There’s a huge opportunity now that LinkedIn has over 500 million users, but you’ll need to create your best LinkedIn profile in order to stand out.  Here’s how to do it.

First, you need to clearly identify your target market.  Are you looking for a job or do you want business partners and clients to see you in a better light?  For example, a profile which focuses most of the reader’s attention on your hobbies is unlikely to impress a potential employer.  Similarly, a profile which focuses on your amazing ability to sell even horrible products probably isn’t sending the right message to your clients.

The heart of the profile is the written content.  If the spacing of Tony Robbins’ headshot is slightly off, no one cares because he has an amazing background.  Generally, your target audience cares about three things:

1.  What have you done?
2.   What can you do for me?
3.  How do I know that you are good at this?

For example, a hiring sales manager is unlikely to be impressed to read that you are a “Passionate Customer Advocate.  The same hiring sales manager will likely be more excited to read that you “Exceeded sales quota in 2014, 2015, and 2016.”

Recommendations are another great way of answering the question “how do I know that you are good at this?”  Two or three recommendations from many years ago is average, but it’s certainly not impressive.  If you have two or three recommendations for your current job and five to ten recommendations overall, it will go a long way towards establishing your credibility.

Finally, now that you’ve created your best LinkedIn profile, you need to make sure people can find it!  The two primary methods of doing this are improving your visibility and improving your searchability.  On average, every 1st order Connection you add to your LinkedIn Network results in an average of 100,000 new 3rd order connections!  The more connections you have, the easier you are to find.  The “Add Connections” tool found under the “My Network” icon of your LinkedIn profile is a great way to expand your network by reaching out to selected contacts you have emailed in the past.  The tool provides a picklist so that you can choose exactly who to add to your network.

The easiest way to improve your searchability is to completely fill out the Skills section completely in your LinkedIn profile.  You can add relevant Skills until you reach a maximum of 50.  It’s worth noting that recruiters don’t pay attention to the number of Endorsements, so don’t be concerned that your 49th or 50th Skill does not have a large number of endorsements.

These steps will go a long way towards creating your best LinkedIn profile.  Revisiting your profile to update and ask for recommendations every 3-6 months is a great way to keep it that way!


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