16 Tips for a Winning LinkedIn Profile

Confiance Career Connection LLC

16 Tips for a Winning LinkedIn Profile

By Daniel M. Rover, CEO

Here are 16 profile tips for your LinkedIn profile. Some of them will garner quick results, some of them may take a little bit of time, but all of them are very worthwhile. They will help to give you a winning LinkedIn profile.

1. Choose the right profile picture.

Your profile picture is your calling card on LinkedIn. It’s how people are introduced to you giving them a first impression. Here are some quick tips to help choose the right photo. Make sure the picture is recent and looks like you, the photo should make up 60% of your face (long-distance shots don’t stand out), wear what you would like to wear to work, and smile.

2. Add a background photo.

Your background photo is the second visual element of your profile page. It grabs people’s attention, and shows a little more about what matters to you. More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention and stay memorable.

3. Make your headline something more.

Your description at the top of your profile page does not have to simply be your job title. Use the headline field to say more about how you see your title and why you do what you do.

4. Turn your summary into something special.

The first thing to say about your LinkedIn summary is to make sure you have one. Your summary is your chance to tell your story and not just to list your skills or previous job titles. Try to explain why those skills matter and the effect they can have on the people you work with. Don’t be afraid to invest some time in this as it is your most personal piece of marketing.  It is well worth the effort.

5. Beware of buzzwords.

Buzzwords are adjectives that are used too often in LinkedIn headlines and summaries.  They are used so much that they become almost completely meaningless. These words include: ‘specialized’, ‘leadership’, ‘focused’, ‘strategic’, ‘experienced’, ‘passionate’, ‘expert’, ‘creative’, ‘innovative’ and ‘certified’. It is not to say that you shouldn’t use these words or that they don’t matter but just using these words won’t convince people that you have these qualities. You need to demonstrate them by the way you describe yourself, and in the way you use LinkedIn profile features to show what you’re about.

6. Improve your network.

One of the easiest and relevant ways to grow your LinkedIn network is to sync your profile with your email address book. This enables LinkedIn to suggest people you could connect with. It’s very effective at identifying relevant people for you to reach out to and you control connection requests. Also, get into the habit of following up meetings and conversations with LinkedIn connection requests.

7. List your relevant skills.

Scroll through the list of skills and identify those that are relevant to you. Doing so helps to back-up the description in your Headline and Summary, and provides a platform for others to endorse you. The key is staying relevant. A long list of skills that aren’t really core to who you are can start to feel cumbersome. Take time for a spring clean of your skills list every now and then.

8. Highlight the services you offer.

Services is a new LinkedIn feature that helps consultants, freelancers and those working for smaller businesses to showcase the range of services that they offer. Filling out the Services section of your profile can boost your visibility in search results.

9. Endorsements matter.

Endorsements from others verify your skills and increase your credibility. Go through your network and identify connections who you feel deserve an endorsement from you. That’s a trigger for people to return the favor. Also, you can reach out with a polite message asking for endorsements. Remember though to only reach out to people whose endorsement you’d really value.

10. Manage your endorsements.

When endorsements start to come in, you might find that they make your LinkedIn profile lean in ways that don’t reflect you accurately. Be proactive in managing your endorsements by using the edit features in the Skills section of your profile. You can choose which to show, and which to hide.

11. Take a skills assessment.

You can take a skills assessment test online.  It enables you to demonstrate the level of your skills, and display a Verified Skills badge on your profile. Data shows that candidates with verified skills are around 30% more likely to be hired for the roles they apply for.  

12. Request recommendations.

Recommendations are personal testimonials written to illustrate the experience of working with you. There’s a drop-down menu in the Recommendations section of your profile that makes it easy to reach out to specific contacts and request recommendations. Take the time to think about who you would most value a recommendation from and personalize your request.

13. Show what you have learned.

When you complete a course on LinkedIn Learning, you’ll have the opportunity to add a course certificate to your LinkedIn profile. You do this from within the Learning History section of your LinkedIn Learning account.

14. Credit for your Publications.

The Publications section is one of the most under-used elements in LinkedIn profiles and you can really stand out from the crowd when you use this feature to draw attention to yourself. Have you helped to write an eBook or a White Paper? Or written a post on your company’s blog? The Publications section links your profile to these assets.

15. Add comments.

When you add comments to your shares, you give yourself greater stature within the feed. Well-expressed comments enable you to share a broader range of content. A comment that can express your viewpoint establishes your opinion and leadership ability. It’s also more likely to draw additional comments, which in turn will raise your profile across LinkedIn.

16. Follow influencers for your industry.

Following relevant influencers on LinkedIn helps to put interesting content in your feed, which you can share with others when you think it adds value. It also gives body to your LinkedIn profile, demonstrating your passion for what you do.

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