Almost every professional knows the importance of LinkedIn, whether someone is job hunting or not. LinkedIn makes it easier for people to locate you online, adds a bit more flavor to what is on your resume and allows you to remain on top of trends and happenings within your industry.
LinkedIn is hands down the best platform to promote yourself as a professional and manage your professional network. Because of this, a lot of professionals know they need to have a profile on LinkedIn, and many of them actually do, which is why LinkedIn boasts of more than 500 million users.
Still, many of those on LinkedIn do not take full advantage of the benefits offered by the platform because they think simply having a profile is enough.
Today, I want to show you how you can make the most of LinkedIn and increase your chances of getting conducted by elevating your LinkedIn profile to an All-Star rating.
- 1 UNDERSTANDING LINKEDIN’S PROFILE STRENGTH
- 2 THE EIGHT KEY COMPONENTS OF ALL-STAR STATUS
- 3 BONUS TIPS TO MAKE YOUR PROFILE ALL-STAR PLUS
- 4 WRAPPING UP
UNDERSTANDING LINKEDIN’S PROFILE STRENGTH
LinkedIn ranks user profiles in five levels depending on the profile’s level of completion. As you complete your profile and add more content to it, your profile strength increases. At the bottom rung is the Beginner Status, which is given to users with less than 50% profile completion.
To be ranked as a beginner, you only need to set up your profile and fill in basic information such as your name, your location, one job and three skills.
The next level is Intermediate, which is given to users who have reached 50% profile completion. The Intermediate level is followed by Advanced level, which is reserved for users who have reached more than 75% profile completion. This is followed by Expert level, which is given to users who have reached 90% profile completion. At the top of the ladder is the All Star level, which is reserved for users who have 100% profile completion.
If you want to increase your chances of success on LinkedIn, the All-Star status is what you should be aiming for. LinkedIn algorithms are designed to give priority to users with complete profiles by ranking them higher in search results compared to users with incomplete profiles.
With a complete profile, you are more likely to be found and contacted. Actually, users with an All-Star status are 40 times more likely to get contacted through LinkedIn compared to users who are yet to attain that status.
To achieve All-Star status on LinkedIn, there are eight key components that you need to fill in on your profile. Below, we take a look at how to fill in these eight key components in order to score the All-Star status.
THE EIGHT KEY COMPONENTS OF ALL-STAR STATUS
If you do not have a profile photo on your LinkedIn profile, you are making a very huge mistake. Your profile photo is one on the most important elements on your profile. It is your first chance to make an impression on other LinkedIn users and communicate to them that you are likable, trustworthy and friendly.
The impression you make with your profile photo matters a lot.
A study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science shows that the first impression a person forms about you from a photo is likely to stick even after meeting you in person.
Having a profile photo also increases your chances of having your profile viewed. LinkedIn statistics show that profiles with a professional profile photo are 14 times more likely to be viewed, compared to those without a photo. In addition, having a profile photo makes it easier for people to recognize you, especially if there are several other people with a name similar to yours.
One thing you need to understand here is that simply having a profile photo is not enough. To increase your chances of getting viewed, your profile photo needs to look professional. Don’t include your spouse, kids, or pets in your LinkedIn profile photo. You should be the only one in the photo, and the background should be clear. Your dressing in the photo should be formal.
If you can’t wear it to your workplace, it has no place in your LinkedIn profile photo. Oh, and remember to smile. It makes you look confident, friendly and inviting.
Your headline is what appears just below your name. The aim of the headline is to let other people know who you are professionally. When you sign up for your LinkedIn account, LinkedIn’s default suggestion is that you should enter your job title and the name of the company you work for.
Sure, that works, but if you want to stand out from the other 562 registered LinkedIn users, you need to be more creative. While the headline is limited to 120 characters, this is more than enough to write an attention grabbing headline. So, how do you write a great headline?
Instead of listing your job title and company, use your headline to show your passion and the value you bring to the table. What do clients or companies stand to gain by hiring or working with you? What unique skills do you have?
Remember to include industry related keywords (not overused buzzwords) to make easier for recruiters and clients to find you. Below are some examples of what you can write on your headline instead of your title and company:
- Rockstar Content Strategist, Top Performer, Seeking Nonprofit Opportunities
- Financial Analyst Specializing In Startup IT Companies
- Elite Blockchain Programmer With A Passion For Coding And Mastery In Solidity. Java And Python Certified
The above headlines are clearly more eye catching than content strategist at ABC or programmer at XYZ.
The summary sections gives you a chance to expound on your headline. This is where you introduce yourself and share your personal story directly with your audience. Many people find writing a summary about themselves to be a difficult task, but it need not be. Imagine yourself in an evening cocktail party for people within your industry.
