How to Become a LinkedIn All-Star (A Beginner’s Guide)
If you’re like most people, you think LinkedIn is like your online résumé. And it is. In a way.
But with one key difference.
I like to think of it this way:
LinkedIn is about the future. Your résumé is about the past.
LinkedIn is your chance to be aspirational. You get to gear your profile towards where you’re heading. Or the kind of work you want to be doing.
There are many elements you can complete in your profile. And when you have certain items completed you move up the profile levels, the top level being “All-Star“.
I’m going to cover all the elements you need to complete to get to the top (and why you want to get be a LinkedIn All-Star). Plus some other recommendations to help you succeed on LinkedIn.
YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE: GETTING TO ALL-STAR LEVEL
Sounds pretty exciting, right? Or maybe it sounds more like something you get when you finish Mario Bros!
Either way, you want to be a LinkedIn All-Star.
Why’s that? Because when you’re an All-Star, you’re 40 times more likely to get opportunities via LinkedIn.
Which means if someone is searching in LinkedIn for a ‘content marketer’ in Sydney and your profile is only Advanced or Expert level, then a person who’s All-Star is going to appear before you. Think of it like ranking in the top three results on the first page of Google.
So, what’s it going to take to become a LinkedIn All-Star?
You need to have each of the following in place to become an All-Star:
- Your industry and location
- An up-to-date current position (with a description)
- Two past positions
- Your education
- Your skills (at least three)
- A profile photo
- At least 50 connections
Knowing which elements and quotas you need to achieve All-Star level is only the beginning.
That’s the easy part.
The hard part is completing your profile so that you stand out and attract attention.
Sure, you could just make sure you tick the above boxes and be done with it. But what’s the point? Why bother with that much, if you’re not going to gear your profile for maximum success?
COMPLETING YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE (SO YOU GET NOTICED)
Your headline is your chance to grab attention, while succinctly conveying what it is you do.
Come up with something interesting, something to hook. Whatever you do, don’t just use your current job title (I beg of you!) It’s too boring and bland. Plus, it tells people outside of your company nothing about what you do.
And remember to chuck in some keywords so you appear in results if someone is searching for “web designer”.
For inspiration, check out these three original headlines. You have to admire what some people think up. My favourite is “I like to blow shit up” – because it’s amusing and attention-grabbing! But I’d caution you against using something like that. It’s too vague and could turn people off (always consider your audience).
Your summary is your chance to shine.
Now you’ve got a compelling headline, and you’re succeeding in drawing attention. Next, you need to back it up with an engaging summary that keeps holding eyeballs.
What is it you do and how do you do it? Show a little of your personality: it’s what makes you stand out from every other accountant or lawyer in Sydney.
Remember: it’s important to write it for the people you want to attract – be it potential clients, employers, or recruiters.
You should always write in the first person. Everybody knows you wrote your LinkedIn profile so why write it in the third person? If you think it makes you sound professional, you’re wrong. It makes you sound like a robot.
Your aim here is to make a connection with people and you’re not going to do that if you sound like a robot. Besides, most people have written in the third person so you’ll be sure to stand out when you write in the first person!
Bonus points for including a call to action. For example: call me to discuss how I can help your business do X, email me for Y, or send me a connect request.
For inspiration, you should check out:
- These five summary templates so you can see the different styles your summary could take. Be bold – mix and match to create your unique summary style.
- These three strong summary examples that are written in a unique way and are totally engaging.
- And three more summaries that, while not as strong as the above examples, give you a sense of what you can do with your summary.
Your job experience is your chance to tell your story. And to prove that you can do what you claim.
Continuing in the same fashion as your summary, write in the first person. There’s no need to sound like a boring robot!
You should only include the last ten years (give or take) in your experience unless your earlier stuff is super relevant. No one needs to know you worked at McDonald’s during high school, or in a bar during your uni days. If it’s not relevant, ditch it.
Your previous roles should be results or achievement-focussed. Have 2-3 dot points under the role description that cover some of your significant achievements in the position (and are relevant to what you’re doing now).
I created a marketing campaign that generated 5000 leads and 2000 conversions in a 2-month period.
The more specific, the better.
Education and/or Courses
Add in your tertiary education. Or if you have no further education after high school, add in any courses you’ve completed. But only if they’re relevant.
Go ahead and add a bunch of skills to your profile. Aim for ten.
Then you need to get your connections to endorse you for them. The best way to do that is to endorse your connections. Because that’s a nice prompt for them to endorse you.
You can remove skills that people endorse you for if you don’t want them on your profile. Or if you’re not confident you can lay claim to those skills. You’ll look stupid if someone asks you about it and you have to admit you don’t know all that much.
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THE NICE-TO-HAVE PROFILE ELEMENTS
This element is not necessary to get to All-Star level. But if you can get recommendations, it’s always going to be an excellent addition to your profile.
You have to ask your connections to recommend you. Make sure you send a personalised request. And suggest a few areas your connection could focus on so they’re not starting from a blank slate.
Links to your website and business social profiles
You can add links to your website and business social profiles. This is pretty neat for your SEO link juice (LinkedIn is a high domain authority site).
But it also helps people find out more about you across your entire online presence.
Just don’t link to your personal Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. LinkedIn is a place where recruiters, potential employers, and potential clients hang out. Do you want to send them to your personal social accounts?
When adding in the various links, make sure you customise the anchor text. So instead of selecting the default “Personal Website” or “Business Website”, select “Other” and then you can input the name of your website as the anchor text.
The benefit of having a background is adding a little more differentiation to your profile to help you stand out.
Be mindful of the size and available space. Only include words in the image if they’ll display (check it on a desktop web browser and the mobile app). It looks ridiculous if you have the beginning of your profile obscuring the words .
TIP: You can just include a colour – as I have. So few people have a background, so even if you only have some colour there, you’re doing more to stand out than the next bland average Jo.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Want to level-up your #LinkedIn game? A beginner’s guide to becoming an All-Star[/tweet_box]
ONE FINAL LITTLE MARVELOUS BENEFIT OF LINKEDIN
LinkedIn appears in Google search results. Enough said.
So what are you waiting for? Get cracking with your quest to become a LinkedIn All-Star today!