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Mindi Rosser - How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

One of the questions I get asked the most on Quora relates to optimizing your LinkedIn profile. If you’re building a personal brand or want to become known as a subject matter expert in your industry, your LinkedIn profile is home base. Because Google and LinkedIn play well together, your LinkedIn profile may rank ahead of your website when someone searches for your business or name online.

And if your LinkedIn profile looks like a copy-and-paste of your resume? You won’t be trusted. Ready to reboot your LinkedIn profile? Let’s go through your LinkedIn profile step-by-step to figure out which sections you need to reboot.

The two most important sections are your Headline and Summary.

  • Headline: It should tell what you do, who you do it for and the results you generate. Make it about how you’re helping others, not all about yourself. You have 120 characters to work with (including spaces). Use them all. Keywords matter most in the headline.
  • Summary: Start your summary with a good CTA (call to action) to get people to click to read your entire summary. Make those first two lines irresistibly enticing. The goal of this section is to showcase your subject matter expertise and how you are able to translate that expertise into helping your target audience. You have 2000 characters to work with (including spaces). Use them all and pack this section full of your most important keywords. Add 3-6 pieces of media that showcase your subject matter expertise.

Next, you want to focus on those Experience sections.

  • 1st Experience: Your first Experience section should be your current position. You want to address what your company does and how they help their customers/users/clients. Specify exactly what you do at the company and list one or two important accomplishments. Do not pack your resume information into this section. It will look cluttered. Add 3-6 pieces of relevant media below this experience that focus on how you or your company stands out.
  • Other Experiences: Follow the format of the first experience. Only include your last 8-10 years of experiences, unless the older experiences give you credibility.

Certifications, Featured Skills & Endorsements, Education are also important.

  • Certifications: If you have relevant certifications, list them. Don’t go overboard unless your certifications really matter to your target audience.
  • Featured Skills & Endorsements: You should use all 50 of these. Use your keywords as “skills,” as they will help people find you when searching on LinkedIn.
  • Education: Add your formal and informal educational experiences here, especially if they build your credibility.

Accomplishments and Recommendations can set you apart.

  • Recommendations: The more of these you get, the better. Ask prior colleagues or clients to give you a recommendation. You can even suggest the copy.
  • Accomplishments: These are not as prominent. I would list a few under each section, if you have them.

Contact and Personal Info is often overlooked.

  • Be sure to list all of the ways people can contact you. Don’t make them guess who you are, where to find you, or how to get in touch.

Ready to get started? Here’s a great DIY resource for rewriting your LinkedIn profile. If you have further questions, leave a comment below or connect with me on LinkedIn.


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Mindi Rosser

About Mindi Rosser

Mindi Rosser is a social media strategist for hire, who specializes in helping brands, businesses and people look great online. She also consults for The Conversion Company, building and managing employee advocacy, social selling and social media marketing programs for B2B companies. She has a passion for one-on-one relationship marketing: doing marketing that matters.

3 replies to this post
  1. Hi Mindi,
    Thanks for sharing this article. However, I must say that this is definitely not thought leadership as this is general insights that can be found anywhere. Someone who claims that they build strong personal branding and thought leadership programs should go beyond general info and be writing on topics like how most LinkedIn profiles do not support the sales cycle like this article: https://www.business2community.com/linkedin/linkedin-profiles-not-build-trust-support-sales-cycle-01930951#rf7pURrfeTcyDM8K.97

    • I would disagree with you that knowing how to optimize a LinkedIn profile is common knowledge. This is a general article and not intended to go beyond the basics.

      As for establishing thought leadership, I think you provided a stellar example of what-not-do when establishing a personal brand. Unabashedly criticizing someone and leveraging that person’s post to promote one’s own article is not a best practice.

    • I daresay you’re only negging Mindi Rosser’s very good 101 article aimed at helping people who are just entering into the world of LinkedIn business and who currently have majorly crappy LinkedIn profiles in need of a lot of help because you want to share your extremely geeky and impenetrable blah blah blah B2C-fodder with our readers *drops mic*

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