How To Create An All-Star LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the source for more than 80% of business leads, more than all other social media platforms combined.  There is great value in creating an All-Star profile.  Over 75% of its users feel that LinkedIn has helped them research people, companies, and groups.  When creating your profile, you must be strategic.  Let’s take a look at how you can build the best one.

Smile!… For Your Picture

Your profile picture is your first impression and gets you over ten times more views than not having one. You want it to be eye-catching and to show your personality, yet it should be professional in appearance. So, ditch the selfie and use a photo that portrays you in a true manner.  Smile genuinely and people will be drawn to it, which will encourage them to continue reading your profile.  Your photo should be current, well cropped, and highlight your face.

What’s in a Name?

A rose by any other name… This is the time to use your given name, not a “screen name”.  Do not add keywords, key phrases, nicknames, humor, or anything else.  You might very well be a rock star, but if you were not given the name John “Rock Star” Doe, do not include it in your profile name.


By default, this is your company and your position, but make it more.  You have 120 characters to sell yourself, so use this opportunity to stand out.  Your headline needs to be catchy, so people want to continue reading your profile.


When you set up your page, add an industry.  Profiles with industries get 15x more views, which converts to your business growing.

Contact Info

You must provide contact information if you expect anyone to contact you.  Yes, it is profile creating 101, but is often skipped.  In addition to the basics, add a professional email address. is fine for your personal contacts, but the email associated with your profile should speak to your professionalism.  If you do not have one already, create a simple email using your first initial and your last name.  You can do this for free on Gmail or Yahoo.  Be sure to open (if you have not already) and list your professional Twitter account here.  Also include any other professional sites or blogs you may have and customize your LinkedIn URL.

Anchor Text

LinkedIn allows you to customize your anchor text, so be sure to use keyword-rich titles.  This will make URLs easier to read, and help people find you in searches.  Making your anchor texts more engaging will lead to more click-throughs, which leads to more business.


This is the time to brag about yourself, so use the space wisely.  Deliver a great opening statement, enticing the person to continue reading.  Remember to use key words here so you come up in searches.  Your summary should be over 40 words in length; this will help you to appear in search results.  Write your summary in the first person (use the words “I” and “me”) and include any media to make yourself stand out.  You can also include your contact information here, so viewers have a preferred way to reach out to you.


Obviously, you list your employers here, past and present, along with your experience. Be a bit more strategic than just listing them.  Add the company name as they have it listed in LinkedIn, so their logo appears.  This makes it look more professional, and also allows you to find coworkers more easily.  Next, add your title, but consider how it will appear to future employers.  Director of First Impressions may be a clever title, but will people really search for that?  When adding the dates to your positions, include both the month and the year.  Feel free to add detail to your job description, especially if the position requires a special skill or certification.  Speak directly to your future employer and show them how well you meet their needs.  Finally, make yourself standout by adding rich media.


This is like an online portfolio of your work.  Add anything relevant and include links so viewers can find more information.  And be sure to share the love by listing any team members who have contributed to the project. This boosts them up and shows future employers you are a team player.

Honors & Awards

List any and all relevant honors or awards you received.  This is about two things: adding more credibility and having another chance at bonding with future employers who may have received the same award. Common ground is a great way to get the attention of a potential employer.


Your education gets noticed and gets you ten times more views.  Be specific and only add education that is relevant to the field you are in.  Pottery in high school was a blast, I’m sure, but unless you are planning a career in ceramics you can omit it.  List the name of your school, the way they have it listed.  Again, this will get the logo and the networking opportunities.  The credential earned, and the area of focus should be listed, followed by the dates attended.  You can list the month and year, or just the year. This is also an area to brag a little if you graduated with any special certificates or with awards.  List any activities or societies you were involved with.  You will be surprised how valuable a connection here would be.  It can create an instant bond with a potential employer who might have been a part of the same fraternity or organization.


Here you can list any relevant certificates you may have received, including any continuing education certificates.  This is a great way to show potential employers that you are dedicated to the advancement of your career.

Skills & Endorsements

This section may not seem to be all that important, but it is.  You are ten times more likely to get viewed if you include relevant skills.  Again, you want to be strategic when selecting your skills, and rearrange the order so they appear in the most relevant way.  The most important skill should be at the top.  People are more likely to endorse your skills in the order you list them.  Endorsements will also help your search ranking.


You want at least 5 recommendations from current and past leadership, coworkers, and team members.  These recommendations will appear in the order they are received, and the 2 most recent will be displayed under the corresponding position.  You can ask for recommendations, but do not overdo it.  If someone is not comfortable giving you one, do not take it personally.  Many people are just not good at writing recommendations and would be worried they might do you more harm than good.

