A no-hoper’s guide to LinkedIn

I thought it was time to share the wisdom that comes from years of experience. So here is my definitive guide on how to crush it on LinkedIn.

All of these tips come with a lifetime guarantee. I’m just not telling you what that guarantee is.

Ready? Let’s do this.


Let’s start with the basics.

Names are boring so feel free to drop what’s written on your passport in favour of something cooler. If you have a nickname, use that.

Compare the possible before and after:

• Robin McGee (sounds like an investment banker – yawn)
• Skinny ‘Two Fingers’ McGee (sounds like a pirate – get in!)

Emojis are also a good alternative to surnames. Don’t use the standard smiley face, though. Make an effort. I think Apple are doing a water pistol emoji. Use that. For everything.

Profile photos

Do not under any circumstances include a profile photo. Nobody wants to see your face. A grey silhouette is all you need.
If you must use a photo, make sure that there is more than one person pictured.

Give no indication of which person the profile relates to, in order to increase the anonymity factor.

At least one of you should be holding a pint of beer.


The tagline is the short text underneath your name, and is shown in lots of places in LinkedIn.
Always use the space to denote something about you. For example:

• Prefers brown shoes
• Broccoli intolerant
• Good friends with Barry


Make sure you leave this section – the one that appears at the top of your profile – completely empty.

People are busy and don’t want to read lots of text. Giving them less text is better.

And even better than that is giving them no text at all.

This means they can click through your profile in super-quick time. Win-win!

The reader will be able to work out what you do by looking at your name.

If your surname is Smith, for example, that tells the reader that you make things.

If your surname is Morrison, you work in a supermarket. That sort of thing.

Embrace an air of mystery in everything you do.

Previous experience

Go into a lot of detail about the day-to-day aspect of your job. People love that.

If you always stop for coffee at 11.15, put that down.

If you’ve got the clicky-clacky keyboard that no one else wants, say it.

If Brenda keeps ‘forgetting’ to pay for Lotto syndicate subs, call her out. Girl needs to be told!

If you work alone and your cat is always ill, mention it (vets will offer to help for free on LinkedIn).

Status updates

This is where you can tell the world what you’re thinking all the time. If you’re gassy, we want to hear about it!
The best status updates are always on the following topics:

• Maths problems
• Fill in the missing letters
• Animals do the funniest things

Make sure you write lots about these key subjects. Never forget that this is why LinkedIn was created.

Pulse (blogging)

Pulse is LinkedIn’s own blogging platform.

You can go to town here, posting longer updates than the ones mentioned above. This is where you can give full mathematical proofs, quote entire parts of the dictionary or discuss every furball that Smokey has ever coughed up.

Keep it light and breezy. Nothing related to your industry.

Cool productivity hack: save a bunch of time by skipping the spelling and grammar checks. No one will notice! Remember: if it’s good enough for an exiled Nigerian prince’s emails, it’s good enough for you. Don’t be an arrogant jerk. You’re not better than royalty.


Endorsements are where you click buttons to confirm that people you’ve never met and don’t know have skills that you can’t possibly vouch for.

Get creative. Endorse people for as many skills as you can think of.

If they’re a builder, endorse them as a sandwich artist. All builders make good sandwiches.

If they’re a lawyer, endorse them for painting watercolours. All lawyers are lost souls.

Think outside the box.

The more endorsements you give, the better. Aim for at least 100 per day. Pros regularly hit double that number.


These are a written form of endorsements. Some people think they’re amazing.

Guess what?

They’re terrible! If someone you worked with wants to say good things about you, tell them to do it in the pub. The whole ‘social proof’ thing is made-up nonsense.

It’s just like reviews on Amazon. NO ONE READS REVIEWS.

If you take nothing else from this blog, hear this: never ask for or give a recommendation.

Groups and Jobs

These are sections where losers talk to each other and find work.

Um, you went to school, right? Nothing to learn here, people.

Also, you’re probably happy doing whatever you’re doing right now, so why think about changing?


The last thing people want is a personalised invite to connect. Remember that ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn’ has been proven to be the most compelling sentence in the English language. The science is bulletproof: I don’t even need to provide the evidence, that’s how sure I am about this.

Over to you

That’s enough for now. I don’t want to overload you with information. Your head probably hurts. You should go on LinkedIn and tell people about that.

Until next time, keep crushing it on LinkedIn!

PS. I feel as though I need to say something at this point. No, it’s gone. Never mind.
PPS. In the unlikely event that you actually want some useful advice, check out the Espirian blog.

First published on


8th August 2018

Helen Barnes

This was a much-needed giggle this morning!
Thank you for this great advice – I must make some essential changes to my profile right now!

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