Six Elements of a Great LinkedIn Profile

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Post by Scott Cunningham Your LinkedIn profile should be thought of as a marketing tool. Think about what your objectives are on LinkedIn and update your profile accordingly.

For example, do you want to use LinkedIn to…

  • find a job
  • generate leads & referrals
  • find an investor
  • find referral partners
  • find subscribers for your email newsletter

Because many people haven’t determined how to accomplish their objectives with LinkedIn, they tend to provide only the basic information.

The purpose of this is to take you beyond the basics and show you how to get the most from your LinkedIn profile. Therefore, I have assumed that you have already provided the basic information on your profile.

With this in mind, I have identified six elements that are often overlooked in creating a great LinkedIn profile.

1.    Headline – Your headline is the text that appears just below your name. This headline will be shown in various places in LinkedIn, so write a headline that will draw people’s attention.

a.    If you serve a certain geographic area, consider putting that area in your headline (i.e. ‘Top Producing Realtor Serving Atlanta, GA‘).

b.    If you want to generate leads & referrals, write a headline that features some of the benefits you offer so that it would compel people to click on your profile.


2.    Photo – Use a professional looking head shot. This is especially important for your local market (i.e. you want to be recognized at local networking events). Don’t use a picture of your pet, children or one that you took on vacation. This is a business networking site, not Facebook or Myspace.

3.    Websites – Change websites to be more descriptive and search engine friendly. Create attention grabbing text for your hyperlinks instead of using the defaults (‘My Company’, ‘My Blog’, etc.).


To change your Websites, follow these steps:

1.    Select Edit Profile.

2.    Scroll to Websites and select Edit on any website.

3.    Change the drop-down to Other:.

4.    Enter your text description for the site.

5.    Enter the URL (include the ‘http://’ or it won’t work).

6.    Select Save Profile


4.    Public Profile – Change the system-generated URL to your name or business name. This will help your search engine results and looks more professional if you add your LinkedIn URL to an email signature.

public profile

To change your Public Profile URL, follow these steps:

1.    Select Edit Profile.

2.    Select Edit for Public Profile.

3.    Select Edit for Your Public Profile URL.


4.    Enter your name or business name. This has to be unique within LinkedIn, so you may have to experiment if what you’ve entered has already been taken.

5.    Select Set Address to save.


5.    Summary – Keep your summary brief and focus on your objectives. List who are good prospects for you. In the spirit of true networking, list ways you can help other people.



6.    Contact Settings – Include your contact information (email address, phone, etc.). Make it easy for people to contact you if they are on your LinkedIn profile.


About the Author

scott-cunnigham-picture Scott Cunningham has a passion for relationship marketing. He enjoys helping small business owners and sales professionals improve their relationships with clients & business associates because it leads to more business and longer term clients.

Scott offers on-line referral marketing systems such as SendOutCards as well as coaching in on-line ( and off-line (face-to-face) networking.

Scott can be reached at or 317.702.8029.

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  1. Very useful tips. It amazes me how many LinkedIn users don’t change their website names.

  2. David. .Thanks for the comment . . I did not write it . . just posted it.

  3. Scott,

    Great piece full of excellent tips. The link came through my Linkedin Newsletter –


  4. Nice article about LinkedIn. I use it and have 1300 connections and it has brought me business. But of course I don’t use it enough…

  5. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  6. Thanks, this is great!

    – Steven Burda

  7. This is a great article, very helpful for anyone trying to get the most out of LInkedin

  8. Well-done, thank you for putting this stuff down in print!

  9. Thanks, Davide. Very useful tips ! Nencio.

  10. This is a great, straightforward explanation of how to use LinkedIn effectively. Very valuable….


  11. Nice post! Helpful!!!

  12. Great tips! Thank you Scott and Scott for the information.

  13. Great tips Scott and Scott. Thank you for the information!

  14. Hi Scott,

    Many thanks to you for publishing this wonderful information. As a Networking Coach, I am continually reminded of how much people DO NOT know what to do with their LinkedIn Profile. You have provided clear, concise information for anyone to follow and be able to “put their best face forward” for networking.

    Happy Netweaving!
    Carol Deckert, Networking Coach

  15. From this article, I learned that:

    * my headline should draw attention

    * linked-in is not facebook, so don’t put a picture of a cat in for myself

    * how to edit my profile

    * that the summary should include advice on how I can help people

    * last, but certainly not least, we learn about the author.

    So where’s the great advice that’s supposedly in this article?

  16. A little offtopic reply, Im using the new google chrome browser, but it looks like your website is not displaying correctly… Just to let you know. Thanks.

  17. A small offtopic comment on this, Im using the google chrome webbrowser, but it looks like your blog is not displaying correctly… Just to let you know. Regards.

  18. Myspace has a great classifieds section where you can advertise your services for others. I have a myspace page for my business and I occasionally post my services in the classifieds…

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