Below are seven of the most common topics covered in great summaries. You don’t need to cover them all, but address at least a few to ensure enough substance.
1. Describe what makes you tick
Passion is the heart of some of the best summaries. Opening up about what you love to do adds context to your career. Think about what excites you most professionally — what drives you besides your paycheck? This is an especially good angle if you’re younger and don’t have much work experience.
2. Explain your present role
Put your job title aside and describe what you do in simplest terms. Sharing the problems you solve, for whom, and how, is a great way to demonstrate your skills, industry knowledge, and/or work style.
3. Frame your past
You have the freedom to call out what’s important in your job history and to gloss over what’s not. If you’ve made career pivots or have held seemingly unrelated roles, connect the dots so they make sense. Better yet, frame the discord as an advantage and explain why it sets you apart.
4. Highlight your successes
Cite the biggest takeaway from your experience section. Look across roles and combine accomplishments if you can. This is especially applicable if you’re in mid- to late-stage career.
5. Reveal your character
Choose stories and words that show who you are as a person, not just a professional. Great summaries hint at traits such as gratitude, humility, and humor. Authenticity is key, so be honest with yourself. Think of the one trait you’re most known for, and weave it in.
6. Show life outside of work
Round out your identity by sharing a hobby, interest, or volunteer role. Relate your outside passions to your work if you can. If you share a personal story, be sure it serves to reinforce your professional strengths.
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, and tee it up in your summary.