as what you are looking for next.
You might tell readers:
“I would love to chat with you about any graphic design internships or freelance opportunities you have available! The best way to reach me is by email@example.com.
My experiences include Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Indesign, and Illustrator), HTML, and CSS.”
This doesn’t mean you need four separate paragraphs. This can be done well in one small paragraph with a few sentences. The point is that by telling a story and engaging your readers, you have the opportunity to get them interested, so they want to know more and speak with you.
Chief People and Operations Officer, Checkr, Inc.
Use concrete examples and numbers to illustrate your points
One thing all students should do as soon as they have some experience to put on their LinkedIn profile is to write a great summary.
A great LinkedIn summary can help you stand out from the hundreds of other students competing for jobs. But writing one can be challenging. How do you condense everything you’ve accomplished into just a few sentences?
Here are some tips for writing an impactful LinkedIn summary as a student:
- Start with a strong opening sentence that immediately catches the reader’s attention.
- Use keywords to highlight your skills and what you have to offer.
- Write in the first person and use active language throughout.
- Focus on your accomplishments and what you’ve learned rather than simply listing your experience.
- Use concrete examples and numbers to illustrate your points.
- Keep it between 200-300 words.
- Edit carefully for grammar, punctuation, and typos.
Here’s an example:
“I’m a recent graduate of XYZ University with a degree in communications. During my time in school, I held several leadership positions, including president of the student government association and captain of the varsity soccer team.
I’m a skilled public speaker and have experience with event planning, fundraising, and media relations.
I’m a strong communicator with excellent writing and editing skills. I’m also proficient in Spanish and have experience working with diverse populations.
Since graduating, I’ve worked as a marketing assistant at a small firm. I’ve written press releases, developed social media campaigns, and organized promotional events in this role.
I’m eager to use my skills and experience in a larger organization where I can have a greater impact. I’m seeking an entry-level position in marketing, communications, or public relations.”
HR Manager, ResumeLab
Aim to present yourself as a positive, dynamic, and eager learner
There are many factors to consider when looking to write an attention-grabbing LinkedIn summary. The same tips apply to students as they do to seasoned professionals.
So when looking to put your best foot forward, aim to apply these tips and best practices.
- Not too short, not too long. Go for balance and (ideally) aim to write 150-250 words.
- Ensure to highlight your education (after all, you’re still a student), your most impressive achievements (including awards), and tangible skills (both soft and technical) that would make you a valuable addition.
- First impressions go a long way, so aim to present yourself as a positive, dynamic, and eager learner with a can-do attitude.
- There is a reason listicles are so popular. Bullet points make it easier to read, so use them frequently.
- Make it as quantifiable as possible. Numbers and percentages make it easier and more precise to highlight your accomplishments and measure your impact.
- Look to strategically select and include keywords recruiters might be using to search. Don’t overdo it, however, as it quickly becomes obvious and cringe-worthy.
- A call to action is key. Provide an easy/best way to contact you.
Here is an example of such a summary:
“I am a recent New York University graduate with a double major in Psychology and Sociology looking to join a social change organization.
I am dedicated to this cause, as I would like to channel my education and life experiences to help make the justice system more just and ethical.
Having completed a few internships in this field has provided me with invaluable experiences that I would like to continue to build upon and utilize to contribute from the start.
Furthermore, throughout my studies, I’ve developed my research and statistical analysis skills, particularly through the use of software such as SPSS and STATA.”
Community Manager, LiveCareer
Make it short and easy to understand
A LinkedIn summary should be like your elevator pitch: short and easy to understand.
But that’s not enough. It should also grab the recruiter’s attention and show that you’re willing to go the extra mile to advance your career. Remember that it’s not about all your educational and professional details.
You want to spark interest in your profile by sharing some of the most exciting experiences you’ve had so far. Your goal is to explain what you did during your studies and internships in a simple and understandable way.
Did you do something different from your peers that could add value to your profile? For example, some volunteer work or student-athlete experience? If so, you could add the following statement to your LinkedIn summary:
“As a captain of the soccer team at [university name], I gained my first leadership experience and learned how to motivate my teammates to achieve our goals on and off the field.”
However, don’t focus on every single point of your resume. It’s also important to talk about “why” you want to work in a specific industry rather than solely focusing on what you did.
Showing your motivation is crucial for the latter stages of the recruitment process. Why? Because your motivation and things that inspired you to follow a particular path show your potential employer who you are and allow them to evaluate if you could be a good cultural fit for their company.
