Reaching ‘All-Star’ status on LinkedIn does warrant a moment of reflection and satisfaction at what you have achieved. However, don’t rest on your laurels too long, you may get left behind. This week’s blog shares four tips to take your LinkedIn profile from All-Star to the next level (even though it doesn’t technically exist!).
LinkedIn profile strength
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s take a moment to understand LinkedIn’s profile strength levels. The Profile Strength gauge appears on the right side of your profile, and will indicate one of five levels of profile strength. Lowest to highest, they are:
As you complete your LinkedIn profile and add more content, you’ll notice that your profile strength will increase.
All-Star indicates the top level of profile strength, although the white gap at the top of the blue ‘profile strength’ circle suggests an element of incompleteness. This white gap reflects the fact that there is always room for improvement.
Achieving ‘All-Star’ status
According to the site in January 2016, for LinkedIn to consider your profile complete, it requires you to add:
Your industry and location
An up-to-date current position (with a description)
Two past positions
Your skills (minimum of 3)
A profile photo
At least 50 connections
What next, after All-Star?
As LinkedIn is not a ‘once-and-done’ task, I’d recommend always evolving your profile to reflect your changing skills, experience, and status. Here are four tips to up-level your all-star LinkedIn profile:
#1 Complete as many LinkedIn sections as possible
Challenge yourself to complete as many sections as possible with relevant content that supports your career target. This will ensure you give current and future connections the fullest possible understanding of your offering, skills, and experience.
Sections include: Headline, Summary, Experience, Projects, Honors & Awards, Education, Courses, Skills & Endorsements, Recommendations, Language, Volunteering Experience/Opportunities, Test Scores, Patents, Publications, Certifications, Organizations, Supported Organizations, Interests, Posts, Personal Details, Additional Info, Groups, Following.
#2 Revisit and revise your LinkedIn profile to reflect your evolving offering
It’s a good idea to revisit and revise your profile on a regular basis. Your LinkedIn profile must evolve to reflect your here and now, unless you want your entire future career to be based on how you saw yourself at the time of your first content upload.
Sanity check that your content reflects the current professional you and facilitates your current and future career goals. If nothing else, take a look at your Headline and Summary to make sure they remain appropriate and relevant. Of course, add new Experience, Projects, Skills, and Honors & Awards as you get them. Also, be open to editing older work history when you have something new or more relevant to say. Learn more about editing your career back story here.
#3 Seek (more) LinkedIn Recommendations
Featuring recommendations on your LinkedIn profile is a great way to convey what others in your professional network think of you. They act as a kind of case study of a particular relationship, outlining the circumstances of your mutual connection and the reputation you have earned within that relationship. A recommendation speaks volumes about a person’s character, and carries more weight than what the individual may write about themselves.
Even if you already have a few recommendations, there is always room for more current or relevant examples. Keeping your current career target firmly in mind, seek LinkedIn recommendations from peers at all levels to build and enhance your reputation; don’t feel compelled to just ask people you report to. Consider asking contacts from inside or outside your current organisation, from previous employers, business partners, suppliers, client organisations, educational institutions, or even conferences or events attended. I believe that displaying a diverse array of recommendations puts you at an advantage, showing that you are a great person to work with regardless of the relationship or scenario.
When you update your LinkedIn profile with a recommendation, your connections, and the connections of the person recommending you, will be notified of the update in their newsfeed. It’s the virtual equivalent of the person taking you to a premium, closed networking event with all of their contacts, patting you on the back and announcing to the room that you are in their circle of trust.
#4 Write a LinkedIn Post (or two)
If you aren’t already using LinkedIn Publisher, you are missing a huge opportunity to build credibility and visibility on LinkedIn and online. LinkedIn states that ‘publishing allows you to further establish your professional identity by expressing your opinions and sharing your experiences’. If you are wondering how popular the publishing platform really is, LinkedIn reported one million long-form posts had been written on LinkedIn Publisher by February 2015.
LinkedIn’s Publisher function allows you to publish your own insights on industry trends and events. Start with one post, but also consider a series of LinkedIn posts to enhance your credibility.
When you publish a long-form post, it becomes part of your professional profile, and is shared with your network connections and followers. Posts are searchable within LinkedIn and off the platform, so if you optimise your content with relevant keywords, it can show up in external searches. As an added bonus, LinkedIn members who are not connections can opt to follow you from your post, and will be updated when you next publish on LinkedIn.
Search for ‘Tips for Writing Long-Form Posts on LinkedIn’ to discover LinkedIn’s tips on writing long-form posts. Whether you are a complete beginner or seasoned blogger, these tips are certain to help.
All-star or not, consider your LinkedIn profile as an ever-evolving masterpiece. There will always something to add, something to enhance, something to edit. Make it work hard for the you you are now, not the you you were then.