This is part one of a four part series on LinkedIn. Be sure to visit tomorrow when we discuss strategies for connecting on LinkedIn!

    LinkedIn is one of the world’s most influential social networks and, when it comes to professionals, it stands heads and shoulders above the rest. With more than 360 million members around the world, and claiming one in three professionals in the United States as a member, LinkedIn is the perfect place to connect, network, search for a new job, and be headhunted for jobs you never knew existed.

    But all of this depends on having a profile that works.

    What do we mean by works? Well it needs to be three things above all else:

    1. Complete
    2. Attractive
    3. Optimized

    Get them wrong and you’ll be left twiddling your thumbs in the same old career and dreaming of what could be. Get these three things right and you’ll be on your way to LinkedIn success.

    Build the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

    Constructing a profile on LinkedIn is not difficult. Just like a Facebook profile, a Twitter profile, or any other social network the company has an onboarding process that will walk you through the basics. You’ll enter your name, add in details of your work history, some more details of your education, and be pushed to make some initial connections. If you work though this onboarding process you’ll end up with a profile.

    But if you’re reading this then we’re guessing you’re not going to be satisfied with just ‘a profile’. More likely you are the type of person who wants the perfect LinkedIn profile, the one that will gain attention from your network, help you communicate your experience in an effective way, and maybe even open the door to new career opportunities.

    And if that’s the sort of profile you’re looking for, we can help. Here’s ten tips representing a step-by-step guide on moving from LinkedIn user to LinkedIn superstar, a roadmap to the perfect LinkedIn profile.

    1. Profile Picture

    You do have the option of using LinkedIn without a profile picture – but why would you? Remember that LinkedIn is not about gathering friends but about making connections, and who wants to connect with a faceless individual? Your photo is one of the first things that people notice about your profile and, as such, should be one of the first things that you optimize. Ideally your photo should be a professional, head and shoulders shot that shows your whole face. Don’t use a ‘selfie’ (it’s far from professional) and don’t use a full body shot – these render horribly as LinkedIn thumbnails. Keep it crisp, clear, clean, and demonstrate that you understand the difference between social networks that are all about fun, and social networks like LinkedIn that are about business.

    2. Profile Headline

    Your LinkedIn headline follows you across the site: everywhere your profile turns up in a search, every post that you make, and every group you join it’s there. Indeed, along with your name and your profile picture, it is one of the only pieces of information that almost everyone using LinkedIn can see about you. As a result, you need to be sure that the message it presents to the world is the one you want to present. If you are happy in your job and not looking for anything new, then leaving it as your current position and company can work well. If you are looking around for new options then changing up your headline to align with certain keywords can be a good idea. Ensure that you avoid grammatical errors and that you can back up claims you make in your headline with the details in your profile.

    3. Contact Information

    LinkedIn allows you to add contact details to your profile and you should take advantage of all of the channels that are available to you. After all, if LinkedIn is about connecting and networking, people need to be able to find you. Adding your email address is mandatory, but the perfect LinkedIn profile will include additional email addresses, too. For example, if you’ve signed up to LinkedIn with your professional email, add a personal one so that prospective recruiters can contact you away from work. Add your website, your Twitter feed, links to your SlideShare account, too, if you like. And also don’t neglect the ‘old school’ contact information such as a physical snail mail address and a telephone number. Not all businesses will contact you via Twitter, so make it easy for them by giving them plenty of options to choose from.

    4. Personalized URL

    LinkedIn will automatically assign you a URL but be warned: it’ll be ugly. Luckily LinkedIn allows you to personalize your URL to make it a little more memorable and a whole lot cleaner for business cards, resumes, and in-person networking. When you personalize your URL make sure to use your full name (first and last) or some derivative of this. Hence, personalizing to johndoe, jdoe, or johnd are good options. Personalizing to something like marketingwizard, networkingkingmaker, or johndoelookingforwork are all to be avoided. Like everything else on the site, you need to keep things professional and your personalized URL should reflect this professional approach, too.