My advice is to include some aspects of your personal life, such as:
- Foreign destinations you visited
That way, you will show your human side and maybe find some connection with people that look at your profile.
Also, remember that your LinkedIn summary’s first sentence plays a crucial role. It often determines whether a person continues reading your text and becomes interested in your profile. That’s why you should make your first sentence stand out and encourage recruiters to get to know you better.
Community Manager, Resume Now
Proactive attitude matters
Being a student with extensive work experience? Impossible. How to attract potential employers on LinkedIn, then? No worries, job history is not everything.
Focus on your proactive attitude, motivation, and willingness to develop. Be sure to mention all:
- Being a member of student organizations
- Voluntary work
- Additional courses
- Academic accomplishments you can be proud of
Also, provide relevant examples to illustrate what and how it has shaped you the way you are.
Last but not least, make your LinkedIn summary not only informative but also attention-grabbing.
“Hi there. If you seek an employee who treats (work) life with passion, people with respect, and new challenges with enthusiasm, I am the one you need.
I can do many different things and master new ones quickly. Fluency in English, good analytical and organizational skills, creativity, and kindness are just a few examples of what I can offer you.
Thanks to hard work at university, the ability to learn fast, and strong motivation, I set very high standards for myself.
I have been a member of the Scientific Circle of Psychological Sciences for three years so far, which gives me a great deal of satisfaction and precious leadership skills. I am in charge of our Circle’s magazine, having a few people on my team.
What I am really good at are people. Calling it a “superpower” would be an exaggeration; however, I find it really easy to build positive relationships, and it seems that people feel comfortable in my company.
Those I worked with during my summer internship characterized me as “energetic, well-organized, professional, and peaceful.” On the other hand, friends, and family—if asked—would probably focus on “honesty, reliability, and an open mind.”
Education has always played an essential role in my life. Combining two full-time MA degree courses at [Name of the University] with the previously-mentioned scientific Circle has taught me to effectively manage my time and duties.
Check it yourself and invite me for a job interview. I can’t wait to prove in person that I am a good candidate for many jobs thanks to my skill set, proactive attitude, and character traits.”
Founder and CEO, Britannia School of Academics
Use one-line opening
One-line opening matters when it’s relatable to your personality; it could be your favorite quote or mantra, your greatest milestone, or even a funny line. Or something you want your reader to know right off the bat.
Mine is: “With great power comes great responsibility within your office.”
Do talk about your strengths and advantages
Recognize the motivations behind your career choice and your goals for the positions. These will increase the emotional resonance of your LinkedIn profile.
Be realistic. Provide a compelling look into your personality since individuality and originality are key to standing out from the crowd. Develop your distinct blend of creativity and emphasize humanizing your encounters.
Do talk about your strengths and advantages. Again, personal branding is the key to getting yourself hooked on a reader.
Tell the reader about your unique traits. Then, write numbers, case studies, and actual examples from your experience to exemplify the results of what you have accomplished.
This is much more powerful than using simple sentences to show the actions you accomplished because it gives more validity to whoever is reading it. Also, it gives them a much greater grasp and a lot more comfort in knowing that you are capable of very concrete skills.
“I was born and raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, attended YIS (Yanbu International School), now famously known as ISG (International Schools Group), for my high school education, and then traveled to Wales for college. I enjoy working in a social community and playing basketball and polo nationally.
I love to write, and I’m now balancing my studies and writing as a part-time academic and advertising writer (Copywriter). I’m responsible for generating a word for an advertisement. When people around me comment that I’m always thinking deeply, I frequently respond that I must come up with original concepts for my advertisements.
I have a firm grasp on time management since I can juggle my education, my passion for writing, and playing polo without wasting any of it. In addition, I frequently go to literary events to broaden my knowledge, which helps me increase my passion for writing.
Because of my sensitive temperament, I discovered myself to be an exceptional caregiver, so I pay close attention to my words and thoughts when writing or speaking.
I’m a political nerd and am very interested in global issues. However, the only reason I usually participate in discussions about world politics is to offer constructive criticism.
And in a cheerful tone, I eagerly await your response.”
A quick overview
- Outline your aims, professional values, character, and ethical practice widely, and use this summary to exhibit your exceptional blend of knowledge, wisdom, and creativity.
