The Anatomy of a Stellar LinkedIn Profile

July 7, 2017 Nicole Slaughter-Graham Interviewing

Let’s face it: standing out against the competition in today’s saturated, digitized market is no easy task. You could have all the credentials and experience necessary to qualify you for a position, but if you don’t market those skills accordingly, your resume could end up in the “pass” pile.

Social media, which many employers take the time to research, (and some even require you include a link to) is a great place to highlight your experience and showcase your skills. LinkedIn, which is the social media outlet most businesses use for professional purposes, provides you the perfect platform to craft a profile that will get noticed.

Here are the essentials to a winning LinkedIn profile that won’t get passed up:

The photo

Your LinkedIn photo shouldn’t be the same profile picture you have up on Facebook. Rather than a picture of you and your dog or you on your latest vacation, include a polished, professional style photo for LinkedIn. You don’t want anything too stuffy, but you definitely want to keep it professional. Choose a headshot that is crisp, includes only you, and shows off a bit of your personality.

The tagline

Here’s where you’ll put a one-liner explaining your job title or experience. Taglines on LinkedIn show up in search results so you want to include as many keywords as possible and make it interesting.

For example, let’s say you’re a marketing professional, but your focus is on data analysis. You want your tagline to be more definitive than, “Marketing Professional.” Instead, consider a tagline that speaks to your specialty within the marketing field. Something like, “Marketer specializing in data analysis to drive client relations” is more tailored and speaks more to your skill set. It also includes more keywords.

The summary

Every person has a professional story. Rather than just rattle off a list of your skills and accomplishments, tell the reader your story. Don’t just tell a prospective employer what you do, but why and how you do it. Say you’re a banker and last year, you exceeded your customer retention goal by 15%. How did you do it? Through follow up calls? Resolving customer complaints?

List out your accomplishments, but make sure you tell the reader how you achieved them as well. Also include why you do what you do. Do you love data? Make that apparent. Are patients the reason you get up everyday? Let it be known. Do you believe every business can be exciting with some colorful marketing? Tell the story.

Job history

Here’s where you list your professional history. This section is simple and easy to put together. Be sure to include any job specific accomplishments or awards. You’ll want to tailor this section to the position you’re trying to obtain, which means you don’t have to include that stint in food service while you were in college or the retail job you took part-time while searching for full-time work.


Do you have good relationships with previous employers or coworkers? See if they’ll write and provide you recommendations on your profile. This gives other people the chance to speak on your behalf, which gives insight into how others view you.

It might seem daunting to ask someone to do this for you, but the truth is, if that person appreciated the work you did or working with you, they’re usually happy to help.

These are the key elements of the LinkedIn profile, and with the right wording and information, your profile will shine a little brighter than the rest. As a side note, make sure to include your education and volunteer experience as well!

Will you be making changes to your LinkedIn profile?

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