    5. Profile Summary

    At the top of every perfect LinkedIn profile is a summary. It’s here you get a few lines to explain to people viewing your profile who you are, what you do, why you are on LinkedIn, and what they can expect from connecting with you. To optimize this summary there are a couple of points to keep in mind. First, write it in the first person. Don’t be tempted to speak about yourself in the third person (‘John Doe exceeded all his targets in Q1 2015’) and, instead, own your achievements (‘I exceeded all my targets in Q1 2015’). Second, be sure to use the keywords that you would like associated with your profile. This will help you appear higher in searches that recruiters and users make on LinkedIn. Third, as your summary is available to some users you have not yet connected with, be sure to include at least one means of contacting you in your summary. Add a phone number, a website, and email, or another social media account so that a user who has not yet connected with you – and so therefore lacks access to your full contact information – can get in contact with your directly.

    6. Work Experience

    Completing the work experience section on your perfect LinkedIn profile is often difficult. Some users with extensive career histories don’t know exactly how far to go back, and others with less extensive resumes are tempted to pad their work history with jobs and experience that don’t exactly match the reality, click here to learn more about Resume Atelier ats optimized resume guide. As a guide, all significant positions in the last ten years should be included in your profile, which probably means the summer jobs you worked when you were 16 can be excluded. For younger, less experienced users, include your internships and work placements; this will help demonstrate that you are willing to work, and that companies are willing to work with you. Don’t inflate the job title of describe the job responsibilities in terms that are unrealistic. Be clear, be honest, and don’t forget to use and re-use those keywords that you want associated with your profile here, too.

    7. Projects

    As well as demonstrating your practical work experience with your job titles and job responsibilities, LinkedIn also gives you the chance to present specific projects that you were either responsible for delivering or on which you worked as part of a team. Including these on your perfect LinkedIn profile is a good idea because it adds weight to the claims you make in your work experience section. Hence, while in your work experience section you explain that you were responsible for web design, in your projects you can list the specific web design projects you worked on, connect the LinkedIn profiles of others who worked on the project with you, and provide real social proof as to your capabilities. Be selective in the projects that you mention and be sure to include dates, team members, and company details in each of the projects you list.

    8. Endorsements

    LinkedIn allows – and even encourages – other LinkedIn users to endorse you for skills. These endorsements take only a click of the mouse and so, all alone, are not that valuable. However, when dozens of your connections have all endorsed you for the same skill, this speaks to your ability in a way that recruiters and future connections can quickly understand. Your connections can endorse you for skills you have listed yourself or for skills they believe you have. While it is gratifying to have people endorse you for skills you never thought to include on your perfect LinkedIn profile, a word of warning is in order: keep your endorsements relevant to your profile, and to the professional environment of LinkedIn. if someone endorses you for ‘swimming’, ‘being super friendly’, or ‘emotional maturity’ and these are not things that will improve your profile, you can remove the endorsements from your profile with just a click.

    9. Recommendations

    While endorsements take only a click of the mouse to send your way, recommendations are a little more serious. Consider recommendations the reference letter of the LinkedIn world: they are personalized, professional assessments of your competence and written by connections of yours who are willing to put their name and face alongside it. They can be earned unsolicited but, more commonly, you need to request them from colleagues and former colleagues. The two most recent recommendations for each position that you have included on your profile are listed underneath that position in your Work Experience section, and all recommendations are displayed lower down your profile. The best way to get a good recommendation? Well, apart from being just good at your job, the best way is to go out and recommend others. Find a colleague or a former colleague who you enjoyed working with and offer an unsolicited recommendation of their work…and then follow up with a request for their own, honest assessment of your work, too.

    10. Media

    LinkedIn allows you to offer additional social proof of your skills to visitors of your profile in the form of media uploads. You can upload images, documents, slide decks, and more to your profile, and these can help support the claims you make in your profile. Of course, the best strategy is to choose your best work and include it (tip: check with your company to ensure that you are legally allowed to share documents externally before uploading) but you need to be careful where you put it on your perfect LinkedIn profile. By default the media will be included in your summary section but it is far more likely to be relevant to a particular work experience that you have had, or to a project you have worked on. Moving it there is easy: simply upload to the summary, then click to place the media somewhere else on your profile. What you are aiming for is to make it easy for the person viewing your profile to connect the media with the section they are reading.