- Write one of your favorite lines to make it catchier.
- At the end of your LinkedIn summary, include an action point inviting people to contact you for a productive and rewarding professional relationship.
- Instead of a resume, focus on narrating an interesting story that expresses your personality’s positive traits and defines your academic and professional ambitions.
- I would propose you add extra flair and humor.
Your LinkedIn summary will give recruiters and other users an idea of what to expect if they contact you.
I would propose that adding emojis is a lot of fun. You will be more approachable if you use these subtle signals judiciously. Use them in your summary, but don’t be over-packed.
Chief Operating Officer and Head of Client Success, Executive Resume Writers
Feature descriptive language and keywords
While crafting your professional summary can seem like a daunting task, it can be easily managed by taking the time to develop what our company calls the Unique Success Proposition™ (USP).
The USP serves as the basis for your summary. It should feature descriptive language and keywords that clearly and precisely define who you are and what distinguishes you from your peers.
“A driven, results-oriented marketing student at [insert college] with a comprehensive background in digital advertising. I am recognized for my strong communications skills, creativity, and ability to inspire and lead high-performing teams.
My greatest success has been assisting with the [insert brand] social media marketing campaign as an intern at [insert company].”
Now that you have crafted your foundational USP, expand on the summary by discussing key attributes that are unique to you and align with the roles you are targeting.
Use action-oriented language that depicts what you contribute and how it drives organizational success. Focus on showing recruiters and potential employers the skills and achievements you can leverage to support growth and strategic vision.
Additionally, research roles, academic background, and previous jobs can set the tone for your professional summary and ensure that you reflect your experience in alignment with the positions you are seeing.
Lachlan de Crespigny
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Revelo
Sell yourself by promoting your experience and credentials
When it comes to making money, the most valuable commodity you have to sell is yourself. The social networking site LinkedIn is an excellent place to begin a career in the financial industry by promoting your experience and credentials.
“Next year, I plan to enroll at NYU’s Stern School of Business as a third-year finance major.
After spending the past two summers as an intern at JetBlue Airways Corporation, I’ve decided to concentrate on learning about financial analysis and applying that knowledge in the real world of business.
I am at my best when I can use my interpersonal skills in a team environment to address complex financial issues.
Personally, I adore the city of New York. Even though I grew up in New York City, I always looked forward to visiting Albany. Financial planning at New York University has long been on my radar. I hope to make a living as a financial consultant for prominent Wall Street figures in the long run.
Thank you, New York University, for laying the groundwork for a prosperous professional future in which I assist others in taking control of their financial futures.”
Education Wellness Expert, UCLA | CEO, First Choice Admissions
Create an easily traceable thread
The thing to remember about writing a LinkedIn summary when you are a student is not to overreach.
Everyone understands you have minimal job experience. Your job is to create an easily traceable thread from your interests to what you are studying to your work goals after school.
This is a sample summary for a mechanical engineering student:
“I always loved numbers, and math always came easily to me. I also spent a lot of my time taking apart things around the house and (mostly) putting them back together again.
I was thrilled when I took my first mechanical engineering class at Purdue. I felt like I had found my true passion. I made the dean’s list all four years and was selected to compete in the annual VEX robotics competition.
I had an internship with Eli Lilly during the summer of both my sophomore and junior years. I was on a team that worked to improve the manufacturing process of a heart monitor device.
I learned how to apply my classroom knowledge creatively in real-world situations and the value of teams in solving complex problems.
Now that I am a senior, my goal is to continue working in manufacturing and specifically focus on using robotics in manufacturing processes.”
CEO and Founder, Bullseye Locations
From my experience, here is what I believe recruiters prefer when they are looking out for potential candidates to employ.
Ensure you comprehensively cover your academic credentials
There are many areas that people actively searching for jobs should cover in their LinkedIn summaries. However, I believe a certain order should be followed to establish a more pressing impression with employers.
First and foremost, as a student, you want to ensure you comprehensively cover your academic credentials. Here, you seek to make clear the answers to specific important questions the employer would like to get to know you through.
- Which institutions do you study at?
- Which courses more comfortably lie in your area of expertise?
- What are your highest scoring subjects have been?
- What are you most passionate about?
Include professional qualifications and experience
Next are your professional qualifications and any work experience you may have under your belt. These don’t necessarily have to include only full-time opportunities.
