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21 Steps to Create an Awesome LinkedIn Profile

21 Steps to Create an Awesome LinkedIn Profile

Attending a conference, a networking event or a dinner party often leads to “that” question. “So what do you do?”

It used to be easy.

You trotted out words such as farmer, accountant or even lawyer if you were brave. One word was all it took. Today it can be a bit more complicated. Today we have careers, businesses and life work that didn’t exist a decade ago.

What are some of these?

  • App designer
  • Life coach
  • Zumba teacher
  • Offshore wind farm engineer
  • Chief content marketing officer

Often the person you are describing your career or business to has never heard of “that” job.

I remember one conversation, when I answered with the one word description “blogger”. The response was, “never met a blogger before”. Often the next part of the communication can get a little tricky when you have to describe what that means.

It can lead to using words that were only invented last week, causing raised eyebrows and quizzical looks. But conversation was always meant to be interesting!

The resume has changed forever

Resumes just like many things are migrating online. In the past you had a few sheets of paper that you mailed or faxed to potential employers to obtain that important interview. Today you are “Googled’ and your online resume is now a collection of “search engine results”. This means your activity online needs to be well managed and optimized. How many times has a person lost that important job due to a poorly considered weekend Facebook update or Tweet?

Employers like to see passion for a career so having a blog can be the difference between standing out or blending in.

The 21 steps to create an awesome LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn has redefined the online version of a resume and having a well organised LinkedIn profile is now essential. Melonie Dodaro is sometimes described as “Canada’s #1 LinkedIn Expert” and knows her stuff about LinkedIn.

Here are her 21 steps to making your LinkedIn profile awesome.

  1. Your name should only contain your name
  2. Your headline should be catchy and have keywords and phrases that you would want to turn up in Google search results
  3. Photo should be taken by a professional
  4. Social proof is important online, so make sure you have at least 500 connections. This leads to credibility and authority on the web.
  5. Add all relevant contact information
  6. Customize your website names to attract your target market
  7. Customize your profile URL
  8. Update your status daily that adds value to your network. This could mean your latest blog post, presentation or some content you found that is worth sharing.
  9. Use keywords and phrases that you and your business would like to be found for online
  10.  Write in the first person
  11. Speak directly to to your target market so they can self-identify
  12. Add a video or slideshow. Many people prefer to watch rather than read
  13. Tell people to click to play video as it is not that obvious
  14. Keyword load your skills and expertise section
  15. Use the “Projects” section to highlight free reports, downloads or to showcase the products and services you are promoting
  16. Again, keyword load your current and past work history
  17. Use keywords and phrases when filling out your “Experience” section
  18. Make sure you have at least 10 recommendations
  19. Add any volunteer experience you may have including causes you support
  20. Add any significant media awards, recognition and achievements to enhance credibility in the “Honors & Awards” section
  21. Join 50 groups

If you want to see how it should be done in a visual format check out the infographic below.

How to create an awesome LinkedIn Profile

 Infographic source: Melonie Dodaro from TopDogSocialMedia 

What about you?

How is your LinkedIn profile? Could you do better?

What about your other profiles on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are they up to date? What have you found to be most important when optimizing your online profiles?

Look forward to your insights in the comments below.



Want to learn how to make your blog a success and create great content?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog. I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 210,000. Download and read it now.


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  • venkyiyer58

    I have repeatedly heard and read that you should use up all of your 50-group quota in LinkedIn. It is very hard to join 50 groups and actually feel that you have achieved something. No matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to be able to be truly active in more than three or four, max five groups.

  • “Often the person you are describing your career or business to has never heard of “that” job.” If that’s the case, I think I’d ask myself, “Do I really want to work for the person?” Nice infographic by TopDog Social Media!

  • Tim Edem

    This has given me the kick I needed to go & finish my LinkedIn
    Profile, & the Infographic is simply awesome. Thanks for the gift. If I
    join 50 groups, I’m wondering how I could make any meaningful contribution
    given they require time for engagement!! I’ll be interested to know how!! Thanks

  • Great infographic… pretty much covers everything… now everyone just has to put what they learned into good use and make the updates.

  • Great insight for LinkedIn profiles, Jeff and Melonie!

    ButI also think joining 50 groups is a little out of reach for an individual. Plus, I’ve only seen a handful of groups that are focused on discussion, instead of self promotion with link sharing.

    And building a network up to 500 connections takes time. I think it’s worth saying that you shouldn’t just invite others to connect for numbers sake.

    • Thanks Sarah. I think Melonie’s point has a lot to do with not only building a quality network but on creating credibility and social proof!

  • Nishkarsh Sharma

    I have been pretty serious with maintaining my LinkedIn profile. I’m glad that I implemented the above in the past, but I still have to work on a few points. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Mario Kroll

    Regarding getting to the 500+ contacts, LinkedIn recently added a new tool where you can actually connect on LinkedIn with anyone in your address book, or selectively do so (http://linkd.in/1mkHfAZ). That’s a huge time saver to reconnect and connect with people and actually has allowed me/reminded me to actively reconnect with contacts where we haven’t interacted in quite some time. In some cases, that has yielded some fantastic new opportunities for all. I also use Evernote on my Mac and iPhone (sorry, Android devices don’t support this functionality yet) with the automatic business card scan feature. It reads (OCR’s) all the information off business cards from contacts you just met with a high degree of accuracy, and if you aren’t already connected on LinkedIn, it offers to send out an invite on your behalf and to share your LinkedIn contact details. That’s been probably my biggest time saver in terms of adding quality contacts. Lastly, on endorsements – ASK! I know sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but be a self-promoter. No one else will do it for you. If you have peers, a mentor, former or current clients, reach out. If you reciprocate or endorse others first, it also often pays back with spontaneous endorsements.

  • Hey Jeff – thanks so much for sharing Melonie’s infographic. We had fun making it with her. It was great to see her book launch do so well recently. Hope things are well down in Sydney!

  • Linkedin users are actually losing faith with Linkedin. Its many issues
    it is having is turning off users, who are responding by rarely checking
    their profiles, answering requests, emails or joining conversations.
    Linkedin is sliding off the social media charts.
    Donald Coomer

  • Sarah Forman

    Great post, I like it! LinkedIn influences on people’s professional life and career. This is an effective tool to form online professional individuality and according to trustworthy review of resume companies it has become one of the leading tools nowadays for recruiting managers. I think if you have a chance to build successful LinkedIn profile, you should use it.

  • Pavan Sharma

    Great stuff sir, I thing i came little late of this post, but its really worth of reading.