Volunteer Experience

This section can be every bit as important as the others, so take the time to fill it out.  Employers have said they view volunteer experience equal to educational experience.  Add the charity’s name as they have it listed so you get their logo and connections. Really think through what you have done.  Even if there is not a charity name associated, you may still have volunteered.  Did you coach Little League on Saturdays? Put it here.  Keeping a team together, being organized, developing a practice schedule… these are all applicable in terms of searching so do not sell yourself short.


List any relevant organizations you belong to and actively participate in.  This is a great way to show your commitment to your career and another bonding opportunity.


When joining groups, they should be relevant to your field.  You can only join 50 groups, so make them count.  This is not the site to join groups you like on a personal level so keep it professional.  Join as many groups as you can, only 16% of users have joined all 50 allowed.  When requesting to join a group, be sure to customize the message.  Do not just use the default message.


Follow all relevant news channels and companies you can.  This will help you stay up to date with your industry, as well as add additional networking possibilities.


You can add interests, activities, and hobbies to your profile.  This is another area to add keywords.  I know these are your activities and hobbies, still, you want to keep them relevant.


A great way to boost your credibility is to add relevant articles you have written.  This also allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your field.  Include a link so others can read your articles.


This is your chance to get noticed.  You should post an update a day.  LinkedIn’s news feed is not as active as some other social platforms, so one post a day is enough to keep yourself in front of your contacts.  It will take at least 20 posts a month to reach 60% of your audience.  The optimum time to post is Tuesdays between 10-11am EST, so keep this in mind when posting.  Share engaging content such as relevant news, relevant articles, relevant tips, etc. Also note that visitors can view your previous posts, likes, and shares in your Activity, so keep it professional.


Every time you make a change to your profile, it gets broadcasted to your connections and will appear in their feed.  You can control this in your Profile Settings under Notify Your Network.  I recommend that you normally leave this on, as it keeps you in front of your contacts.  However, if you are going to be making a lot of changes, you may want to be considerate of your contact’s news feed and temporarily shut it off.  Just remember to turn it back on when you are finished with your edits.


You can search for colleagues, hiring managers, jobs, and so much more.  You can use this tool to research and grow your network.  Using the advance features will allow you to be more targeted in your search.  This can be helpful when researching company pages, as well as future employers.  Use a variety of key words to bring up even more results.

In Closing…

Remember this is a community like any other, so be active.  The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.  Provide relevant engaging content, and network, network, network.  Leverage other social platforms and cross promote.  List your URL on other sites and blogs, and even print your URL on your business cards and promotional material.  You want at least 500 contacts, but you want them to be relevant contacts, those which engage with your posts and assist you in your career.  As you expand your network, be sure to keep detailed notes and update your calendar with any meetings or calls.  Stay organized and let LinkedIn work for you!


It Takes A Team To Succeed

There’s no “I” in Team

Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”  Do not try to fool yourself… because you can’t manage a business on your own.  As a manager, you need to assemble and develop a team of capable and trustworthy employees.  A solid team gives you the freedom to focus on making your business a success.  Additionally, they will strive to achieve personal success which will, in turn, make the team even stronger.

Just Let Go

Control is a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, you retain control of various aspects of your business and always know what’s going on.  Do you really?  A study done by Life Science  ( says our mind can focus on a maximum of four things at once with a level of success.  Hmm…  1. What’s for lunch today?  2. I need to get the oil in the car changed and the tires rotated.  3. Where are those monthly revenue figures Jones was supposed to give me?  4. There is a meeting in two hours and I still need to finish the proposal.  That is just what is on your mind, but your responsibility does not stop there, does it?

Realistically, we can say that numbers one and two will end soon enough and two more tasks will replace them.   Thinking you have it all under control, you end up working late, missing deadlines, and falling behind.  Hence the curse.  Some things are within your control; others give you the illusion you are.  Focus on the tasks within your control and evaluate the importance of those which are not.  Doing it on your own may seem possible, but in the business world it takes a team to truly succeed.

Where Did They Get ALL THAT TIME?!

How many times have you heard the expression “We all have the same 24 hours in a day?”  Have you ever noticed that some people seem to accomplish so much it almost seems like they’ve got an extra hour or two?  Great managers understand that time is valuable for everyone, especially themselves.  They trust the ability of the team they have.  As a manager, you also must trust in your team’s capabilities.  Instead of contemplating the refusal of a new project, take a moment to gather the necessary information.  Then bring your team together and delegate tasks to those members whose strengths will be most useful.  Finally, have faith in the team you chose to get the job done.

