14 Top Tips To Create An Awesome LinkedIn Profile (Rachel Moore)

Rachel Moore

LinkedIn was once thought of as mainly a recruiting vehicle, but over the years it has grown into much more.

Yes, it’s still used by recruiters for many reasons, but it’s also a brilliant way to connect with people and generate new leads, especially for B2B type businesses. And we mustn’t forget that B2C businesses are also gaining significant traction on LinkedIn, too.

There are multiple strategies available to achieve success on LinkedIn, but they all begin with positioning yourself as the “expert in your field,” as this is one of the most important steps you can take.

When I train businesses how to use LinkedIn, I use a 4-Step Process:

Step 1 of that process is “Expert Positioning,” which involves creating an outstanding and fully optimized personal profile, and that’s what this guide is going to concentrate on.

I hope you get value from the content contained within this guide.

1. Before you begin

Make sure that you have switched your “Profile Alerts” to OFF—if you don’t, your connections will be notified that you are making changes to your profile.

  1. Go to Settings & Privacy

  2. Click Visibility in the left hand menu bar

  3. Scroll down to the section Share profile updates with your network and switch this to OFF (you can switch it back when you have finished if you wish to).

2. LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index

The LinkedIn SSI score essentially tells you how successful you are at developing your brand, connecting with the right people, engaging with insights and establishing relationships. These four points combined—Establish Your Professional Brand, Find The Right People, Engage With Insights, and Build Relationships—give you an overall measure of how effectively you are using the platform.

  • Check your SSI before you start increasing your presence on LinkedIn so you can judge how effective you are being as you move forward and the areas you need to improve upon.
  • To check your SSI score ensure you are logged into your LinkedIn account and then visit Sales Navigator

3. Main profile banner image

When someone lands on your profile, does your banner image tell them exactly what it is your business does at first glance?

  • Include your website and phone number so they immediately know how to contact you.

  • You can use images to explain what you do, or you can have a plain brand color with logo etc.— but ensure it explains clearly what you do.

4. Profile image

  • LinkedIn request a professional head and shoulder shot

  • Plain backgrounds work best; no speed boats, sunglasses, or glasses of wine

  • Eyes front facing with a nice smile

  • Good quality image with good lighting

  • Make sure your face is large enough to be able to tell what you look like—this is really important when people are searching, as our brains are drawn to images

  • If people can clearly see your face it will give you an advantage over those who have recognizable images, as you can see from the example below:

5. Headline

The Headline does 3 things:

  • The keywords help LinkedIn find your profile when someone searches for what you offer; you are leaving a breadcrumb trail for LinkedIn to follow back to your profile

  • The headline shows in the ‘Newsfeed and Groups’ under your name each time you create a post, meaning it’s a free mini advert for your business which is why the first 8-10 words are so important

  • It also accompanies all your connection invites along with your profile image and personalized message

LinkedIn’s T&Cs state you should use your real name only—so no quirky extra straplines in your title.

  • Include keywords and a benefit statement: Who and how do you help?

  • Stay away from “Director at,” “Founder at,” and job title if possible, unless your job title is an important keyword—most users aren’t interested in your job title, they want to know what you can do for them (they can read what your job title is in the Experience section)

  • Stay away from generic job titles like Salesperson or Manager—but if, like me, your title is a main keyword like, “Social Media Trainer/Consultant,” etc. then that’s fine to use because that is a phrase that totally describes what I do and also provides a great clue as to how I can help users

  • The first 8-10 words are the most important words in your headline

6. Contact details

  • Ensure your contact details are always up-to-date and complete

  • There is a unique ‘Profile URL’ that links directly back to your profile—this often has a string of numbers and letters following your name. Delete all the numbers and letters following your name so you have a clean URL. You can add this to business cards and literature to direct people directly back to your profile

  • If you are unable to get your exact name, don’t use your company name—you may decide at some point in the future to change jobs or to change your company name

  • Try not to use numbers, although you may have to compromise if you have a super popular name like mine. If necessary use one or a maximum of two numbers, no more—keep it as clean and neat as possible. See my example, which isn’t perfect as I ended up using ‘sm’ on the end of my name representing social media— I would really advise against that, even though I used it on mine when I set my profile up way back when!

7. Public profile setting

When amending the Profile URL it will take you to the Public Profile Setting—check that this is set to Public. This means your profile will be visible through the search engines to the general public, not just to members searching inside of LinkedIn.

8. About

Unless you are looking for a job, this section is NOT about you—it’s about those you are trying to attract.

  • What can YOU do for them?

  • Who do YOU help?

  • How can YOU help THEM?

