4 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile Today

5 Aug

You wouldn’t go to a professional networking event wearing flip flops and a t-shirt, right? Surly you wouldn’t walk in and refrain from contributing to the discussion. The whole point is to be prepared and expand your presence. You certainly shouldn’t neglect your professional online presence either.

Using the examples of two leaders, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and The President of The United States, Barack Obama (yeah, he’s on LinkedIn) we’re going to evaluate the most important parts of a profile and how you can step up your game a bit, too.

1. Always Have a Professional Photo

You should use a head and shoulders style shot and of only you. Find one that is as professional as possible. Professional doesn’t necessarily mean your typical “corporate” head-shot, either. Notice that Mr. Obama isn’t looking at the camera almost giving a more casual demeanor. He also has a simple background. If it was not the president and perhaps you or I it’s something that could have been easily taken by a friend or cropped from a larger photo. Jeff’s is a more standard-looking corporate shot but it is simple and you can clearly tell who it is.

Both types of photos are great examples to aim for when choosing your own.

Obama LinkedIn

2.      Headline Title

Your headline is the description you give of yourself at the very top of your profile. This doesn’t have to be your official title because that will also be reflected within your experience section. This is an eye catching one-liner that describes you professionally. It should be clear and to the point. I guess if you’re the president or a CEO you really don’t need to elaborate any further than what they have. However, it’s not always that clear cut for everyone and many like to get creative with this liberty. To start, read some best practices from the pros and develop some options for yourself.

Have you seen some good headlines or think yours is noteworthy? Share some with us in the comments.

3.      Summary

Take this very seriously because this is going to be the last thing people are likely to read on your profile if they make it this far.

Think of your summary as your written elevator pitch. The best part about writing out this pitch for your summary is that you now have a practiced and thought-out elevator pitch when you need it. Harvard Business Review has some great resources for crafting your perfect pitch as well as a pretty awesome tool that walks you through building it out.

For LinkedIn, I recommend keeping it down to 1 paragraph of no more than 4 sentences. Always include a call to action. Some examples could include:

4.      Completed Job Entries

To complete your profile optimization list out all of your relevant job experience. Include the title of your last role at that company or break them out into 2 separate roles. For example, if you received a promotion or were in two different departments, decide if it makes sense to create a new entry. If not, be sure your most recent role is reflected for that company.

At least one sentence to describe your role is sufficient. Include measurable results if you can provide them. There are more advanced ways to elaborate on your role and if you’d like one of your experiences to stick out more than others consider adding a project or a presentation to that experience like Jeff did in his.

Jeff Weiner LinkedIn CEO, Experience

What would you add to this list as a best practice for LinkedIn?


Jessica Robinson


One Response to “4 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile Today”


  1. 50% of Internet Users are Worried about Online Privacy | Midland Young Professionals - October 9, 2013

    […] to further expand personal business opportunities. At the very least, create a profile and complete your profile. Pro tip: sharing status updates and engaging on others’ status will help you expand and grow […]

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