LinkedIn Professional Branding 2017

p={color:#000;}. LinkedIn Professional Branding 2017 Secrets that get you found and hired, Get Your Job On

Copyright 2017 James Schmidli

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Why create a LinkedIn profile in the first place?

3. What makes a great LinkedIn profile?

4. How create your professional brand on LinkedIn?

5. Final Step

FAQ and Tips

Discover other titles by James Schmidli

1. Introduction

I applaud you for taking the time to work on yourself.  Working on your job hunting skills is not only very rewarding, it may be the most important training anyone can do in their lifetime.  Knowing how to find a job, plan for the future and negotiate salary can make the difference of millions of dollars over a lifetime! And one of the best ways to get a higher salary is to have multiple job offers, and you get multiple job offers, by working on your job hunting skills.

I’m about to condense years of pain and suffering into one easy to use manual.  I have read hundreds of books, applied for hundreds if not thousands of jobs.  I know what works, and unfortunately, what doesn’t work.  The frustration of sending 20 resumes a day, every day, and only getting one callback, or the success of getting four job offers 40% above my salary expectations in the same week!  I have changed multiple careers, in different countries, and have been fired, made redundant, as well as promoted, and praised for my success.  I tell this to not to impress you, but to impress upon you, that you too can achieve this success.  All it takes is a little commitment, the right tools, and faith that you deserve to find the job of your dreams and be paid what you are worth.  So let's begin.

What you will learn

How to find the specific skills and keywords recruiters and hiring managers will be searching for that you normally only get by being a premium member for FREE! Saving you $360 per year!

Find out how well you rank compared to your peers without joining premium.

How to NEVER to settle for a job you hate again

Why you should use LinkedIn

What 5 questions every employer wants answered before they hire you

How to beat 75% of the competition on LinkedIn

What are the two most important things on LinkedIn and how to make them work for you

How to instantly look trustworthy and competent

Background pictures that send the right message and where to find one

The most convincing thing you’re probably not putting into your experience section

You are the product, go and sell yourself

A great analogy for job hunting is a professional sales.  The basics are very similar, but rather than selling a product or service to a customer, you are selling your skills and brand to a business.  Not only will you be able to find the job of your dreams in the shortest possible time, you will earn more and enjoy the process.  Once you have learned the skills of job hunting, you can expect to double your lifetime earning power and best of all never have to settle for a job you HATE!  So let’s get to it, there are basically three stages in job hunting.


This is the process of finding clients and businesses that are looking for your services/skillset and are prepared to pay/provide the working arrangements you desire. 

Active job searching

Passive job searching (marketing)

Discovering the hidden job market & networking

Marketing/presentation materials

Building your brand

Cover letter


Closing the deal

Interview/pitch, phone, face to face

Psychometric testing




This book is going to focus on two key areas, building your professional brand and passive job searching.

2. Why create a LinkedIn profile in the first place?

Some of the key benefits of using LinkedIn include; the largest professional network in the world, it is an excellent networking tool, it can be used for passive job hunting and is one of the best ways to manage your online professional brand. 

One of the biggest advantages of a LinkedIn profile is its passive job searching ability.  Recruiters & hiring managers can use LinkedIn to find passive candidates.  Passive candidates are people who have not actively applied for a job.  Meaning once you have established a LinkedIn profile you can get interviews while you sleep! 

The second advantage is managing your online brand.  Employers are turning to Google to get a better picture of employee’s past performance.  Often a quick Google search will reveal inappropriate photos, Facebook posts and other things you wouldn’t want your future employer to see.  In fact, we probably all know of a story of someone who got fired for saying something inappropriate on social media.  By actively building a positive image, like LinkedIn, you can push the inappropriate content lower on the search rankings making it less likely an employer will find it.

Lastly, you will find that a lot of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will use LinkedIn to collect candidate information.  This will save you a significant amount of time when applying for jobs during your job hunt.

3. What makes a great LinkedIn profile?

Think for a minute from the employer’s perspective.  What would you want to see if you are about to employ someone to help you?  If you had 100 applicants for a job, what would you look for in the first 6 seconds? (6 seconds seems short, but imagine if you had to do your job, plus their job, plus hiring).  The following are the key questions every employer will be asking about you to determine if you are suitable for the job:

Do you have the experience and skills needed for the job?

