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How to complete your LinkedIn profile

Many people have trouble getting their LinkedIn profile to 100% completion. Of course, I always have sage advice for these people, but yesterday I created a profile for a friend, and I can’t get it to 100% myself. And none of the expert friends I have can say why.


You may be wondering why you want to get to 100%. Here’s LinkedIn’s answer: you are 40 times more likely to get found in a LinkedIn search if your profile is complete. I’m not sure I’d accept that as absolute truth, but one of your guiding principles when you’re looking for work is to remove all obstacles.

The two biggest sticking points for most people are the photo and recommendations. You have to have both (3 recommendations).

Here are LinkedIn’s stated requirements:

  1. A current position.
  2. Two past positions.
  3. Education.
  4. Profile summary.
  5. A profile photo.
  6. Specialties.
  7. At least three recommendations. LinkedIn doesn’t tell you this, and LinkedIn support doesn’t seem to know it either, but you get 5% for each recommendation, up to a maximum of 15%.

Some people decide not to use a picture. I think this is a mistake, and I’ve written more about it here. I’ll just state quickly that a picture is an important part of your brand because people remember faces much more readily than names. So read my other post and make your own decision.

If you’re not working now, you can still enter a current position – just make yourself a consultant at <your name> consulting. This is common practice, and any recruiter who sees that will assume you’re unemployed unless you provide some indication of the projects you’ve worked on. LinkedIn is wrong to require this, however, especially in this time of high unemployment.

Try to get recommendations from each of the jobs in your LinkedIn profile. I’ll write more about that in a future post.

Posted in Personal branding.

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7 Responses

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  1. Susan Walls says

    Walt, though I have been at 100% longer than I can remember, I always enjoy reading the sage advise you include in your blogs. Thanks, and keep the information coming. You are helping a significant number of individuals!


  2. carol says

    thank you for these recommendations. I have been trying to figure out how to get it to that 100% mark and will try your suggestions. thanks again.

  3. Erin Nelson says

    Thank you very much for this information! I’m now at 100%!!! I’ve always wondered how I could do this.

    • Walter Feigenson says

      Glad this helped, Erin. LinkedIn doesn’t provide enough information on this topic, unfortunately. -walt

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