Get by with a Little Help from your Friends

There is no shame in admitting you need help; everyone needs help.  Put away your ego and reach out to your colleagues.  Network with other departments in your organization and leverage them when needed.  Reach out to those that have walked the path before you.  Everyone likes to feel neededIn addition, it is natural to want to help a friend.  Kind words have power so use them, both in the office and out.  Be willing to be there for others in their time of need.  Teamwork goes both ways.  Your success, and the success of your business, depends on it.

Being a great manager means being a great leader.  The only way to be a great leader is to lead with integrity, which can be defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”  Who do you know that fits this description?  We all have at least one person who seems to make all decisions based on a certain moral code.  Is that person you?  Ask yourself how you would want others to think of you and be that person.  Most of all, lead by example and raise the bar for both your team and yourself.








What Makes A Good Interview?

The Importance of the Interview

“What makes a good interview?”  We first must know what an interview is.  It is the most critical step in the hiring process and you should take it seriously.  It is your opportunity, as the manager, to not only review a candidate’s qualifications, but it is your chance to see if this person is the right fit for you and your team.  Remember, the ability to do the job is only part of what makes a great employee.  Passion, a willingness to go the extra mile, and dedication to the greater good of the team are qualities you should not overlook.  You can teach many “tasks”, but a great attitude and desire to succeed are naturally found in someone.  A great team member never says, “That’s not my job.”  So, determine if their skills are there then follow-up to see if their attitude matches up.

Scan and Select

Review all resumes beforehand and make sure they meet the qualifications for the position.  Do they have the education, the experience, and the skills this position requires?  If this information is unclear, you may need to conduct a phone interview before bringing them into your office.  If they do not possess the necessary qualifications, do not waste your time or theirs.  Chances are they will submit resumes to multiple companies so if you are not the right fit, let them find who is.  Once you’ve determined who your best candidate is – or maybe there are several – set up a phone interview.

On the Phone

When conducting a phone interview, you should ask basic questions designed to narrow the list of candidates.  Prepare ahead so you do not waste time.  Confirm their background, experience, and any other pertinent information.  Ask at least one question relevant to the position to get a feel for their level of expertise.  See how well they handle the call, from the way they answer the phone to the way they communicate.  Are they professional and do they meet the requirements?  If so, schedule a time for them to come in for a face-to-face meeting.


The meeting is your chance to talk to the candidate and gain valuable information.  Ask open-ended questions, the type that require them to think and elaborate, and let them talk freely.  You will learn everything you want to know, and more, just by listening.  As they talk, note their body language and gauge how comfortable they are.  Also, ask yourself the following questions: Did they prepare for the interview?  Did they arrive on time?  Is their attire professional and did they offer a firm handshake?

A hiring manager I know was interviewing candidates for a receptionist position at a medical practice.  She had interviews lined up all morning and had told the current receptionist to turn anyone away who was late.  It turns out she should have told her to refuse anyone who wasn’t dressed professionally.  All candidates were at least ten minutes early, but two of them were in what appeared to be pajama pants.  Their qualifications were excellent, but their lack of professionalism in such an important moment said it all.  What’s the old saying: “You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression.”  As a manager, a person’s credentials should impress you, but so should the way they present themselves.

Go the Extra Mile

During the interview, take time to tell them about the position and make sure they have a true understanding of what the job entails.  If possible, bring them to the area where they would work and introduce them to the team.  It is important they understand exactly what the position requires so they can decide if this is truly for them.  This will save you valuable time in the future and minimize your attrition rate.

Lastly, be professional at all times and stay on topic.  Be ready to answer any questions they may have, including salary and benefits, especially if this is a position which requires a highly sought-after set of skills.  Understand they will expect some room for negotiation.  Everyone likes to feel valued, so give yourself room to accommodate.  At the same time, if you feel this person may not be the right one, there is no need to discuss compensation details.  Simply thank them for their time and move on.

If you make a connection and wish to move forward, let them know you will put together an offer letter and send it out within one week.  Use discretion when discussing salary and benefits in an interview.  Present these details in writing so there is no misunderstanding of terms.  When negotiating salary, remember to mention any other perks they may find valuable, e.g. a car allowance or a gas card.  You may also present these in the compensation package.

You’ve Got This!

Interviewing can be a tedious task, and it’s the least favorite of many managers.  Your ability to select candidates who will be assets to your team will strengthen your business and elevate its success.  Stay confident, keep a smile on your face, and take the time to pick the right candidate.