Can I find you?

Do you have the qualifications for the job?

Is it quick and easy to read? 

Are you employable?


The next chapter is going to walk through each of these questions.

4. How create your professional brand on LinkedIn?

Let’s go through the step-by-step plan on how to build your personal brand by creating a LinkedIn profile.  But before you begin, you must have a target job in mind.  Your target job will shape your entire professional brand and LinkedIn profile.  It will be used to highlight the required skill in your summary, what experience is important to mention in your past career and where you may need some further experience or growth.

Note:  The more specific you can be the better, however, if you can refine the target role to a category this will be fine, i.e. Rather than category manager, you may broadly consider; category management, procurement, supply chain, operations etc. which all have similar requirements.


We are going to look at how to personalise the following areas:


Profile picture


Background picture

Custom URL







Education & Certifications

Volunteer service & Memberships

Skills & endorsements


There are five different profile strengths; beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert and lastly all-star.  To stand out from the crowd and become one of the top 25% of all LinkedIn profiles you need to build an all-star profile. 

To do this you will need;

A profile picture

Include your industry & location

Have an up to date current position with description

At least two previous positions

Completed your education

Listed at least 3 skills

Have 50 contacts


Not only are we going to build an all-star profile, we are going to build your professional brand so you can land your dream job and have it work for you day and night!

Profile picture

Surprisingly the two most important factors of your Linkedin professional brand are the profile picture and the headline.  Anything you post, comment on or share will have these two items in it.  They make you stand out from the crowd, generate views, allow networking and can get you a job.

LinkedIn profiles get 11x more views with a picture, then without.  The type of picture will depend on your target job, if you want to become a CEO then you will want to wear a tie, if you are looking to join a startup then maybe a T-shirt will be more appropriate.  However, it’s best to be overdressed than underdressed, to show that you are taking your job search seriously.  A good guide is to wear what you are currently or going to be wearing to work.

First impressions count, and what people are looking for are two things:




Ways you can show these qualities include:

Having a genuine smile, showing teeth and wrinkles next to the eyes

Making eye contact with the camera

The photo should include face to waist or face and shoulders




Shots which only show the face or long distance whole body shots.


Your headline is critical.  Most people use the default headline, which is your current job role and company.  If you are, you are missing out on a opportunity to stand out!  As with any optimisation, your LinkedIn headline has a big weighting on whether you will be found, so pay close attention to what you put into these 120 characters.  Keywords are vital here. 

There are a couple of ways to build your perfect headline.  Firstly LinkedIn has a built-in tool to “see what others in your industry are using”, this will give you some insight.  Another option is to look for keywords in job listings then creating your own headline by answering the following questions to make the perfect headline. 

What niche do you serve/what field are you in?

Who do you help?

How do you make it better?



Once you have some answers combining these into one sentence or can be separated by |.

E.g. International Supply Chain & Operations Manager | Management Consultant Who Helps Companies Unlock Cash and Profit | MBA

Secondly, you can combine keywords and areas that you currently, have or will be working in.  E.g. International Supply Chain Manager | Operations Manager | Management Consultant | Author | MBA | Unlocking Cash & Profit

(If you are starting out in your career or a student, one form of evidence can be a high GPA or award). 

Lastly, should you use “seeking new opportunities” in your heading?  While it is a good way of letting your network know you are looking for a new job, it also notifies your current employer.  It’s worth remembering that recruiters and hiring managers will look for people to hire using specific keywords, rather than looking for a candidate who is “looking for new opportunities”.  When they find you, and you’re a good fit for the role it’s unlikely to matter that you are employed or not.

Remember do what feels right for you.  Sometimes you want to stand out from the crowd, other times your employer has a close eye on your profile, make sure you consider this before you make drastic changes to one of the most visible aspects of your LinkedIn branding.  Remember, it doesn’t matter which of the three options you choose for your headline, make sure you include the specific keywords recruiters and hiring managers would search for.

