Should your LinkedIn Summary be LONG or SHORT?

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Should your LinkedIn Summary be LONG or SHORT?

You probably know that you have 2,000 characters within your LinkedIn Summary to really craft a compelling story about who you are, what you do and how you help your target audience.

When I write and optimize LinkedIn profiles for executives, I often maximize the character count.

I want to be sure I completely capture the essence of who the person is, and include a complete story about their entire career. I will include various accomplishments and awards, and be sure to use keywords that resonate with their clients/target audience.

Your LinkedIn Summary is often the first place your target audience is going to look at as they research who you are.

Some people ask me if shorter copy would be more effective, considering most people just skim when the read on the internet.

It’s true. We do skim content.

There is also a LOT of data that points to the fact that long copy outperforms short copy and here’s why:

  • The higher the price point, the more copy is needed to justify the purchase or create the need. We buy based on trust. The amount of we invest is in direct proportion to the amount of trust we have in the person or product. According to Claude Hopkins the more you tell, the more you sell”.
  • The more copy you include in your profile, the more opportunity you open up for “speaking topics”. Perhaps the reader went to your alma mater. Perhaps they noticed that you like to run marathons, and they are preparing for their first 10K.

Start by appealing to emotions. Simon Sinek repeats in his TED Talk “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it”. Why do you do what you do? What makes you passionate about your job? What are some of your core values?

You may wish to use “white space” with sub-headers to help guide people who prefer to skim.

What’s most important is quality over quantity. It’s not about just including boring content that fills up space. Make your professional story compelling and fascinating. Draw the reader in by holding their attention and making every word count. Lead them through the sales funnel and create desire to take the next step.

When possible, dovetail your professional brand story with your company story.

And end your Summary with a call-to-action. What is the next step you want the reader to take? Do you want them to email you? Call you?

Now it’s YOUR turn. What do YOU think? Do you prefer to have more copy available to help you learn about your possible vendor, or do you think short & sweet is more appropriate?

If you liked this tip, please share it with your network and/or comment below.

And, be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter at where I share useful LinkedIn tips & keep you posted about my upcoming LinkedIn training sessions.


Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer and Principal of PUNCH!media

Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009. PUNCH!media clients include The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO.

PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so you convert higher-paying clients.

By |February 29th, 2016|LinkedIn Tips|Comments Off on Should your LinkedIn Summary be LONG or SHORT?

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