In fact, employers appreciate any part-time jobs, internships, training, and especially volunteer work experience. The experiences that align with your academic field are noteworthy to employers, so students should be sure to mention those.
Highlight their extracurricular skills and creative potential
Moreover, students must also look beyond their professional achievements and highlight their extracurricular skills and creative potential.
Make sure you recall any awards you may have won, such as sporting victories, debating competition medals, etc. In addition, proficiency in a musical instrument, painting, writing, etc., can all form more than adequate representations of skills with respect to hobbies.
Tie it up with an aligned long-term goal and plan
Lastly, in addition to the content mentioned above, it is important to tie it up with an aligned long-term goal and plan you seek to actualize.
Mentioning appropriate values you seek to embody to help you get there may allude to employers whose company’s DNA and culture match those.
Marie Pierce, CCC
Career Counselor, Manhattanville College
Start with a hook
Your LinkedIn summary is akin to your “about me” section on your blog or dating profile. But instead of introducing yourself to potential a partner or content absorbers, you are marketing yourself to potential employers and coworkers.
So how do you utilize the space you are given to show who you are and why you’d be a great addition to a workplace team? One of the best ways to ensure a potential employer takes the time to read through your LinkedIn summary is to start with a hook.
Grab their attention with one to two sentences showcasing your personal brand:
- What you do
- What you feel strongly about
- What you do differently than others
Within your summary, you want to focus on why a company should hire you over anyone else. This is your opportunity to express:
- Why it is you do what you do
- The joy it brings you
- How it helps to serve others
- What motivates you
Once you have given the reader a view into who you are, what you do great, and why you do what you do, prove it. Quickly mention some recent achievements and highlights from your career.
Also, don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some personal qualities and interests that live outside of work. Hiring managers are interested in seeing who you are as a person, not just a workplace robot. Close out with an eager invitation to connect and collaborate.
Student Success Strategist
Tell the story of your “why”
Everyone’s going to do the same thing with their LinkedIn profile summary. They will copy and paste “work jargon” from their resume.
I charge students to think strategically about every digital asset. Use the LinkedIn Summary to tell the story of your why.
- What got you so intrigued with your work?
- What are you looking to do?
- What opportunities are you seeking to be a part of?
Use the space to creatively story-tell. It’s a great way to be distinguished and human—rare characteristics in today’s traditional career industries.
“At age 18, I watched my pop pop slowly dissipate in a hospital bed. His eyes closed, and his hand released my palm. He was my motivation to cure cancer.
I’m a rising dean’s list senior at Tennessee State University, passionate about quality patient care and cancer research.
I’m seeking opportunities in…”
HR Director, Mullen and Mullen
State your value proposition
If you’re using LinkedIn to attract professional opportunities, you have to view your profile as your resume. As much as possible, fill in all necessary details about you, like your educational background and previous job experiences.
Instead of just putting what roles you had fulfilled in what companies, it is better to put a brief description or overview of what you actually did when you were in that role. This allows recruiters to see if you have transferable skills that will come in handy for the job they’re offering.
Just as your profile serves as your resume, the “summary” section, in particular, serves as your cover letter. This is where you pitch yourself to headhunters. Instead of just describing yourself and what you do, use that section to state your value proposition.
What is it that you have and provide, and how does it concretely help specific companies/businesses from particular industries? The more specific and niched you can write this, the better because headhunters will immediately know what they’re looking at.
VP of Operations, Michael & Associates
Use the “three-by-three” approach
I like to use what I call a three-by-three approach to LinkedIn summaries and similar brief text introductions.
Three sentences, each with three points. One about your past, one about your present, and one about your future.
Below is a good basic template to follow:
“Valedictorian, dean’s list, 2023 BS in Subject. Intern for X company, where I focus on A, B, and C duties. Aspiring Professional Title looking to achieve A, B, and C.”
It’s concise, focuses on your best qualities, and shows your drive to succeed. You will inevitably be replicating some of the information elsewhere in your profile and resume with this approach, but that’s definitely part of the point.
You want to emphasize the very best points of those more significant documents as a way to get people engaged and reading more.
This approach also puts your essential information front-and-center, making it easier for recruiters and employers to find just the right major, skillset, and job description among potential candidates.
It’s essential to keep this introduction up-to-date, too. Change it at least once a month, even if you’re just tweaking the wording, and make a point of quickly adding any new achievements or goals to get them noticed.
