Achieving LinkedIn All-Star Profile Status
How would you like to get more hits on your LinkedIn profile? How about getting job offers directly from recruiters?
As a job seeker, there’s no doubt you answered “yes” to these questions. So, how do you make it happen? One crucial way is to ensure your LinkedIn profile has achieved All-Star status.
The way LinkedIn works, there are five levels of profile strength: beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert, and All-Star. Getting to the All-Star level is critical because, according to some estimates, users with All-Star profiles are 40 times more likely to be contacted with job opportunities.
Achieving All-Star status isn’t super-difficult, either. Doing so will include basic things to strengthen your profile, such as adding a professional picture, filling out your work experience, and writing a catchy headline.
One thing is for sure: If you’re looking for a job, you should be on LinkedIn and have an excellent profile. There are more than 875 million active users on LinkedIn, and an estimated 95% of recruiters use the website.
Empire Resume will explain the steps you need to take to achieve All-Star status on LinkedIn and other ways to improve your profile.
Ensure Your Photo is Professional
The first step to getting All-Star status is to upload a professional headshot. LinkedIn is a social networking site. But remember, the site is for business professionals, so there are general guidelines on what your profile photo should and shouldn’t look like.
Use a solo picture of yourself and don’t crop yourself out of a group photo. The image should be a headshot where your face occupies about 60% of the screen. The picture should be a recent one – not something for Throwback Thursday.
Your facial expression in the picture also matters. You’ll want to look relaxed, approachable, and genuine, so try to smile and not look too serious or intense. Recruiters will most likely be attracted to and click on your profile if the picture exudes a warm and inviting presence.
What you should wear in the picture is debatable. Some experts recommend wearing the attire you usually wear at work. So, if you’re a CEO, the best bet might be a suit and tie. If you’re an entry-level worker for a startup company, a nice shirt/blouse with khakis or a skirt may do.
Other experts advise dressing up for the picture or, as the old saying goes, dressing for the job you want. Dressing more formal for the industry you’re in does have some advantages, as it’ll make you look more professional. Either way, the decision is up to you.
Some things you shouldn’t do for your profile picture include using a selfie, having a distracting background, and incorporating hobbies. Selfies are more appropriate for sites like Facebook – not a professional site like LinkedIn. And, though you may love your dog, he/she shouldn’t be in your LinkedIn profile photo.
Consider hiring a pro photographer to take your pictures for LinkedIn. Many corporate photographers specialize in this and having a well-done photograph will give you an edge on the site. If you’re short on cash, check a local library or career center, which may offer the service for free or at a nominal cost.
Fill Out Work Experience
The next step in your journey to All-Star status is to fill in your work experience. Only listing current and past jobs, company names, and dates of employment isn’t enough, though. Optimize your profile by adding strategic summaries of responsibilities and accomplishments for each position held.
Remember, a great resume is the foundation for a great LinkedIn profile. Your resume’s work experience should clearly highlight your skills, experience, and the value you bring.
Include relevant industry keywords in your experience summaries – this will lead to your profile showing up in more search results. Write the summaries in a way that showcases the value you delivered to the company. Also, use strong verbs and action words like “managed,” “led,” “grew,” and “saved” that make the summaries easier to read. These types of action words are much more attractive to recruiters than passive phrases like “responsible for” or “duties included.”
Start each job experience listing with an overview that explains what the position entailed. Keep the writing clear and concise, and always check for spelling and grammar errors when you’re done.
Write a Killer Summary
The summary may be the most important feature on a LinkedIn profile, and having a good one will help you achieve All-Star status. The summary has a prominent spot on a profile, and it allows you to tell your story.
When you write your summary, imagine you’re having a one-on-one conversation with a hiring manager. It may be helpful to even imagine the manager just asked you the common interview question, “Tell me about yourself.”
The summary should encapsulate your experience, strengths, skills, and vision for your career. They can be a maximum of 2,000 words, but they don’t have to be that long. Use industry keywords but avoid too much jargon. You ideally want the writing style to be conversational and friendly – not technical.
List Skills & Get Endorsements
The skills and endorsements section on LinkedIn gives you the chance to gain credibility. You must list at least five skills to achieve All-Star status, but you can list a maximum of 50.
This section is vital because, when done well, it increases your visibility on the site. Your profile will rank higher in search results if you add more skills and get a good amount of endorsements for them.
Be strategic when adding skills. List the ones that are important in your industry and most relevant to current career goals. As far as endorsements go, some good karma helps. Endorse the skills of current or former colleagues (but only if you can genuinely vouch for them). Those colleagues may, in turn, endorse your skills. You can also ask people you’ve worked with for endorsements.
Optimize Your Profile
Adding education isn’t very difficult on LinkedIn, but it’s necessary to achieve All-Star status. And while listing the university you attended and the degree you earned is simple, there are ways to make the most out of this section.
Include specifics about what you studied at university, any honors or awards you received, and volunteer or extracurricular activities you were involved in. Try to relate them to your current career goals. For example, if you’re looking for a marketing job, tie in relevant details from your college days, such as writing for the school newspaper.
Other ways to optimize your profile include:
- Writing a compelling headline. You’re allowed a maximum of 120 characters for your headline, so use them wisely. Don’t just list your job title and company – use the headline as an opportunity to highlight your expertise and individuality.
- Add your industry and location. This section is simple, too, but it’s necessary for achieving All-Star status. When adding location, it’s best to list the metropolitan area rather than a specific town or city. For instance, if you live in the Chicago suburbs, list the Greater Chicago area. This will cast a wider net for you to be found in search results.
- Use a custom URL. LinkedIn gives the option of creating a custom URL for profile pages – and it’s wise to do so. A custom URL makes it easier for people to find you, and you can use it on your resume, business card, email signature, and personal website.
- Add a relevant background image. LinkedIn allows users to add customized background images on profiles. You could use the default blue background, but why not separate yourself from the competition? It’s a great chance at personal branding. Add an image that’s relevant to your brand or the industry you work in.
LinkedIn is about professional networking, so it should go without saying that adding connections is crucial. You need at least 50 connections to achieve All-Star status but, hopefully, you can expand your network beyond that. Once you have more than 500 connections, your profile will list 500+, regardless of how many more you rack up.
There are no set rules for adding connections. If you don’t know where to start, add former co-workers, colleagues, professors, people you volunteered with, and past managers or bosses. Remember that quality counts over quantity. Don’t just send random requests – consider how well you know the person first.
You can also (sort of) connect with business influencers. Instead of a personal connection, LinkedIn allows you to follow well-known industry influencers and keep track of their posts and insightful comments. For example, the writers at Empire Resume follow figures like Mark Cuban, Melinda Gates, and Richard Branson to stay up to date on their insights into the business world.
Go Beyond All-Star Status
Achieving All-Star status on LinkedIn isn’t exactly rocket science. Creating a complete and detailed profile will allow you to be a LinkedIn All-Star and, believe us, it’ll pay off in spades. LinkedIn users with complete and active profiles are much more likely to be contacted about job offers.
LinkedIn is a powerful business networking tool and its influence continues to grow in our digital age. Some of the statistics about the site are mind-blowing. For instance, there are about 20 million companies on LinkedIn and around 14 million jobs posted on the site at any given time.
The more effort you put into creating a stellar LinkedIn profile, the better your chances are at advancing your career. Go beyond merely achieving All-Star status and do things like post updates, articles, give and receive recommendations, and join groups to interact with other users.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.