Jeff Funk’s Recipe for Crafting a LinkedIn Profile

On Saturday, June 7th, New Orleans WIT hosted a LinkedIn workshop led by WGNO-TV’s Creative Director & Digital Content Producer Jeff Funk. Jeff was an exceptional instructor providing participants with plenty of examples, advice and actionable tips. At the end of the workshop, attendees were offered free headshots from Babs Evangelista Photography to help spruce up their new and improved LinkedIn profiles. All in all,  the workshop was a great success.

For those of you who weren’t able to make it, no worries! We recapped Jeff’s valuable advice below.

Turning Off Your Activity Broadcasts

Before you dive into editing your profile, Jeff recommends turning off your activity broadcasts. This ensures your connections aren’t flooded with notifications of the changes you make.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 9.12.39 PM


The Trifecta of a Good Impression

With that out of the way, you’ll want to start with your name, photo and headline. Possibly some of the most important elements, your name, photo and headline are the first things potential employers/ recruiters see when they come across your profile. Be sure that first impression is a good one…

  1. Leave the nicknames at home. While it’s good to show off some personality, you’ll want to keep in mind how appropriate that nickname is in a professional setting. How might it be interpreted by a recruiter or potential employer? Will they think you unprofessional or not serious? Best to not risk it.

  2. Get serious about your image. Use professional photos only and stick to a neutral background. You’ll want to dress as you are and keep profile picture “current” so that your online image is representative of you now.

  3. Grab them with your headline. The headline encourages visitors to want to learn more about you. Many great profile headlines use “outcome phrases”; they emphasize what you do and provide as opposed to who you are. What will they get out of a connection with you? How do you provide value to others? Make sure your headline summary is succinct, keyword-minded and descriptive. In your headline you’ll want to use 3-4 words that seem to be consistent with the industry you’re interested in. Eventually you’ll need to expand upon your headline and support it through out your profile page. Lastly, take advantage of the entire 120 characters in your headline. In fact this is pretty solid advice for your entire profile; you can find the 2014 LinkedIn max character limit here.



Building Out Your Profile

Now that you have your name, headline and photo done, you can move on to developing the rest of your profile. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Use keywords throughout your profile. You’ll want to make sure your profile appears in search results by using keywords in your headline, summary, and profile that describe you and your skillset. Be specific with keywords about your industry, and keep in mind how those outside your industry might search for your services.png;base6426ada5c8a8d7a0f0

  • Have at least 3 pages of powerful content on your LinkedIn account. It’s important that you support your headline with examples and convincing content. Make your profile stand out with slideshows, videos, portfolio work, etc.

  • Make sure you can be contacted. Include your email, phone, website, and links to other social media profiles. You want to provide as many opportunities as possible for others to connect with you.

  • Customize your profile URL. While customizing your LinkedIn URL isn’t super important, it can help you get found more easily. You can learn how to customize your URL here.

  • Complete your profile and update regularly. Try to complete as many of the profile sections as possible, but don’t just fill it with fluff either! The content should be relevant and highlight your strengths as a potential employee. You want to be up-to-date, interesting and engaging.

Engaging with Others & Building Your Network

You’re done updating your profile and filling it with relevant information and now it’s time to start interacting with others and building your ethos in your field. This is perhaps one of the more important parts of your LinkedIn presence as it shows how committed you are to your industry. Often recruiters look at the number of connections a potential applicant has when determining whether to contact them. Many consider 500 genuine and relevant connections to be the benchmark of a well-connected and experienced applicant. With that said, here are some tips on how to go about building your LinkedIn presence.

  • The more the merrier. Start by connecting with your past contacts (previous employers, co-workers, teachers, peers, etc.) and by connecting with potential future contacts (people you might meet at an upcoming event).

  • Join relevant LinkedIn groups. Find groups and organizations that you admire and want to be a part of. But also be mindful of how your involvement in a certain group will be perceived by potential employers.

  • Manage your skill endorsements. As the name suggests, skill endorsements are a way for others to validate the skills you have listed on your profile. It can be easy to get swept away and accept every endorsement you receive, but you want to make sure they make sense for your career. You want to strengthen your most valuable and relevant skills. You also don’t want to accept endorsements from people who can’t necessarily attest to your abilities. If you’d like more information, LinkedIn provides a good intro article on how to give and receive skill endorsements and Forbes also has 8 great tips on handling your endorsements.

  • Find your Mavens. Similar to skill endorsements, recommendations are a great way to show others that you are skilled at what you do. According to Jeff, between 12-20 is ideal. The best recommendations come from previous clients or employers who can attest to your abilities and are happy to promote you. Check out LinkedIn’s Recommendations Overview for detailed instructions on how to request a recommendation.

  • Be active. Experts recommend interacting on LinkedIn 2 times a day and/or participating in 4-6 LinkedIn groups 3-4 times a week. The point is to regularly and genuinely engage with others in your field. Find a medium size group of 200-300 and start a discussion. Go out and, as Jeff puts it, “own a conversation”.

  • Searching other profiles anonymously. As you’re out there connecting with others, it may sometimes be in your best interest to search their profiles anonymously. You wouldn’t want someone (current employer, for example) to misconstrue your actions. This article tells you how to go incognito.




And that wraps up Jeff’s valuable advice on how to craft an eye-catching LinkedIn profile. By no means was this meant to be a comprehensive how-to, but we hope you were able to take away some helpful suggestions. Looking for more information on building your profile? Check out Hubspot’s Ultimate Cheat Sheet.


Bummed that you missed this wonderful workshop? Come join the fun at one of WIT’s next events. Check out the events calendar.