LinkedIn Profile Tips For Salespeople: What Shaq Got Wrong

Earlier this week, Shaquille O’Neal created what has been deemed by the internet, the best LinkedIn profile of all time. While the 4× NBA Champion may have reached 500+ connections in a matter of days, it may take you a little longer. Learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for both sales and sales job hunting.


What Shaq Got Right:

  1. Confidence  “My best asset is that I am proven to lead teams to championships,” he writes. “I mean multiple championships.” A healthy dose of confidence can set you apart when prospective employers and clients are viewing your profile. You’ve only got a few hundred words to sell yourself. Highlight what you are truly good at, skip what you aren’t.
  2. Your Experience Can Speak For Itself (Especially If You’re Famous) As you’re learning the ropes of LinkedIn you may notice some people have only a few lines while others appear to have self-published books on their work experience. Unless you’re Shaq or Bill Gates, you should elaborate on any experience you have that is relevant to sales. Focus on high-level accomplishments and articulate your credibility.


What Shaq Forgot:

  1. Current Employer Search Optimization Your current (and past) employers must be searchable. Make sure you’re using the most commonly referred to title to maximize search exposure. If Shaq wasn’t Shaq he would struggle to gain traffic on his page. No one is searching, “Alot of different companies. Inc.”
  2. Clearly Articulate What You’re Looking For Make it easy for prospective clients or employers to understand what you’re looking for. Is Shaq looking for a new job? Does he have a product that can make your life better? Your profile will be much more valuable if you communicate what you need. A simple line in your summary such as, “Seeking employment in inside sales,” eliminates confusion.
  3. Basic Grammar, Sentence Structure Shaq can get away with it, you can’t. Employers are asking themselves a) if you can sell and b) if they can confidently put you in front of their clients. A simple grammatical error can be the difference between multiple interviews and wondering why no one returns your InMail.

So Shaq may have indefinitely secured #1st place, even earning a personalized welcome from the CEO of LinkedIn, but there’s no reason you can’t climb the ranks as well. In 2014, your LinkedIn profile is more valuable than your resume and employers are using it to make hiring decisions. 10 minutes spent on your profile here and there will make a noticeable difference in a short amount of time.

Sales is going social— even Shaq knows that.


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Kayla Kozan

Kayla Kozan

Director of Marketing at Ideal
Kayla spent the last few years studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship on 3 different continents. Now covering the latest in predictive analytics, workplace diversity and big data. She has a keen interest in tech and discovering underrated brunch spots.
Kayla Kozan