Drinks are flowing, the atmosphere is warm and relaxed. You strike a conversation with a charming lady or gentleman, and after a bit of chit chat, they say, “So, tell me about yourself.” You should write your summary the same way you would answer that question in a relaxed professional setting.
When writing your summary, you should talk about things such as what you love about your job, your strengths and specialties, some of the successes you have had in your career, things about your industry that give you satisfaction, and so on.
You have 2000 characters to play with here, which is more than enough to show other users why you are someone worthy reaching out to. Below is an example of a great LinkedIn summary.
“I am a seasoned content writer with over 7 years’ experience in the tech industry. I’m passionate about helping websites increase their traffic and conversions. I have spent the last 3 years with company XYZ, during which I have grown their website traffic from one million visitors a month to 12 million visitors a month and increased their online sales by 62%. I have been featured on Mashable and Wired. I’m currently offering my services as a web consultant. If you’d like us to work together, get in touch through firstname.lastname@example.org.”
LinkedIn is a platform for making professional connections, so it is important to highlight whatever skills you bring to the table. LinkedIn allows you to list up to 50 skills in this section. You don’t have to fill up all the 50 skills though. In order to score the All-Star status, you only need to list a minimum of 5 skills.
Wondering why you should bother adding skills to your profile? Well, according to LinkedIn, users with at least 5 skills on their profile are viewed 13 more times on average compared to users who do not have their skills listed on their profiles.
While you can list up to 50 skills on your profile, don’t get carried away. You want to make sure that you are sharing the right skills. A good way of identifying relevant skills to list on your profile is to look at the profiles of your colleagues and people you admire within your field. What skills have they listed on their profiles? Take the ones that apply to you and add them to your profile. Don’t limit your list to technical skills only.
Many recruiters prioritize job seekers with transferrable soft skills as well, so be sure to highlight one or two soft skills on your profile, such as leadership, communication, collaboration, time management, and so on. Finally, keep in mind that LinkedIn allows you to edit the order in which your skills are shown on your profile. Edit yours and make sure the most important skills are shown first.
This section allows you to tell a story of where you have been as a professional. Since you are aiming for the All-Star status, you need to list your current position and two past positions. You won’t be able to score All-Star status without listing two past positions. Need more reason as to why you need to list your previous positions?
LinkedIn says that profiles with more than one job listed are 12 times more likely to be viewed than those with just the current position.
One mistake that many LinkedIn users make when filling out their experience section is to simply mention where they worked and the position they held there. If you want to show your worth to recruiters and prospective employers, you need to do more than that.
Share more details about your previous positions.
What interesting projects did you work on during your time there? What were your key achievements and accomplishments? What did you deliver? What did you learn? What special credentials did you earn?
Use figures to quantify your achievements in each position.
If you have any pictures, videos, presentations, press releases or links to support your work experience, don’t be shy to use them.
Industry And Location
The aim of this section is to let other users know what industry you work in and where you are located. Many people do not see the importance of this section and therefore tend to leave it blank. However, you cannot score the All-Star status without filling in this section.
In addition to the All-Star status, adding your industry and location makes it easier for you to be found. LinkedIn allows users to filter their search results based on industry and location.
Adding your industry and location allows users searching for people within your industry or location to find you.
To score the All-Star status, you also need to add your education. Adding your education has a number of benefits beyond propelling you towards All-Star status.
First, by listing your highest qualification, you are proving your academic level. Let’s say that you got a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, but later decided to pursue a career as a freelance writer or a social media manager. In such an instance, it might seem that your bachelor’s degree has no correlation to your current profession, and it might be tempting to leave it out.
However, listing it in your education section shows prospective clients and employers that they are dealing with someone whose thinking is at university level.
Listing your education also makes it easier to build your network by providing you with an opportunity to connect to other users who went to the same school as you.
When listing your education, don’t stop at the school you attended and the certification you earned. Use this as another chance to show your worth by talking about any other skills or knowledge you gained during your school days. Were you the president of the student’s union?
This is a chance to showcase your leadership skills. Were you a member of the computer club? This is a chance for you to showcase your passion for your industry. Talking about your experiences at school also provides you with a chance to tuck in some extra keywords into your profile, thus making it easier for recruiters, employers and clients to find you.
In order to score All-star status, you also need to have 50 or more LinkedIn connections. Finding people to connect with should not be a difficult task.
There are several ways of finding people you may know on LinkedIn. The first option is to important contacts from your email address. This will bring up a list of LinkedIn users whose contacts you have in your address book. You can then go through the list and send invitations to those you want to add as connections.