Director of Marketing, Syntax Integration
For graduate students, include information on degrees already achieved
Graduate students can boost their summaries by including information about any degrees they’ve already achieved. There’s a common misconception that grad students don’t have time to network because they’re too busy with their studies, yet the opposite is true.
“I am nearing the end of my dissertation work for a Ph.D. in English Literature at Syracuse. After completing my BA in English at the University of Kentucky, I spent a year in Cambridge, drawn there by a passion for British literature and poetry, before transferring to Syracuse.
The works of great authors like Shakespeare, Austen, and Joyce have instilled in me a deep appreciation for the English language.
Working as a TA in an Irish literature course this year has broadened my understanding of how students absorb information. My ultimate career goal after completing my degree is to teach at one of the prestigious universities from which I have benefited so greatly.”
Founder, Fluent in Finance
A great summary needs to be concise
No one has time to read a 5-minute summary. Try to keep it to a minute or less. Less is more.
- Use powerful action verbs to show what you can get done and what you have accomplished. It is crucial to illustrate your strengths through examples of prior actions.
- Do not waste space using adjectives or filler words like “very” in “very hardworking.”
- Your lead sentence should explain the problem you solve and the value you add.
- Try to include as many SEO-rich words/industry jargon as possible. This will help when others search for someone with your skillset.
Here is an example of my lead sentence in my summary on Linkedin:
“Andrew Lokenauth helps management translate their financials into actionable business decisions.”
Your ending paragraph should tie everything together and sell yourself one last time. You want to explain how you will make the hiring manager’s life easier.
Here is mine:
“Andrew is adept at learning new information quickly. He has a track record of getting things done on time. His past experiences have enabled him to develop an excellent work ethic and deep. He is a multi-dimensional, accomplished, and results-oriented professional with comprehensive knowledge.”
Founder and CEO, Box Out Marketing
Show how you want to be known professionally
LinkedIn is considered an interactive version of a resume and a professional form of social media account. As recruiters search for a candidate’s name online, a LinkedIn profile will show, so it should reflect how you want to be known professionally.
For students, your LinkedIn summary communicates to the recruiters and colleagues what professional opportunities you seek, whether a new job, internship, or networking. It also shows your skillset and expertise.
Related: How to Network on LinkedIn
“I am a freshman (major) student at (university) eager to make a difference in the field of (your choice/interest).
I am interested in a summer internship that will contribute to my knowledge and explore this field to enhance my skills and fuel my passion. I am currently part of a volunteer program related to my field of interest.”
CEO, Infinite Recovery
Use paragraphs of a reasonable length
The ideal length of a paragraph is seven or eight lines. In this way, the reader may more easily grasp the significance of the whole LinkedIn summary written by a graduate student.
In light of this fact, avoid writing lengthy paragraphs unless you want your writing to come out as dull and unappealing to your readers.
Paragraphs of medium or short length, on the contrary, will pique the attention of the reader and encourage them to continue reading your LinkedIn summary.
Check to see that your sentences aren’t too lengthy and that they’re evenly spaced out in their paragraphs. Have concise, well-punctuated phrases that allow the reader to settle down and absorb the essentials of the graduate student’s LinkedIn description.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I update my LinkedIn summary?
Updating your LinkedIn summary regularly is good, especially as your skills and experience evolve. When you complete a new project or take on a new role, you should update your summary to reflect those changes.
You can also update your summary if you’re actively searching and want to highlight specific skills or experience relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.
In general, you should aim to review and update your LinkedIn summary at least every few months to ensure that it’s up to date and accurately reflects your current skills, experience, and career goals.
However, if something significant changes in your professional or personal life, such as completing a degree program or starting a new job, you should update your summary immediately to keep your profile as current as possible.
What tone should I use when writing my LinkedIn summary?
When writing your LinkedIn summary, it’s essential to strike the right tone because it can greatly impact how potential employers perceive you. Make sure your tone is professional but also that you come across as friendly, approachable, and someone people would want to work with.
One way to strike the right tone is to let your personality shine through in your writing. Don’t be afraid to include personal details highlighting your unique interests and experiences.
This can help potential employers connect with you on a personal level and give them a better sense of who you are beyond your professional qualifications.
However, remember that LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, so avoid writing too casually or informally. Use proper grammar and spelling, and avoid slang or overly casual language.
Remember that potential employers will judge you based on your professionalism and qualifications, and make sure your summary reflects that.
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