It should come as no surprise that Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, has one of the best LinkedIn Profiles. While the arc of his career is impressive, there are plenty of accomplished executives whose LinkedIn profiles are unimpressive.
Ideally, everything about your profile should be focused on communicating your value to your target audience. The first thing you see when viewing this profile is the Background Image with the tagline “Connecting talent with opportunity at a massive scale.” This message has been a part of LinkedIn’s core marketing message for years:
Your Headline helps the reader understand exactly what you do and why you’re good at it. While this profile uses the default “Title at Company” Headline, further explanation isn’t necessary. Anyone using LinkedIn already knows what LinkedIn does! Again, the key is understanding your target audience.
The header section or your profile will also contain the number of contacts you’re connected with, and something over the magic “500+” threshold is ideal. The metric is tracked differently here because Jeff Wiener is an “Influencer.” Just in case you need more social proof note that he has over 5 million Followers.
Your Experience section should showcase not just what you’ve done, but also demonstrate that you’re good at it. You can highlight your quantifiable accomplishments in a bulleted list for more emphasis. Jeff Weiner certainly has an unusual number of accomplishments to draw on, but he does a great job quickly conveying some of his most important accomplishments. The Media section in this profile is a good example of the growth of video across all platforms including LinkedIn:
Finally, even the best LinkedIn profiles have room for improvement. My sense is that this profile hasn’t been updated in a while. If I were rewriting this profile I’d be sure the add the following bullet point:
- Negotiated $26.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft.
How good is your LinkedIn Profile?
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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!
How good is your LinkedIn Profile?
Click here to find out!
“If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?” Scientists will say yes. Philosophers will say maybe. Recruiters will say absolutely not. The bottom line is that if hiring firms and recruiters do not find your LinkedIn profile, it simply doesn’t matter how good your experience is!
While Facebook has far more members, the size of their network offers little benefit to individual members. By contrast, every LinkedIn contact I add or is added by someone in my network gives me better visibility into the overall LinkedIn network. Even relatively average LinkedIn members can have access to a network of millions of third order connections. The power of the “network effect” means that for the foreseeable future LinkedIn will extremely hard to disrupt.
What does all of this mean to your job search and/or personal brand? The answer is simple: more is better when it comes to LinkedIn networks. A larger network makes you more visible, while at the same time giving you better visibility into the network. LinkedIn conveniently provides a free tool to expand your network with a pick-list generated from your email contacts. What are you waiting for?