12 Steps to Reach All-Star Linkedin Profile Status
If you want a really effectual Linkedin profile, you need to work hard to ensure it is as complete as possible, the ultimate aim should always be to reach all-star Linkedin profile status. Only when your Linkedin profile is full of useful information with endorsements and recommendations, and you’ve connected to at least 50 people, will you reach all-star Linkedin profile status.
“First Impressions Count – The more complete and professional your Linkedin profile looks, the better an impression you’ll make to a prospect, contact, recruiter or potential employer.”
Linkedin Profile Strength Meter
Have you ever logged on to your Linkedin profile and wondered what the blue-coloured circle is on the right-hand side? This is your Linkedin profile’s strength meter and it indicates how complete and robust your Linkedin profile is. The more you connect and complete your profile, the higher the strength level your Linkedin profile will achieve.
The 5 Linkedin profile levels are:
You should aim to achieve all-star Linkedin profile status.
I will tell you just how to achieve all-start Linkedin profile status in just 12 steps, so keep reading…
I will even give you a bonus tip too!
12 Simple Steps to Reach All-Star Linkedin Profile Status
1) Use a Professional Headshot Photograph
Linkedin is a professional networking platform so your profile picture needs to be suitable. If you don’t have a Linkedin profile picture, many people will consider your profile incomplete or dormant, meaning fewer people will be inclined to view your Linkedin profile. According to Linkedin, adding a profile photograph means your profile is 7 times more likely to be found when searches are conducted.
If you don’t have a photograph or if your current Linkedin profile picture is of you and the kids, your pets or worse still, drunken friends, please replace it now. Ideally, your Linkedin profile picture should make you look professional but also approachable and friendly. The best photograph to use is a head and shoulders picture of you in your work clothes taken against a light background or within your work environment.
2) Captivate the Reader with a Strong Headline
Many people make the mistake of just writing their job title in their headline, despite there being a 120 character count. To help you reach all-star Linkedin profile status and capture attention, utilise all 120 characters by including your areas of expertise too, which will also help you to show up in people searches.
Including your job title, industry, location, areas of expertise, key words and other pertinent information should improve your profile view rate and will help you to achieve all-star Linkedin profile status.
For example, my headline reads:
“Professional CV Writer & Career Branding Specialist / Owner of Anglia CV Solutions | (LION) | Top 7% Profile View Rank”
3) Complete the Summary Section of your Linkedin Profile
This is a key part of your Linkedin profile, it’s your opportunity to grab the reader’s attention so make sure you outline who you are, what you do, what you’ve achieved and what makes you a unique person.
If you’re a business or self-employed, make sure you focus on YOU and not your company; people are visiting your profile to learn about you, not your business. You should use Linkedin’s company page feature to outline your business and create showcase pages and place a link to it on your profile.
This section should be written in paragraph format in either the first or third person. Your tone should be friendly and professional to create the right impression.
If this section isn’t completed, you won’t achieve all-star Linkedin profile status.
4) Add your Work History / Voluntary Experience
The more positions you list on your Linkedin profile, the more likely you are to be found in search results and you’ll need at least 3 job descriptions to achieve all-star Linkedin profile status. Don’t make the mistake of just adding your job titles and leaving it at that. You must include a full description too, including key skills and accomplishments.
Did you know you can embellish your Linkedin profile with media too? Linkedin recently added this feature and it can come in very useful, it allows you to upload pictures, documents, videos and URL links. So, if you have evidence of your work, projects completed or achievement certificates, consider uploading them to give your Linkedin profile more credibility.
5) Complete the Education and Courses Sections
This is a very relevant section of your Linkedin profile so be sure to list all your qualifications and awards, including the name of the qualification, the name of the place you studied and the year of completion. If you have good grades, include those too and any qualification acronyms. If you’re newly qualified, it is often prudent to list your key degree modules too because these add vital key words to your Linkedin profile.
Adding school, college and university information, particularly if you attended a renowned institution or attained outstanding grades, can really boost your profile’s appeal. Don’t just reserve your achievements for the education section, you can also make mention of them in the summary section.
One of the ancillary benefits of adding the school you attended is that it allows your fellow alumni to find you and connect. If you didn’t finish a degree, you should still include information about your attendance. If you didn’t attend college, listing high school is preferred to listing no education details at all. Not including education details on your profile will cause your profile to be incomplete and could raise unnecessary questions.
As mentioned above, don’t forget to make good use of the media function. Upload anything relevant that will support your academic and extra-curricular skills, knowledge and experience.
