LinkedIn’s All Star status is more than a rating

“LinkedIn is an iterative process. Use it to meet new people, build trust, cultivate relationships and always engage.”

Preparing Job Seekers

We had a great career fair in February with hundreds of resumé-toting jobseekers. One of the reasons it was such a success, was the practical one-on-ones and presentations by UCSC Extension instructors who were onsite helping attendees prepare for their job search.

Alice Goldstein, a technical product marketer with EventLoop and instructor in our Social Media Marketing professional award program, hosted a popular shape-up-your-LinkedIn-profile table and was surrounded by jobseekers all afternoon listening in for tips and best practices. Once you’ve polished up your online presence, you can take it a step further, she says.

Below is a great article by Alice about LinkedIn’s Star Status. If you’re still hungry to grow your online social media presence, visit our website to learn more about the Social Media Marketing Professional Award and be sure to check out our upcoming social media course list at the end of Alice’s article. 

Finding the spark is what the real LinkedIn All Stars do. This is how.

By Alice Goldstein

As many of you know, LinkedIn has a rating system letting you know how your profile ranks and how effectively you are performing on the platform, but by taking it a little farther, you can gain “All Star” status.


The LinkedIn ranking system is not very specific. “All Star” status, however, is obtained by filling out a few sections on your profile. It does not judge the relevancy of what you put into those sections or how well you filled them out. “All Star” does not give you any measure as to how effectively your profile is performing.

Having your profile set up correctly and engaging actively sets you apart from the crowd. There are a lot of ways you can become a real LinkedIn All Star. Here are some of my personal favorites to start making things happen.

Live in the fast lane with LinkedIn influencers

Follow a LinkedIn influencer, share, and engage. Who are LinkedIn influencers? They are LinkedIn members who write powerful content with consistency, depth of insight, and desire to deeply engage with others.

Katie Martell, LinkedIn Influencer
Katie Martell is a millennial CMO and entrepreneur. She describes herself as an “Unapologetic Marketing Truth-Teller” and shares valuable B2B marketing lessons and insights for entrepreneurs and founders. Source: “Top Women LinkedIn Influencers That Inspire Luxury Leaders” LUXE Digital

These influencers have inspiring ideas and the ability to create communities of leaders in their area of expertise. Some have been named to LinkedIn’s annual “Top Voices” list of influencers who have the most engagement. This list is an excellent resource to find influencers in health care, data science and analytics, education, and so on.

I suggest using a free influencer and content tool to find influencers outside of LinkedIn. BuzzSumo brings together content sharing analytics and influencer identification. The first feature allows you to search for the most popular content being shared around a certain topic and then identify who shared it. The second feature helps you find influencers based on keywords and hashtags.

For example, in the search functionality, you can find influencers in #infosec, sort by retweet ratio, subscribe to their blogs, and follow them on Twitter. You can share the latest news and innovations from their channels on LinkedIn.

Google something like “Linkedin Influencers artificial intelligence 2019.” There are lists compiled of LinkedIn influencers in every topic.

Follow and subscribe to these influencers and start sharing some of their articles with your unique perspective. Choose share with “connections only” and you can reach the public by adding three or four relevant hashtags. Check for strong hashtag trending by using

DJ Patil, former U.S. chief data scientist under President Barack Obama, was responsible for creating and establishing major data-driven initiatives in health care, criminal justice, and national security. He was also head of data products and chief scientist at LinkedIn. (Source: KDNuggets’ “Top 10 Active Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning Influencers on LinkedIn”)

All Stars Practice Behavioral Interviewing

There is a new LinkedIn tool, the free behavioral interview question generator. Go through the list of LinkedIn behavioral questions and answer those that speak to your accomplishments and skills.


Now that you have a new lens into your work, add it to LinkedIn experience and summary sections.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Add a new profile picture. Since LinkedIn’s last update and redesign, the ideal LinkedIn profile photo has good framing and lighting as well as high resolution. Good framing means it’s symmetrical and fills the circular frame on LinkedIn. A well-lit photo doesn’t have strange filters, and there’s adequate contrast between the subject and background. Good resolution means the photo isn’t blurry.