Background picture

There are several ways to get a great looking background picture.  If you are going to use your own photos make sure they are sized to 1400 × 425 pixels or it could look fuzzy, in the wrong place or generally look bad.  If you are a premium member you can choose from the LinkedIn premium gallery. 

If you are going to use online photos make sure you don’t breach copyright laws. These can become a nightmare. Some great places to start include, searching google for Creative Commons, these are freely licensed photos.  Just make sure you double check the site in the t&c’s before you use it (Google isn’t perfect).  Alternatively, you can use unsplash.com, there is a basic search function and a huge range of free to use pictures (Creative Commons).

[*What should I choose as a background picture? *]

There are a couple of strategies.  You can choose a picture which represents your industry, where you are geographically (i.e. your city or country), or something you like and is professional.  Memorable and relevant are key.


One of the keys to being found is making sure your LinkedIn profile has a customer URL.  The best URL is to change it to your full name.  If you are unfortunate enough to not have access to your name, you may be able to make some slight changes, i.e. by using your first initial, your middle initial or a shortened version of your name, you can add a job title or an industry to the end.  E.g. JSchmidli or JamesSchmidliSupplyChainManager or JamesSchmidliSCM.  They key is to make it similar to your name or email so it can be found, is professional and can be easily added to your resume.


This needs to be the industry where you want to be found, if you want a job in logistics and supply chain then you would select that industry, if general management, then put that.  The choice will depend on what your target job is.  You can get access to which industries hire your target job by jumping to the skills section and following the steps.


The location is important so that recruiters and hiring managers can find you, as one of their search criteria is geographical location i.e. Australia or New Zealand.  While LinkedIn allocates regions to everyone’s profile, you can determine how targeted you are by either adding your zip code and/or city.  Note hiring managers and recruiters can view your “exact” location later if desired but will not affect how you appear in their original search results, as it is generally quite broad.

Note: Make sure you never include your physical street number on any application form or LinkedIn, you never know who is looking at your profile.  Unless you are filling out your payroll form for your new employer, the street name will be enough.


You want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is your first professional contact with any would be hiring managers searching for you on Google.  Therefore, make sure you change your profile information to “public profile visible to anyone”.  You can choose what you want to have available, more is normally better so that recruiters and hiring managers to find you, however, you may want to be cautious about your employer seeing dramatic changes if applicable.


Media can make a huge visual impact on your LinkedIn profile.  As the saying goes “a photo speaks a thousand words”, make sure you include pictures of your workplace, what you did (i.e. a day in the life of photo), and the products you worked with as they are often better known than the company.  These photos have two purposes;

They give the viewer a better understanding of your role and achievements

It proves that you actually worked there. 


Remember even if you don’t have a visual role like graphic design or marketing, make sure you add a picture that represents your experience. It could be the brand or product, the site or the team you worked with. Just make sure it aligned with your professional brand!  Note: some company names have no resemblance to their products/brands, so make sure you include these strong anchors as a photo.

If you don’t have any photos of your past experience, look at the company website or google street view to get the site. But be careful, as you maybe infringing on copyright.  Some great tools include the Google photos app or Pixelmator if you need to make some minor adjustments.

Note: make sure you black out or remove any personal information like addresses or identification numbers to protect your identity if you are going to add things like transcripts to your education section.


This section summarises your expertise into one paragraph.  The challenge here is to be specific so that it is engaging while being general enough so that it doesn’t alienate recruiters or hiring managers searching for you.  It should be written in the first person and summarise your current experience, education and give some insight about what direction you want to go. 

One option is to research for your target role and summarise and highlight the key skills required for it. Steps Include:

Find several job advertisements for your target job, then summarise the keywords and requirements.

Secondly, focus on the skills you have that match the target job requirements and highlight these in the summary.  Specify focus on your background experience, education and professional certifications that match the requirements for the target job.  Sometimes your target job will summarise your key job requirements. 

Lastly, you may want to outline/generalise what your target job is, i.e. Senior management role or supply chain and logistics management role.  The trick is the be specific and vague at the same time to ensure you engage a wide audience of recruiters and hiring managers.


Note: Make sure you don’t lie as we discuss later.


For each job, you will need to fill out the following two parts;

A compelling one line summary of the company and its size – the best place to find this is on the company website’s “About” page.

