Wayne, why would I need your help on my profile? I have an All-Star rating from LinkedIn.

This comes up from time to time when I'm explaining how I help people improve their profiles as part of my virtual one-on-one LinkedIn consultation service.

Well, I hate to burst your balloon, but an All-Star profile rating has very little to do with how successful you'll be on LinkedIn. And because of the significant profile changes over the past couple of years, you need to rethink many of the profile strategies that have worked in the past.

In my opinion, to have a truly exceptional LinkedIn profile that will help you accomplish your most ambitious business goals, you need to embrace these two important strategies:

  • Capitalize on the LinkedIn search algorithm so you come up higher in the search results
  • Provide a very clear description of what you do, who you help, and why you're better than your competitors.

Each and every entry you make on your profile should be made with those two strategies in mind.

Simple ways to create an extraordinary LinkedIn profile

When I work with my individual and corporate clients to create LinkedIn profiles that get results, I focus on the following features and techniques:

Keywords. Include your most important keywords throughout your profile but especially in these three sections: Headline, Job Experience Titles, and Skills. This will significantly improve your placement in search results.

Headline. Make sure your Headline grabs your reader's attention and encourages him/her to read more. Don't miss this random LinkedIn hack that enables you to have an extra 100 characters in your Headline. Click here for the details.

"About" section. Because LinkedIn requires people to click See more if they want to look at your entire "About" section (previously titled your Summary section), it's critical that you take full advantage of the first approximately 300 characters.

Especially if you're a customer-facing individual or job seeker, I suggest you first share contact information, and then address your target audience with information that will inspire them to click See more or continue browsing through your profile.

First Job Experience entry. This is your best opportunity to make sure the reader gets a full picture of what you and your company do, the types of clients or customers you serve, and what makes you better than your competitors. There are 2,000 available characters for each Job Experience entry, and you can also add media. So don't hesitate to "show and tell" the world why you're the best at what you do.

If you have more than one current job entry, be sure to use the rearrange icon to put the most important entry first.

It's also essential to maximize the job title section of this entry (100-character limit). It's simply amazing how many people fail to capitalize on this opportunity. After you list your official job title, do your best to include your most important keywords.

Other Job Experience entries. Here, too, don't stop with just your job title. Follow your title with the same or similar keywords you listed for your current job(s).

Recommendations. Currently, LinkedIn displays the two most recently received recommendations in their entirety, which I really like, but the rest of them are typically not viewed because the reader needs to click Show more to see the entire list.

Review all of your recommendations. Grab the most impactful quotes/statements, and include those in the Description section of any Job Experience entries to which they apply.

Another idea is to put together a document with a page full of your best quotes/statements, and add that as media in your "About" section or applicable Job Experience entries.

Both of these strategies will encourage more people to read your very best recommendations and could move you ahead of your competitors.

Remember—this is the only part of your profile that other people contribute, and readers will appreciate hearing about you and the great work you do from the perspective of others.

Licenses & Certifications. This is a new, optional section. If you have licenses or certifications, especially if they relate to your current job or current job search, highlighting them just got much easier.

You can add this section—and all other optional profile sections—by clicking the down arrow in the blue Add profile section box. Click the circled plus sign to add Licenses & Certifications.

Accomplishments. This one is simple—if you don't have anything listed in your Accomplishments section, it looks like you haven't accomplished anything.

Subsections of the Accomplishments section include Honors & Awards, Test Scores, Publications, Projects, Organizations, Languages, Courses, and Patents. Include any appropriate subsections, and provide details that will inform readers of your unique and important accomplishments.

Add this section by following the same steps outlined above for Licenses & Certifications.

Once you complete these specific steps, I'm confident you'll stand out from the other players on the field, and you may just earn a spot on the real all-star team—the team that gets all the new business, secures the perfect jobs, and has the most effective relationships. Good luck!

Special Offer

If you'd like me to provide a detailed critique of your profile and help you develop a winning LinkedIn strategy, be sure to take advantage of my special offer: A one-hour, one-on-one consultation for just $197.

This consultation will take place on the phone, and I will share my computer screen with you. There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book yours today by clicking here.