Many professionals I speak with have a LinkedIn profile, but they haven’t done much with it lately.

It just sits there, gathering dust on the Internet.

That’s bad news.

LinkedIn is a flourishing professional network with 380M users, and when you give up the opportunity to interact with your business connections online—you miss out potential clients, references, referrals, and more.

Today, I’m wanted to go over 4 things you must have on your personal LinkedIn account to help get the most out of what this platform has to offer.

1. Start Asking for More Recommendations

Recommendations from past clients, co-workers, and supervisors add an element of social proof to your LinkedIn account that you can’t earn any other way.

Think of them as testimonials for your personal brand, and make a conscious effort to grow the number of recommendations you have by at least one per month.

How to ask for a recommendation: Reach out to people you’ve had a good working relationship with (past or present) and personally ask them to recommend you. Be sure to touch on:

  • What project you worked on together
  • Successful results you helped produce
  • How you would be honored to have their name associated with yours

You want the best parts of your working relationship to be top of mind when you make a request, so don’t leave out hard numbers and highlights of your partnership that they can draw from in their recommendation.

If the recommendation comes back less than desirable or has grammar spelling errors, leave it off. You don’t have to put every recommendation on your public profile (and LinkedIn won’t notify the recommender if it’s not published.)

2. Showcase Your Work

One of the benefits that LinkedIn has over the traditional resume is that it allows you to include your best examples of work—almost like a mini portfolio.

If you have a guide, a video, an article you’re really proud of—even a podcast interview—those are things you should highlight on your LinkedIn profile.

Providing real examples of your work and knowledge allows profile viewers to see your deliverables first hand and to realize your expertise all on their own.

Just be sure that the image LinkedIn pulls from the referenced website is displaying correctly: Any time you get a wonky image, you’ll want to leave that off (as it clutters your profile and makes you look unprofessional.)

3. Add Bullet Points

Listing a few bullet points under each job makes it quick and easy to summarize what you accomplished and accommodates scanning readers. Start by thinking of your three proudest accomplishments and then tie in some hard numbers that really drive the point home.

For example: Reduced marketing expenses by 15% in first year while increasing website traffic by 20%.

Bullet points make your profile more succinct and break up wordy summaries that get glazed over. Keep things short and sweet.

4. Original Posts

When LinkedIn opened the doors for all users to author content on their platform, they created a whole new way for you to showcase your expertise.

When you publish a post on your LinkedIn profile, all of your connections get a notification and are invited to read. Therefore, the more connections you have, the greater reach you’ll have.

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Writing a great post on LinkedIn that addresses the pain points of your target audience and teaches the reader something is an easy way to provide value. Over time, these posts build your authority on the subject—and more people begin to associate your name with that specific industry.

A great post on LinkedIn wraps up with a strong call to action, which might be: Visit my website, buy my guide, join my e-newsletter, ask me a question, etc.

Make Your LinkedIn Profile the Ultimate Resume

If you have these 4 elements on your LinkedIn profile, you can create validation, build trust, and grow your influence within your industry.

Not to mention, it's a great resource when looking for a new job.

A few small changes can make a big, big difference.