Make Your LinkedIn Profile Shine in 4 Easy Steps

Posted by Matt Kersey in Uncategorized

As the title suggests, there are 4 major components that go into a healthy looking LinkedIn profile. But before we can build a great profile, we need to first create a strategic plan.

Ask yourself these 3 initial questions:

  • Who do you want to view your profile?
  • Why are they going to want to view it?
  • What action do you want them to take after they view it?

After you have thought about these questions, you can start optimizing your profile.

1) Profile Image

Make sure to have a photo of yourself on your profile page. This may sound rudimentary, but it’s often neglected. People like doing business with other people. Don’t be afraid to show them your face.Modern Businessman

You’ll want to choose a photo where you look professional, preferably one where you’re also looking baller. Your image doesn't have to be perfectly cropped – LinkedIn allows you to select the area that you want to use by placing it within a yellow box.

Just make sure your photo is high resolution and large enough to fill the entire space that LinkedIn gives you. Each pixel should be treated as a priceless piece of real estate.


Most people use their job title and company name for their headline. How uninteresting is that?! I would recommend that you change your headline to be a benefit statement directed at your target audience.

For example, one of my clients is a venture capitalist who drives funding for large commercial real estate projects. His headline is “Capital driven solutions for commercial projects that require substantial funding– when banks say NO we say YES!”

While it may be a little on the lengthy side, it has worked extremely well for him.

Another one of my clients is a wealth advisor. You can probably guess his target market by his headline – “Wealth advice that enables business owners and retirees.”

3) Summary

The summary section should be a brief synopsis of your objectives and explain why you’re so awesome. You may decide to bullet point your relevant experience and/or noteworthy skills. Just be sure to keep it short and to the point.

Since it’s hard to know how much of your profile people will actually read, it’s a good idea to front-load your content. Lead with your strongest arguments. This will guarantee you are positioned in the best light possible.

Be sure to break your copy up in easy to read, digestible chunks. Large blocks of text are not easy on the eyes.

Don't forget to include a call to action above the fold in your summary section. Depending on your objective, call-outs to a landing page or contact information usually work well. I recommend enclosing your call to action in Unicode symbols to draw the reader’s eye.

4) Experience

Be sure to create an entry for each of the relevant jobs that you have held. Make sure it’s clear how you provided a benefit to each of your employers. Keep the focus on how YOU helped the company.

Everything that goes into writing an effective resume is also applicable for this section. It is entirely acceptable to copy and paste portions of your existing resume provided it is up to date. No sense in reinventing the wheel.

Using action words in your copy help stimulate interest. Words like analyzed, budgeted, conducted, designed, increased, oversaw and trained typically work well.

7576699466_7a0a3da9b5_mI recommend adding a project or two on the entry that is most relevant or current. This can really increase your credibility and is a great way to showcase your work.

Some people like to describe their accomplishments by writing a paragraph or two while others like to bullet a few of the most important things. This is a matter of personal preference. However you decide to approach it, make sure you keep a consistent formatting style between each entry.

The length of each entry should be dependent on the amount of experience you have accumulated. If you have only had 1 or 2 jobs you’ll probably want to beef up your entries a bit. This will help you avoid a bare looking profile.

When adding entries, be sure to type in the company name and wait for LinkedIn to populate the entry before you press “Enter.” Most companies have a LinkedIn company page and you’ll want to make sure your entry points to that page.

Linking to the company page will also populate the company logo on your entry, which will make your experience section look more legit. If your company does not have a company page be sure to include a link to the company website somewhere in the job description.

For a more extensive checklist of steps for optimizing your LinkedIn profile, click the link below!

Profile Checklist - Horizontal Ad

One final word of advice

Before you post anything new on your profile copy and paste it into a Word document to help you catch any spelling or grammar errors. Errors are counterproductive to your efforts and you will be judged by them.

For additional tips on improving your LinkedIn profile read my blog post Getting Endorsements and Recommendations on LinkedIn.

Happy Editing!