10 Steps To A LinkedIn Profile Your Boss Will Love

If you follow my posts, you know that I’ve recently fallen in love with the power of LinkedIn. And I’m trying to spread the LinkedIn love to all of my colleagues!

During monthly JP Marketing staff meetings, one team member presents a 10-Minute Tip to teach the staff something valuable for work. This last month was my turn. Take a wild guess what I talked about.

We work with business-to-business clients on a regular basis, and for most of them, our first piece of social media advice is to dedicate time to completing their LinkedIn profiles. When going through some of my colleagues’ profiles, I was a little disappointed with what I found: No profile photos, missing work experience, or no profile altogether.

I decided that it’s time that our entire office practices what we preach and takes the time to fill out their profiles. I’m going to share my spiel with you.

Follow these steps and in thirty minutes or less you’ll have a profile to be proud of.

  1. Add a photo. There’s nothing more suspicious than a camera shy graphic. Likely, you have at least one professional-looking photo worthy of representing you online.  Here’s a few Dos and Don’ts for your profile photo:
    DO NOT use a blurry photo
    DO stay consistent across all social media profiles
    DO NOT use a group shot. How are we supposed to know who you are?
    DO use something with personality. It doesn’t have to be a stiff and boring photo
    DO NOT wear anything, or be in any setting, inappropriate for work
  2. Fill out your summary. Who are you and why should I care? Write a paragraph or more explaining who you are, what you’re passionate about, and why people should connect with you. Think of this as your 15-second elevator pitch.
  3. Choose your headline. What do you want to be remembered as? Take your time. It’s the 3-second pitch that gets users to read the summary you just perfected. Me? I’m an obsessive Outreach & New Media Manager who has tirelessly handled the reputations of clients from more than 11 industries.
  4. Add your experience. What are you doing? What have you done? Include all work experience, internships, or anything applicable to your career goals.
  5. Add your skills & expertise. What are you good at? If you’re a whiz with Photoshop, include it! Your peers can endorse you (which is basically a miniature testimonial.)
  6. Include volunteer work and causes. What do you care about? If you’re active in the community, show it. Not only does it help promote the cause in a small way, but can help you connect with others who share the same passions.
  7. Share your work. Have you had any of your work published online? Share it on your profile and link it back to the source.
  8. Add your honors and awards. You may think that award was silly, but it actually means a lot to people! Don’t miss your chance to brag; add any and all awards in this section.
  9. Join organizations and groups. Are you a member of the American Advertising Federation or PRSA? Be sure to join all organizations you are a member of and join any groups relevant to your career.
  10. Ask for recommendations! Now that your profile is complete, ask your most trusted clients and colleagues for recommendations. And don’t be greedy. Recommend people (only if you truly believe in their work) and they are more likely to recommend you.

Ten steps later and your profile is better than half of all LinkedIn users! That’s right. Only 50.5% of users have ‘complete profiles’ as defined by LinkedIn. There are plenty of other ways to spruce up your profile. I’m sure that by keeping this at ten tips, I’m forgetting some important details. Tell me what I missed!

(Fun fact: Thirty seconds into writing this, Jane called me into her office to help her publish her first LinkedIn post. I can happily say that the LinkedIn love is beginning to make its way around the office!)

– Anna Gonzalez, Outreach & New Media Manager