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What Makes a Good LinkedIn profile?

Sara Grillo - Smartphone - LinkedIn Profile Tips

Want to get a good LinkedIn profile? Here are some examples of what you should and should not say on your LinkedIn profile.

  • Have a purpose
  • Include custom content
  • Get recommended
  • Smile
  • Ace the headline

Have a purpose

The word is brand. Get rid of the jargon, get rid of the fluff, and tell the world what it is that you have to offer right there on your LinkedIn profile. There’s no reason you shouldn’t do it; it’s free, for goodness sake!

Get rid of the wishy-washy copy about how you want to change the world and get to the real point: what are you looking to do, why are you looking to do it, and why are you well qualified to help who it is that you want to help.

Take for example the LinkedIn bio of Bridget Schoffman.  She states right away in her summary field that she is seeking an internship and even states when she’ll be available to start. Nice job, Bridget. For those of you who think this is hard marketing, here’s why it’s okay. Because in this case she follows up with a nice reason why you should be interested in her:

“Bridget is a highly-motivated student with strong academic achievements. She has tested out of some courses and has worked ahead so she can graduate early at the end of the Fall 2018 semester while maintaining a 3.94 GPA.”

Remember that people don’t mind being sold to if they 1) are entertained and 2) see value in what you are selling.

Here Bridget is making it clear that she’s an exceptionally driven person. How many college students work ahead so they can graduate early? And she has a 3.94 GPA!

Awesome. In just two sentences she’s set herself apart.

Include custom content

When somebody happens to come across your profile, give them something they can sink their teeth into. Remember that this is an opportunity to say something about what you are about.

That’s exactly what publishing an article on your page can do. Take a look at the LinkedIn page of Petr Zlaty.  I love Peter’s article, “Why is integrity my No. 1 value.”  And what a great first line, “In my resume you can find that my key values are integrity, curiosity and loyalty.” So while he’s talking about a high level concept, he’s also giving us a clue that he has a resume (and by the way, wouldn’t you be curious to see it?).

What Peter has also done very nicely is presented a strong visual brand with the fascinating background photo as well as the thumbnail for the article. Pictures are a big part of making your bio appealing to the eye, just be sure you are careful to get royalty free images.

Get recommended

Every time you leave a job or end a client engagement, you should get a testimonial on LinkedIn.  Get into this habit. It’s not like these have to stay on LinkedIn – you can see for example on my Reviews page on my website I’ve taken what people wrote about me on LinkedIn and put it there.

I like how Michael W. Staib has done this. He has 15 recommendations on his profile. If I’m looking at him for a job, I can see what other people are saying about him. People love that. Why do you think Yelp is so popular?


Yup, it seems so basic. The warmer and more welcoming personal appeal you can present, the more receptive people are going to be to you. A smile is the most important part of your LinkedIn headshot.

Rudy Soobaroyen is a great example.

Ace the Headline

Your headline should speak to your purpose and grab the reader’s attention. It should not be where you put your functional title such as “president, CEO” or “analyst.”

Take for example non-profit founder Jean Paul Laurent whose headline is “Building confidence, communities, and careers in developing countries.” Love it. Nice job.

Sara’s Upshot

Authenticity is what matters most when it comes to getting a good LinkedIn profile. For marketing and branding ideas for financial professionals, follow my YouTube channel. Or, reach out to me directly here if you are looking to upgrade your LinkedIn profile.