  • How are YOU different from others? Remember to include:

    • Bullet points
    • White space
    • Line spaces
    • Headings
    • Short sentences make it easy to read/skim, especially on a mobile
    • A testimonial/case study with name and business
    • Calls to action: phone number, website, email
  • You can include a little bit about you/your business but this is not the emphasis of this section

  • Pepper your keywords throughout—this will help LinkedIn understand what your profile is about and thus offer your profile up to those searching for what you have to offer

9. Feature

You can use this to highlight posts/articles/newsletters you have written, attach images, or link out to websites. This adds colour and interest to your profile.

You can add the Feature Section by clicking Add Profile Section if it doesn’t show on your profile by default.

10. Experience

Although you don’t need to show every job you have had, LinkedIn wants to see at least 3 positions.

It’s better to have several positions showing, as this builds trust, rather than gaps in dates—unless you officially took time off. If you have an 18 month gap they may wonder what happened: where did you go?

  • If you took time out, include and explain that so the profile makes sense

  • It’s also acceptable to have overlapping dates

  • Complete your current position to its fullest

  • Include your keywords in each of these section—this will help LinkedIn understand what your profile is about

  • Don’t just put where you worked and the dates you worked there; add a sentence or two showcasing what you did at that company. How did you make a difference?

  • This is your CV section inside of LinkedIn where you can talk about YOU!

  • Add your contact details at the base, make it easy for users to contact you if they wish to

  • As with the about section, use short sentences, white space, bullets points, etc.

11. Education

If you don’t complete this section (or any of the other sections I mention), your profile will remain incomplete in the eyes of LinkedIn. Add schools, colleges or universities you have attended and any other education or training you have received since.

12. Skills & Endorsements

Add in all the ‘Skills’ you have here. These act as keywords too, these help LinkedIn work out what your business/profile is about.

You can add up to 30 skills; only the first 3 show before you have to click Show all skills. You can re-order the skills by clicking the 3 dots inside the edit pencil and then drag and drop into place. Make sure you show the most important 3 at the top.

People will “endorse” your skills. These Endorsements are not as valuable as Recommendations—LinkedIn puts more weight behind a recommendation than an endorsement—but they are still good to have.

13. Recommendations

Only give Recommendations to those you respect and admire or have worked with. Asking for recommendations is an accepted strategy—don’t be afraid to ask for one.

LinkedIn looks at how many recommendations you have: the more you have, the higher up the search you will climb. LinkedIn likes to see a steady flow of recommendations being given and received.

14. Additional Sections

There are many additional sections that you can add to your profile to personalize it even further. These can be found under Add profile section as shown below.

Sections such as:

  • Volunteering
  • Licenses and Certifications
  • Languages

If these are applicable to you, add and complete them accordingly.

In Conclusion

Once you have information in each of the required sections, you will reach the “All Star” status which basically means you have ticked all the boxes in the eyes of LinkedIn.

However, setting up your LinkedIn profile in the correct way, as outlined in this guide, will give you further advantages over those who only add in the basic or incorrect information and still reach “All Star” status, so it’s worth investing a little time to complete your profile in the way I have outlined in this guide.

Reaching “All Star’” status will help you rank higher in the LinkedIn search than those of a lower status such as “Advanced.”

Rachel Moore @rachel1
:trophy: Multi-Award Winning :trophy: Social Media Trainer, Consultant & Manager. I train SMEs how to use social media to get results themselves, or I manage social media accounts on their behalf. I also speak about social media at events. Rachel is a Social Media Manager School OG!

Download Rachel’s full PowerPoint here:
14-LinkedIn-Profile-Tips-2.pdf (1.8 MB)

Tell Us Below:

Is your LinkedIn profile as fully complete as Rachel’s?

Thanks for the awesome Article Rachel. I had no idea I could access LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index with just a free account. Interesting insight for sure.

I’m around the 50% mark, I suppose that’s some room for improvement haha.

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I always forget that this is a thing until I see an article or a presentation that mentions it, at which point I immediately go check mine!
I wish it were more obvious on the platform. I have literally only ever gotten there via links from things.

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Always room for improvement @eternalkaz :grinning: Glad you found it useful. Rx


(Unsurprisingly, I’m slaying at building relationships, very strong on personal brand, and much less so on engaging with insights & finding the “right” people…I’m admittedly more relationshippy than strategic!)

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@christine - If your profile is open you can always access it via Sales Navigator


My main two are “engaging with insights” and “establishing professional brand” but i only have a score of 35 :grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing:

@eternalkaz - at least you have a baseline to work from now.

‘Establishing your professional brand’ - use the tips to help you raise your score and maybe publish more thought leadership type posts.

‘Engaging with insights’ - this measures your engagement – in terms of shares, likes, and comments your posts are receiving.

Hope that helps. Rx

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@christine weirdly enough the link I posted in my previous comment switched to read ‘Sales Navigator’ :scream: so it didn’t show you the link. Basically login to LinkedIn and add sales/ssi into the URL after linkedin.com but you must be logged in. Rx