Your 3-7 key achievements/results – these should highlight your experience in relation to your target job, with the most important ones first.  Note: the first achievement should summarise your current role in one or two lines. 

Each of your key achievements should start with a bullet point or tick, you can get a “tick” from my personal LinkedIn page by “copy/paste” or searching on Google.


Note:  Use your own discretion when it comes to writing the number of key achievements, with 7 being the most I would recommend due to space.  With more recent roles having more achievements and older ones less.  Remember, LinkedIn doesn’t have to be limited to two pages like a resume, so feel free to add more if it adds value to your brand. 

How to discover your true career achievements

There are two key areas to think about, firstly what field, secondly what achievements:

The field is important and comes back to your target job.  If you want to progress further into management you will want to focus on people, leadership and management, if you want a technical role you would focus on experience relating to higher levels of technical proficiency and skill.  Fields can include the following:

People – leadership, coaching, management

Processes & Systems

Project management

Sales/Marketing – Generating revenue

Technical fields – Accounting, Graphic design, IT etc.


Questions to help develop your achievements:

In an average week, what would things would I normally do? 

Does what I do change depending on the time of the year?

Were there any projects I was involved in?


From the above;

What did I do that was significant?

Where have I saved/made some time/money? 

How much did you save/make?  How much did you save over the life of the project or annually?

How did I do it? (this is often too long and is what you will elaborate on during your interview)


Begin by brainstorming what you have accomplished in all areas of your job.  Then you can refine it down to your key achievements by highlight your strengths in relation to your target job.

Education & Certifications

Your education and certifications need to include the following parts;

University or institute name

What was studied or achieved

A summary of the university and any significant rankings

The beginning and end date of the course

Any achievements i.e. top of class

Copies of your certificates or transcripts (remember to remove your student number, address and any other personal information)


Note: Uploading a copy of your certificate or transcript is a personal choice and must consider your GPA and how your performance will be perceived by a recruiter or hiring manager. 

Volunteer service & Memberships

These can add huge value to your image including:

Military service

Volunteer service

Professional associations (Toastmasters, Mensa etc.)

Skills & endorsements

This section is vital to your passive job search.  These keywords need to be specific so that you can be found by recruiters and hiring manager.  Below are some based on employment type, which is normally only accessible through a premium membership which cost $30 per month, but if you use the following trick you can get access for FREE!

Go to Google

Type “www.linkedin.com” AND “skill or job title” you want to know the skills for AND “profiles” i.e. “Www.Linkedin.com” AND “Supply chain manager” and “profiles”


It will then list the top 25 supply chain manager profiles on LinkedIn, (note: you can even search your geographical area and see how you rank!).  If you keep scrolling down you will find the top skills people in this job have.  All you have to do is add these to your profile and get some endorsements.  It will also tell you which industry this job title gets hired from, which you can use to ensure you have selected the correct industry as discussed earlier.

Some examples are as follows:

General management

Business Development, Management, Leadership, Strategy, Business Strategy, Marketing, Sales, Change Management, Marketing Strategy, Strategic Planning

Sales & Marketing

Marketing, Management, Marketing strategy, Business development, Customer service, Sales, Business Strategy, Strategic planning, Social media, Social media marketing


Supply chain management, Logistics management, Management, recurrent, Project manager, Project planning, Continuous improvement, Negotiation, Change management, Operations Management

Technical (Accountant)

Management, Budgeting, Accounting, Auditing, Financial reporting, Finance, Financial analysis, Tax, Financial accounting, Analytical skills,

Note: these skills may change and will depend on what target job you are looking for.  Remember you can add up to 50 skills with the top 10 visible in your profile so make sure you have 50 highly relevant skills with the most important first.

What skills should I include?

Firstly, you should include all the skills you have got from your previous jobs (you can get these by searching as above).  In addition, I would include the skills of your target job, remembering that these are the skills hiring managers and recruiters will be searching for, so you want to make sure they are in your skills area.  But don’t lie, if you don’t have the skill, don’t put it in, come up with a plan to get it.

How do I find a list of LinkedIn titles?

If you’re not sure which job titles to search for, LinkedIn has a job title directory.  https://www.linkedin.com/directory/title/ or search Google to find the directory.