6) Add Skills and Expertise
The skills and expertise section of your LinkedIn profile gives you an opportunity to show specific and detailed areas of your expertise, whilst adding keywords to your Linkedin profile. You get to showcase all that you bring to the table, so avoid being too vague or general, but rather list specialties. Adding skills and expertise also gives your connections the ability to endorse you in those specific areas. At a minimum, you should include at least 5 or more skills but you can record up to 50 skills.
My advice is to make use of all 50 to ensure your full skill set is on display. Plus, the more skills you have recorded, the more likely your Linkedin profile is to appear in people search results for that particular skill.
7) Get Connected
LinkedIn requires you to have at least 50 or more connections in order to achieve a completed profile and they’ve made it very easy to find and add people to your network. At the click of a button you can easily upload contacts from Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. Linkedin’s system is set up to log into your personal email to see who has a LinkedIn profile.
Also, you can browse profiles of your co-workers, former colleagues and college classmates. One piece of often-ignored advice you should follow is to write a personal message when you send out invitations to connect. Try to give some context to your association to help secure that connection.
It only takes a few minutes but could be the difference between gaining a new connection, or not.
8) Get at Least 3 Recommendations
Having at least 3 strong recommendations on your Linkedin profile is the acid test to demonstrate the full scope of your knowledge, experiences, skills and achievements.
By asking for and publishing recommendations, you’re really bolstering your profile and giving it much more credibility. Whilst skill endorsements are a nice bonus, the real weight is in recommendations.
The more recommendations you have, the easier it will be to attain all-star Linkedin profile status, although Linkedin did say a few years back that this aspect was less important now. I don’t see the logic in that decision!
9) Secure a Vanity URL
Whilst I don’t believe this is a bone-fide pre-requisite for reaching all-starLinkedin profile status, it does make your profile look more professional and easier to find too, so it’s worth spending a few minutes on.
Once you have a vanity URL you can include it on your CV and business card too. The best vanity URLs contain your name.
If your name is pretty common you might need to be a little creative whilst keeping it professional.
A vanity URL looks like this: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/clairegreenhow That’s the link to my own profile, why not take a look and send me a connection request?
10) Tell People What Interests You
Including hobbies and interests gives the reader an insight in to the non-professional side of your personality. Filling out this section with some of your interesting outside of work pursuits will make your Linkedin profile look more complete.
When I say what interests you, I don’t just mean hobbies and interests, or what you get up to at the weekend. There are also sections on your Linkedin profile to include details of charities you support. You can even offer your skills and services on a pro-bono basis to charitable organisations.
This is also where you can document your voluntary work experience in the UK and overseas. Don’t underestimate the importance of voluntary work, whatever career level you’re at.
11) Complete your Contact Information
You’d be surprised just how many people spend a long time perfecting their content to achieve all-star Linkedin profile status but neglect to include their contact information. You absolutely must complete this section to elevate your status but also to enable recruiters and organisations to contact you directly. They’re busy people and if your contact details are not readily available and easily accessible, they will move on to the next candidate. Opportunity missed!
If you are reluctant to share your telephone number or email address, there are ways around it. You could opt to use LinkedIn’s private message function or for little or no cost you could secure a PAYG phone number and a Gmail (or equivalent) email address used solely for job search purposes, including LinkedIn.
12) Use the Website Details Section
The website details section is often overlooked by many people but it can be a helpful tool to optimise your LinkedIn profile and achieve all-star LinkedIn profile status.
So, what is it? In the contact information section of your profile, you’ll see that you can add website URLs. Even if you don’t have a website, this is a sneaky little secret place where you can add key words.
All you have to do is select ‘other’ in the drop down list and a new box appears next to it. This is where you can insert your keyword. Your job title is a good option to help you show up in people search results, with a link back to the organisation you work(ed) for under that job title.
You can include 3 key words here so make use of all 3!
BONUS TIP: Keep Content Fresh
Once you reach all-star Linkedin profile status, you’ll want to stay there! One way of doing this is to keep your Linkedin profile content fresh and show Linkedin you’re actively using the platform.
There are a few quick and easy ways to do this without having to re-write your content. Of course, if you change jobs, gain more qualifications or have anything else of relevance to add then add it.
Posting regular Linkedin updates can help to keep your profile fresh and posting blogs on Linkedin Pulse is another good option to keep your profile fresh, whilst demonstrating your sector expertise to your network and general Pulse readers.
“Always aim to complete as many relevant sections as possible in great detail to achieve all-star Linkedin profile status.”