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Building an “All-Star” LinkedIn Profile

If you’re connected with me on LinkedIn, you’ll notice that I try to post a new piece of content every single day. I’ll admit, it’s definitely a commitment to add yet another social site to my daily “to-do” list, but of all the social sites I use to promote my services LinkedIn is where it’s at! LinkedIn is where you are building relationships with key decision makers. The head honchos. The big wigs. These are the people who ultimately control whether or not their company hires you or buys your product.

LinkedIn All-Star ProfileBeing seen and recognized on LinkedIn is important. Essentially it’s your online resume; a picture of your professional self. The last thing you want is for a potential employer, client or lead to visit your profile and see it half filled out or blank – this can leave a bad first impression. So your main goal when using LinkedIn is to get your profile to “All-Star” status. Don’t know what “All-Star” status means? When you look at your profile you will see a little circle in the top right-hand corner indicating your profile strength. You want the circle to be full to the top and say “all-star!”

So how do you build a profile that not only gets noticed, but reaches “All Star” status? By ensuring these 8 key profile sections are filled out:

Headline // This is the first thing a visitor will see when they land on your profile, make sure your job title tells them exactly what you do while keeping it fun and interesting.

Profile Picture // Get a professional headshot. Grainy photos from last summer’s BBQ are just not going to cut it on LinkedIn. You are 11 times more likely to have your profiled viewed if you have a high quality, professional photo.

Header Image // The header image option that LinkedIn recently introduced is a great way to illustrate and extend your personal branding. Make it eye-catching, and again, high quality.

Summary // This is often the most overlooked section of a LinkedIn profile because it’s intimating. Sometimes it can be hard to summarize yourself in a few short sentences, but trust me, it’s worth it! If the viewer has made it to this section you need to entice them to not only stay a little longer to read what you are all about, but to contact you.

Experience // Your current work experience should be upfront and center. Make sure the description is filled out in its entirety, and you use industry terminology to describe your position and services. Past experience is also important as it will make your profile look full and complete. Make sure your past positions include a thorough description and keywords.

Rich Media // Adding rich media content such as SlideShare presentations, videos, and infographics to your profile is a fantastic way to showcase visual assets to profile visitors.

Projects // Projects was originally introduced to LinkedIn as a way for students to share their projects, but more and more LinkedIn users are finding the projects section useful, using it to highlight products, services or other portfolio pieces. You can also include direct links to the team members who worked on the project, passing a little recognition their way!

Skills & Endorsements // Having a skill endorsed increases your level of social proof. You can now say, “see, Susie and 10 others say I am good at blogging, or painting, or training dogs” whatever your specialty may be. Make sure you have added a minimum of 10 relevant skills to your profile for your connections to endorse you on.

As you can see, what started as an online networking site has really grown to become a career management and personal branding platform. As an entrepreneur and business owner, you should most definitely be using LinkedIn! What’s stopping you from stepping up your LinkedIn game?

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