8 Characteristics Of An All-Star LinkedIn Profile

linkedin_logo_11I Love LinkedIn

I was recently accused by a buddy of mine of having too slick of a LinkedIn profile. With a sly wink, I said “No way. I’m sure mine’s a pretty basic profile.” I was exaggerating though. Over the last few months, I have purposely put a lot of work into creating an above average profile.

I love LinkedIn for a lot of different reasons. It’s a great social web platform that allows professionals to make professional connections instead of just friends or followers. These same professionals also publish some great articles as well as post links to articles out on the web.

It’s also a great place to have a quasi-home base platform to showcase you as a professional. I view a quality LinkedIn profile as an online resume on steroids!

8 Characteristics Of The Best LinkedIn Profiles

Over the last several months as I have been designing my own LinkedIn profile, I have read one book, scanned several web articles, and viewed the profiles of other professionals. I believe the following 8 characteristics represent the best practices of stand out profiles.

  1. A recent, decent photo of yourself. Now, you would think that this small, basic item wouldn’t need to be included, but there are a lot of boring profiles with no photos. C’mon people. Uploading a simple digital picture of yourself is not that difficult. People that want to make a connection with you would really like to see what you look like. Just do it already!
  2. An interesting summary. What makes you, well you? What unique qualities do you bring to the professional world? Don’t just list a bunch of certifications you have. Really tell us what makes you an all-star employee, writer, business person, etc.
  3. Quality recommendations. If you’re a half-way decent, friendly person and have enough pull with people, you can politely ask several of your best LinkedIn connections for a recommendation. Ask them to focus their recommendation on your personal character and specific, best work practices.
  4. Projects. See if you can add 3-4 larger-scale projects in which you have been heavily involved. Also, try to link up fellow team members who are also on LinkedIn to these various projects with you.
  5. Link up projects and recommendations. Link the proper projects and recommendations to the appropriate positions of experience you have held or currently hold.
  6. YouTube videos. If you have any decent video clips of you doing what you do, then you need to get these uploaded to YouTube and linked up to the appropriate work experience. I recommend using Apple’s iMovie to edit your videos as needed. So, for example, if public speaking is part of a particular position or passion, then you need to put a video of you speaking in public. If you’re a musician, then you need to get a video of you playing your instrument, and so on.
  7. Publications. In the information age, you should be known for publishing something, anything, whether it’s your personal blog, business writing, ebooks, or traditional print publishing. Get these listed and add samples and links to your work wherever possible.
  8. Get some endorsements. A unique quality about LinkedIn is that people can give you quick, little endorsements on your various skills and abilities. I put this last on the list, because personally for me, it’s just way too easy for people to endorse you for any and all areas of skills and expertise. I have a bunch of endorsements from people who barely know me, so I question the overall credibility of them. But, there are others out there who believe they are useful to get a snapshot of your best skills and areas of expertise.

My Profile

My personal “front door” profile can be viewed at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/joneswlarry

You can view all 8 of these characteristics on my own profile if you are connected with me on LinkedIn. If you are not a connection, then I extend an invitation to connect with me.

Questions: So, what do you think of my list? Am I missing any additional important characteristics of a quality LinkedIn Profile?

How’s your profile looking? What do you need to add or fix to your own profile?

How To Organize Your LinkedIn Connections On A Free Account

LinkedIn-InBug-2CRev500+ Connections And Counting

Over the last several months, I’ve become a big fan of the business/social network LinkedIn. I’ve had an account for a few years but didn’t really understand how to use it properly.

While I wouldn’t say that I’ve completely arrived, I believe I currently have a much better grasp of the importance of this business networking application. I really appreciate the great tools LinkedIn has provided its users to create killer profiles. I have also enjoyed making over 500 professional connections over the last few years.

Since I continue to make a number of unique connections each day, I’ve been curious as to how I can organize this massive group of people into various categories based on where they live, how close of a connection they are, what industry they work in, etc. I also like employing the Pareto Principle in my networking efforts and spending the most time and energy on my top 20% of connections.

I initially considered upgrading my LinkedIn account from Basic to at least a Business account so that I could organize my contacts into a maximum of five separate folders. At $19.95/month billed annually though, this was too expensive for my usage.

So, I did some more research on the free account. I discovered there is a way to organize all your connections through the use of tags at no cost!

Using Tags To Organize Your Connections For Free

LinkedIn provides a wonderful little tags tool to organize your contacts for free. Here’s the step-by-step process to organize them:

  1. From your profile page, look at the top menu bar. Here you will see the follow categories: Home, Profile, Contacts, Groups, Jobs, Inbox, Companies, News, More.Screen Shot menu
  2. Place your cursor (arrow/pointer) over the Contacts category. You should have at least two links underneath: Connections and Add Connections. Click on Connections.Screen Shot pre
  3. Now you should see the following screen shot. In the center of your screen, you will see an alphabetical listing of all your connections. Select a specific connection you would like to organize.Screen Shot 1
  4. Now, in your connection’s info to the right, you will notice a link that says “edit tags.” Click that link.Screen Shot 2
  5. Here, a small dialog box will appear where you can create new tags or select tags already created. In my screenshot, you can see that I have tagged my connection to Phil Holmes as “friends” as well as “Worship Ministry.” You can be creative as you want in tagging and organizing your personal connections!Screen Shot 3
  6. Once you have completed tagging your connections, you can go to each tagged section over in the left side of your screen in order to view a particular grouping of your contacts.Screen Shot 4

That’s it. It’s that simple and it’s completely available in your Basic free LinkedIn account.

How Do You Organize Your Networking Connections?

Most likely, there are some additional ways you could work around the organizational aspects of LinkedIn connections without having to pay for a premium account. I’m aware that you can export your connections completely out of LinkedIn into a separate software application such as Microsoft Outlook.

So, how do you organize your LinkedIn connections? Do you have additional information to share with the community based on your own unique experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts and processes.

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