Don’t Lie

There is one word of caution here, do not lie on your cover letter, resume, LinkedIn or interview, as inevitably you will get caught.  It’s ok to use exaggeration as long as you can back the statement up with; your references, your interview answers, and finally your ability once you get the job.  The worst thing that can happen is to finally get your dream job and you don’t have the skillset to perform, so you underdeliver and get fired! 

In contrast, if you do exaggerate and you can back it up in the interview, and have your references backup your experience and skills, and once you get the job you work your butt off to deliver the results, you won’t have a problem, just don’t expect to work 9-5!

5. Final Step

Once you have your all-star profile, now what?  You can build your professional network focusing on as many recruiters and potential hiring managers as possible.  The challenge is that LinkedIn terms of service only allow you to network with people you know.  If you start to send unsolicited connection requests you can be blocked or your account closed down, so be careful. 

Now that you have completed your professional branding and should start getting a number of connection requests and even recruiters viewing your profile looking for candidates just like you to fill jobs.

The challenge and feedback

Take action, if you haven’t already, give us some feedback at www.getyourjobon.com and let us know how you went creating your LinkedIn profile, where you may need some help or what has been great!  Also what other challenges you are facing with your job hunt, you might even get a free book. 

FAQ and Tips

Should you include any designations in your name or headline?

In short, name – no, headline, maybe.  LinkedIn terms of service require you only put your first name and last name in the name field only. 

However, anything which will add significant value like CPA, Dr, and CFA, can be included in the headline. There is an ongoing debate if you should include any other designations like degrees, masters or MBA.  You should be proud of your achievements, so do what feels right for you.

[*Should I show my network when I make any changes to my profile? *]

Well that depends, there are a couple of factors: 

If you have just started a new job, it’s always nice to get some congratulations and share your success. 

If you are updating or editing your profile to be more relevant, you may not want to broadcast every small change.  It may annoy your network and limit your engagement later when you need it most. 

How often should I be active?

LinkedIn is a database of professionals, and like any database, it likes fresh and new information. Therefore, it is a good idea to make a change to your profile once a week to show relevance.  This could be anything including an updated profile or background picture, group post or general update.

How to address career gaps?

There are a couple of ways to address career gaps which don’t include lying, some options include;

Having your start and end dates as the year rather than the month, you are able to show much longer tenure and hide career gaps in your resume.  This allows you to get in front of the hiring manager or recruiter where you can be much more persuasive. 

Another great option is to start your own company, consult or join an online work platform like Fiverr, Expert360 or join the freelancing revolution, depending on your skill set.  Not only will it fill a gap, you can generate income, learn new skills, show initiative and it can even lead to your next job.


Spell check – use Grammarly, an excellent and free tool.

Email – make sure you have a professional email address, get one free with Google.

Discover other titles by James Schmidli

If you want work on other areas of your job hunt, let get your job on help you.  We have many other books including;

Cover letter writing

Resume writing


These can all be found by going to our website at http://www.getyourjobon.com or go to our Facebook page.

Thank you for reading my book. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment a leave a review at your favorite retailer!


James Schmidli

LinkedIn Professional Branding 2017

In this book you will learn: * How to find the specific skills and keywords recruiters and hiring managers will be searching for that you normally only get by being a premium member for FREE! Saving you $360 per year! * Find out how well you rank compared to your peers without joining premium * How to NEVER to settle for a job you hate again * Why you should use LinkedIn * What 5 questions every employer wants answered before they hire you * How to beat 75% of the competition on LinkedIn * What are the two most important things on LinkedIn and how to make them work for you * How to instantly look trustworthy and competent * Background pictures that send the right message and where to find one * The most convincing thing you're probably not putting into your experience section LinkedIn is disrupting how people are hired, are you prepared to take advantage of these changes? Job hunting skills can literally be worth millions of dollars over a lifetime, shouldn’t you invest some time on your most valuable skill set?

  • ISBN: 9781370788897
  • Author: James Schmidli
  • Published: 2017-04-02 12:05:11
  • Words: 4588
LinkedIn Professional Branding 2017 LinkedIn Professional Branding 2017