    Getting a LinkedIn profile from ‘basic’ or ‘beginner’ to ‘complete’, ‘optimized’, and ‘attractive’ is not a time consuming process, but it is an important one. Working through each of the ten steps above will help your lift your profile from stock-standard to superstar, and you’ll be on your way to succeeding on LinkedIn.

    Have your own tips? Or do you have a rockin’ LinkedIn profile? Share them in comments below or on Twitter!

    Want more? Download our eBook: “Level Up Your LinkedIn Game

    [freebiesub title=”Level Up Your LinkedIn Game” download=””]




    1. Pretty part of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I fulfillment you access consistently fast.

    2. I simply could not depart your web site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard information a person supply in your visitors? Is going to be back incessantly in order to check out new posts

    3. you are in reality a good webmaster. The web site loading velocity is incredible. It sort of feels that you are doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a fantastic task in this topic!

    4. Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Cheers

    5. 695123 996166Good day! This post could not be written any much better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing! 663574

    6. Thank you for another informative blog. Where else may I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect means? I have a undertaking that I am simply now running on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.

    7. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I will forward this information to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    8. Hola! I’ve been following your web site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

    9. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome web log!

    10. Remarkable things here. I’m very glad to see your article. Thank you so much and I’m taking a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

    11. After looking into a number of the blog articles on your website, I really like your way of blogging. I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site as well and let me know how you feel.

    12. I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

    13. What i do not realize is in fact how you’re now not really a lot more smartly-favored than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You realize therefore significantly in relation to this matter, produced me personally believe it from so many various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested until it’s something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. Always care for it up!

    14. Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    15. Undeniably consider that that you stated. Your favourite justification appeared to be at the internet the simplest thing to bear in mind of. I say to you, I definitely get irked at the same time as other folks consider concerns that they plainly do not understand about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top as smartly as defined out the whole thing with no need side effect , other people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

    16. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

    17. I think what you postedwrotethink what you postedwrotesaidbelieve what you postedtypedsaidthink what you postedwroteWhat you postedwrotesaid was very logicala bunch of sense. But, what about this?consider this, what if you were to write a killer headlinetitle?content?typed a catchier title? I ain’t saying your content isn’t good.ain’t saying your content isn’t gooddon’t want to tell you how to run your blog, but what if you added a titlesomethingheadlinetitle that grabbed a person’s attention?maybe get a person’s attention?want more? I mean %BLOG_TITLE% is a little plain. You ought to peek at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they createwrite post headlines to get viewers to click. You might add a related video or a related pic or two to get readers interested about what you’ve written. Just my opinion, it could bring your postsblog a little livelier.

    18. Wonderful site. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you in your effort!

    19. whoah this blog is fantastic i really like reading your articles. Stay up the good work! You realize, many people are hunting around for this info, you can help them greatly.

    20. Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    21. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in truth used to be a
      entertainment account it. Look complicated to far delivered agreeable from you!
      However, how can we keep up a correspondence?

    22. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. However think about if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could undeniably be one of the greatest in its niche. Awesome blog!

    23. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

    24. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

    25. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    26. Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and great style and design.

    27. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    28. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

    29. Ищете надежного подрядчика для устройства стяжки пола в Москве? Обращайтесь к нам на сайт! Мы предлагаем услуги по залитию стяжки пола любой сложности и площади, а также гарантируем быстрое и качественное выполнение работ.

    30. I think what you postedtypedbelieve what you postedwrotesaidthink what you postedwrotethink what you postedwrotesaidWhat you postedtypedsaid was very logicala bunch of sense. But, what about this?consider this, what if you were to write a killer headlinetitle?content?typed a catchier title? I ain’t saying your content isn’t good.ain’t saying your content isn’t gooddon’t want to tell you how to run your blog, but what if you added a titlesomethingheadlinetitle that grabbed people’s attention?maybe get a person’s attention?want more? I mean %BLOG_TITLE% is a little vanilla. You might peek at Yahoo’s home page and see how they createwrite post headlines to get viewers interested. You might add a related video or a related pic or two to get readers interested about what you’ve written. Just my opinion, it might bring your postsblog a little livelier.

    31. I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

    32. I will right away clutch your rss as I can not find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me recognise so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

    Leave A Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.