Make Your Less-Than-Perfect LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

Default Blue LinkedIn Background Prohibited

This is the default LinkedIn gray background. You can do better.

 Do more with this free real estate. 

How can you stand out on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional database, with more than 660 million members?

Your potential clients and your referral sources are searching that universe for the person who can advise on a problem, so you must ensure:

• you can easily be found by using appropriate keywords in your headline and profile 
• you tick the boxes for their initial questions 
• your profile narrative confirms you are the professional they heard about.

You have full control of your LinkedIn profile’s space, so it should meet your own high standards.

LinkedIn’s criteria for a complete profile are:

  1. Headline
  2. Photo
  3. Summary
  4. At least two jobs or positions
  5. Five or more skills
  6. Industry
  7. School or university
  8. Postal code indicating where you work
  9. At least 50 connections

Your profile is undoubtedly complete on this basis. 

Now, let’s put some meat on those nine bones.

This Month’s Tip

Your profile may be complete according to LinkedIn’s checklist, yet underperform. Make the most of this free space.

  1. LinkedIn automatically inserts the title of your current job in the Headline slot. You can change that easily. Does your headline describe the value you create for clients or the team? Does it use terms someone outside your profession would use? (Hint: No one seeks a Director or an attorney who is a Partner.)
  2. Is the length of the Headline close to the maximum of 220 characters? You can achieve this by using a mobile phone or tablet when you edit the headline.
  3. Does your photo convey you are approachable??
  4. Is your background the anonymous LinkedIn default ? Change it to Meet Me. Include additional information, such as your phone numbers, email address, company logo and website URL. Don’t use a cityscape that conveys nothing about you professionalism.
  5. Have you received (and given) recommendations recently?
  6. Do you display examples of your work, such as reports, videos and news articles, in the Feature section? 


Now. Polish your LinkedIn profile. Contact me at , set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770 for your FREE 30-minute review. I guarantee TWO IDEAS. We’ll brainstorm to rewrite your profile and add other elements so it will attract attention and confirm YOU can solve the problem, whether legal, financial or marketing. 

Request the e-book Three Steps for More Success on LinkedIn.

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(This discussion has been lightly edited for updated content.)