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How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Count

The Betts Team
July 27, 2011

A few weeks ago I gave you reasons why you should maintain your LinkedIn profile, and now you’re probably wondering what the best ways are to do this. Well you’ve come to the right place. As a Sourcer, I’ve seen thousands of LinkedIn profiles and when I’m scrolling through a search, it’s important for relevant information to stand out. I’ll tell you some of the key places I look to find information on your LinkedIn profiles. And remember the most important basics:

  • Be clear and descriptive
  • Be concise
  • Be accurate
  • Be up to date
  • Proofread

Here are some areas that are probably blank in your LinkedIn profile and how to fill them out

  • Current Position – If you haven’t updated your profile since you left your last job, LinkedIn thinks you’re unemployed!
  • Summary – Extremely useful for coming up in searches because any word in this section is considered a keyword. Make sure this section is like an elevator pitch of yourself; informative, articulate, and concise!
  • Position descriptions – You may think your title is self explanatory, but it isn’t. Even if it describes what you did in that position it doesn’t describe what you did in that position, know what I mean? Make it personal: don’t just give the job description, say what you’ve accomplished specifically (stats and numbers are best!).
  • Education – Make that degree work for you! Make sure to list the college you attended or LinkedIn will think you didn’t go to school.
  • Interests – This section is often written off as unimportant or irrelevant to a professional profile but it can definitely be an influential part. Remember, it’s not computers that will be searching for you, it’s people – people who might also be interested in cross country skiing or crocheting or whatever it is you’re into.
  • Recommendations – This allows the LinkedIn community to see a glimpse into what kind of professional you are. People often bypass this step because they think it will take too much time or no one will be willing to write one. But you’d be surprised! If you reach out to old employers they’re often happy to help. Or be proactive and write one for a coworker and he might return the favor!
  • Tagline – Last but not least, this is the little one line summary that shows up in boldunderneath your name and should be a brief, all-inclusive description of your current professional position. This is one of the main things that comes up when you are searched for, and since it is a personal favorite section of mine I’ll add some good and bad examples

Good examples:

  • Experienced SaaS Account Executive
  • Director of Sales at Company X
  • Account Manager seeking opportunities in the Bay Area

Bad examples:

  • Your email address
  • Things that are too vague like “impassioned visionary”
  • Things that are too detailed and go longer than one line
  • Anything with the words “ninja” or “guru” unless you are actually a ninja or a guru!