All Stars have a warm smile, good eye contact, and nice lighting. Choose a background that isn’t distracting and wear what you would wear to work. You can also add a background image with the free design tool, Canva.


I like Katrina Lake’s profile picture. StitchFix is No. 5 of Fast Company’s 2019 World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.


I also like Denelle Dixon’s profile picture. Denelle and her team at Mozilla are making online browsing safer. Mozilla is #49 on Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Company List.

Add a cover photo that tells a story. Check the free stock photo sites. Cover photo dimensions are 1400 pixels wide by 425 pixels high and you can use Canva to adjust the size. Some of the best cover photos are of you speaking on a panel, presenting, teaching, working – think thought leader and dynamic. You can design a custom cover image with Canva as well. This is a great cover “Brave” on Reshma Saujani’s profile.


If you are in retail, the cover photo is valuable real estate and you can do anything you want as CEO.


Add certifications from UCSC Extension

  • Move your cursor over the Me menu at the top of your LinkedIn page, and select View profile.
  • Scroll down to the Education section of your profile, and click the + sign in the upper right corner of the box to add education.
  • Under School, choose UCSC Silicon Valley Extension.
  • Under Degree, type Certificate. 
  • Under Field of study, enter the certificate program name.
  • If you’d like to indicate when you completed the program, you can use the Time period dropdowns.
  • Under Description, write a few sentences or bullet points about skills the program covered or what you learned. Also, include links to samples of your work.
  • When you’ve finished, click Save.

Attract your audience and be easy to find

Customize your URL to be short and easy to read, like the green example below.


Write a creative headline with an objective. What do you want people to know about you NOW? What is your main objective for using LinkedIn? How can this headline help recruit the right people to your cause, whether that is looking for a new job, internship, or working for social good? Be succinct, creative and include key terms.

Format your summary to have categories, three supporting bullets, and key terms. Do not be too lengthy. Use core strength categories like Management, Entrepreneurship, Social Media, Security, Not-for-Profit. This is positioning your background to your target audience. Include mentions of recent honors, publications, and projects here. The accomplishments section is at the bottom of your LinkedIn profile and can be easily missed.

Optimize a portfolio. Upload your very best work into your summary section. People may not spend the time clicking through work examples in the company experience sections. Share your articles, infographics, videos, slides, e-books, etc. Upload your pride and joy to and share from there. SlideShare has over 80 million users. E-books are particularly effective in this channel. You will gain another audience here. The paid version has some very good lead generation features.

Groups are Communities Built for Networking. Join some groups in the interest section, follow some companies but stick to sharing influencer content—this means people, not companies. People can easily follow a company’s LinkedIn brand page. They will appreciate your sharing new influencers. To find your local association chapter, go directly to the group’s website. Then find the chapter on LinkedIn. If they are not on LinkedIn, find them on Facebook. You want to be where they are! And, go to some events in person!

Recommendations. Request recommendations from those who know you. I have always found that people appreciate when I take a first stab at writing the recommendation. They will then do the editing and you can review, accept, and post it.

Increase your connections. Try to meet five new people a week online. This will keep you sharp on articulating what you are looking for and what you offer. People you know will introduce you to people you don’t know! A reply counts as meeting someone.

Recommend some good books and podcasts. Share with your network and the public. Use hashtags for public outreach and make sure the picture clicks through to where you can find them.

Remember, LinkedIn is an iterative process. Use it to meet new people, build trust, cultivate relationships and always engage. Your Articles and Activity section will flash out of sight when you stop sharing! This means you will lose visibility of your LinkedIn thought leadership. And, just liking something will not bring it back. But, All Stars don’t think of liking anything, they have too many big ideas to share!Picture11-recommendation

Author Bio

ALICE GOLDSTEIN, BA, is a technical product marketer with EventLoop, a global event technology provider that provides solutions for associations, trade shows, companies, and festivals. Her expertise includes digital technologies and algorithm-friendly marketing tools, as well as social lead generation, story crafting for brands and products, and reaching a targeted audience through blogging and live video. She has redesigned UCSC Extension’s Social Media Marketing professional award program with an emphasis on analytics and product branding for all levels of experience.

Learn more about the Social Media Marketing Professional Award and upcoming social media courses:

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