10 Tips on Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile and Achieving All-Star Status

Tynecia Martin, MBA, LUTCF®, FSS, Channel Marketing and Brand Specialist
March 9, 2017

Online networking can be easy as long as you know what to focus on and how to optimize your profile to rise to the top of searches.

Optimization with LinkedIn, like on many other sites, focuses on key words. The more key words you have throughout your profile, the higher the probability you’ll be found by the right people. All-Star status is the top LinkedIn status level and should be your goal. LinkedIn statistics reveal that “users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.”1

In order to achieve All-Star status, you need to ensure your profile has all of the components listed below.1

  • Profile photo
  • Professional experience — at least two positions with titles and descriptions listed
  • Skills — at least five listed
  • Summary — tell them about you
  • Industry and location
  • Education — list where you attended school
  • Connections — need at least 50

The following 10 tips will help you become a LinkedIn All-Star and optimize your profile for searches.

  1. Use your professional name. LinkedIn is a business site, so you always want to keep it professional — think in terms of your resume. This isn’t a time to use nicknames and abbreviations. If you have designations or degrees, highlight them.
  1. Please, no selfies. Remember that this is a professional environment, and your photo should align with that. Save the selfies for Facebook and Instagram. One way to increase your optimization is to name the photo you upload with keywords instead of the generic (e.g., typhoto.jpg). Using something like “marketingstrategymba.jpg” will count toward your total amount of key words but will not be seen by the public.
  1. Have a creative headline. The headline is your time to shine and tell everyone what you can do. Do not use your job title; there will be plenty of time to highlight it in the experience section. This is your opportunity to tell the readers what you can do for them.
  1. Include your industry and location. The right location and industry are key when you’re targeting a prospect for new opportunities. You don’t need to list the city in which you reside, but you can list a metroplex, such as Dallas-Fort Worth. In addition to providing your location, you should include your industry or job function. For example, if you work in the financial services industry, but your focus is marketing, you could use either one — use the one that represents your personal brand.
  1. Create a custom URL. You can customize your URL and make it easy for people to find you. The best way to do so is by personalizing your URL to match your name https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyneciamartinmba. If you don’t customize your URL, LinkedIn will create a URL for you that is based on a series of random numbers and letters. If you have a common name, it’s best to add a distinguishing factor, such as a middle initial or designation.
  1. Summarize your value. According to a Business Insider article, the summary section is crucial and is the first impression of your professional profile.2 This section is perfect for keywords and provides a tremendous amount of value for search engine optimization. The summary section is an opportunity for you to display what you can do based on your experience. This is your elevator speech and your brand, so tell readers what your strengths and specialties are. What do you want others to remember about you?
  1. List your work experience. This is your opportunity to notate your key accomplishments, responsibilities, awards and achievements. Highlight as many quantifiable achievements as possible, similar to the way you would on a resume. If you’re unemployed, you should insert a place-filler position showing that you’re in the market and what position you’re looking to obtain. In order to achieve All-Star status, you must have a current position.
  1. List your educational background. In order to achieve All-Star status, the education field must be completed. If you’re currently in school or did not graduate, there’s no need to worry; simply fill out your most recent education.
  1. Develop your network. One of the great benefits of LinkedIn is the ability to network with people you’ve never met. You can connect with people that you’ve lost contact with and see how they’re doing professionally. When you start developing your network by adding connections, the easiest way to start is to connect with people you know and have met in the past. Connect with high school friends, past colleagues, and people you’re currently meeting through networks and work. In order to become a LinkedIn All-Star you need to have a minimum of 50 connections. If you have a large network, it will be easy to hit 500+ connections, which is the maximum number that will show on your headline.
  1. Highlight your skills/endorsements and recommendations. When you’re networking on LinkedIn, it’s not the time to be modest; rather, it’s the time to boast and highlight your key skills. What is your professional brand? Which key attributes align with your brand? You will need a minimum of five key skills to become an All-Star, and you can add a maximum of 50. Try not to add all of your skills; rather, focus on the key skills that best represent you. If you don’t change your settings, friends can select skills for you that may not represent the brand you’re trying to establish. Once you select your skills, people can endorse you for the skills they believe you have. Update your settings, and establish your own brand; don’t let someone else determine it for you. Recommendations are higher validation to what you can do but aren’t required to achieve All-Star status. This is your virtual letter of recommendation. When someone recommends you, that individual is providing knowledge and insight into why he or she thinks you’re great. Don’t be shy — you can ask for recommendations. The best way to get recommendations is to ask and reciprocate.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and search-engine-optimized. A complete profile and optimization is what will give you more visibility. LinkedIn provides five stages of completeness (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert and All-Star), and the higher you rank, the more benefits you receive. It’s beneficial for you to have a complete All-Star profile so that you’re searchable and move up in the ranks when someone is looking for a person with your expertise.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool — working professionals search through LinkedIn to find qualified candidates to fill positions and expand their networks. If you embrace these tips, they can help you optimize your profile, build your brand and obtain the All-Star status.

 

1 McDonald, Lisa K., CPRW. “LinkedIn All-Star Status Rocks & How to Reach It in 7 Steps.” LinkedIn, Dec. 16, 2015.

2 Richard Feloni, “11 Things You Should Be Doing on LinkedIn but Probably Aren’t.” Business Insider, Mar. 3, 2014.

 

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