You can also use the ‘Alumni’ tab, which will bring up a list of people who went to the same school as you. Go through the list and send invitations to those you want to connect with. Another option is to use the ‘Colleagues’ tab, which allows you to find people who have worked at the same companies you have worked at.
Finally, you also have the option of using the ‘People You May Know’ tab. This option gives you a list of users LinkedIn thinks you may know based on your current suggestions. If you find people you actually know, you can then go ahead and add them to your network.
BONUS TIPS TO MAKE YOUR PROFILE ALL-STAR PLUS
By filling in these eight key components, you will be able to score the All-Star status and get ahead of nearly half of the competition, since only 51% of LinkedIn users have a complete profile. However, you still have another half of the 562 million LinkedIn users to compete with.
If you want to separate yourself from the other All-Star LinkedIn users, you need to make your profile an All-Star Plus.
This means going beyond the basics of having a complete profile and tweaking a few other elements to further increase your chances of being found and contacted by recruiters, employers and clients. Below are some tips to help you turn your profile into an All-Star Plus profile.
Customize Your URL
Your LinkedIn profile URL provides you with an easy way to share your LinkedIn profile. You simply need to copy it and paste it in an email, a tweet, a Facebook post, a text message, or even on your website. Anyone who clicks on the link will be directed to your LinkedIn profile.
Unfortunately, there is one problem. The default LinkedIn profile URL is nowhere near pretty. It looks something like this:
Would you be confident sharing your LinkedIn profile URL when is has jumbled string of letters and numbers at the end? What many do not know is that LinkedIn allows you to customize your LinkedIn profile to something more presentable, such as:
Customizing your LinkedIn profile URL has a number of benefits. First, it increases your chances of ranking higher in search results, both on LinkedIn and on Google. Second, it is more memorable and makes it easier for you to direct people to your LinkedIn profile. Finally, a customized LinkedIn URL also looks sharp on your resume and in your email signatures.
Customizing your LinkedIn profile URL is quite easy. Simply click on your avatar on your LinkedIn homepage and click on ‘View Profile’. Once your profile page opens, find and click on the ‘Edit public profile and URL’ button, which is usually on the right side of the page.
Clicking on the button will allow you to edit your profile URL as you please, provided that the URL you choose is available and does not contain special characters.
Ask For Recommendations
Asking for recommendations is another great way of boosting your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations are essentially statements from other LinkedIn users describing your skills, expertise, strengths, personal qualities, or their experience working with you.
Recommendations are like testimonials showing what other people enjoy most about working with you. Asking for recommendations boost your profile in two ways.
First, recommendations contribute to higher rankings in LinkedIn’s people search results.
Second, recommendations act as social proof, giving recruiters, employers and clients the confidence that they won’t regret hiring or working with you. If other people have had a pleasant experience working with you and give you glowing reviews on LinkedIn, this gives you credibility and shows that you are actually a great person who is good at what you do. You can learn how to score amazing LinkedIn recommendations here.
Add Additional Profile Features
You can also increase your views and show your value by filling in additional profile features such as your volunteering experience, projects you have worked on, your published work, courses, certifications, patents, honors and awards, and languages. For instance, LinkedIn says that listing your volunteer experience can increase the number of views by up to six times compared to leaving it off your profile.
In addition to increasing the number of views on your profile, filling these additional profile features presents an all-round picture of yourself and changes the way recruiters and employers evaluate you – for better.
The charities and causes you have volunteered for show the kind of person you are and the things you care about. In addition, almost half of hiring managers consider volunteer experience to be equivalent to traditional, full-time work experience.
Commit To Posting At Least Once A Week
Another effective way to increase views on your profile, stand out from the crowd and increase the chances of being contacted is to regularly post on LinkedIn. LinkedIn says that users who post at least once a week increase their chances of being contacted by recruiters by up to 10 times.
Posting regularly also increases your reach to people outside your network. Every time a person you are connected to interacts with your post, the post becomes visible to people within their network. This can significantly increase your reach.
Posting regularly also enhances your relationships with your network, which is the essence of being on LinkedIn. By posting great content on your profile, you are providing value to your connections, which is a great way of building relationships.
Finally, by posting valuable content regularly, you position yourself as an expert within your field. This increases your likelihood of being contacted, being hired and being paid more.
You can increase your chances of being contacted on LinkedIn by up to 40 times simply by scoring the All-Star status. Attaining All-Star status is also quite easy. You just need to ensure that you have filled in the 8 key components discussed above.
However, if you really want to stand out from the competition, you need to do more than fill your profile completely. You also need to ensure that each of these sections is filled in the right way, with relevant information. The bonus tips given within the article will further improve your chances of getting contacted and getting hired.
The key thing here is that you should focus not only on the completeness of your profile, but also on the quality of all the information you share on your profile.