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How to Cultivate Executive Presence on LinkedIn


linkedinYou know you need to care about LinkedIn (LI). The stats are too compelling to ignore and the power of potential results is undeniable. So now you want to be a LinkedIn player and cultivate executive presence (EP)…but how?

To achieve executive presence, you need to be perceived as a leader, project gravitas, and influence others with a charisma that commands respect and achieves collaborative results in an ever-changing environment. Since much of your EP success depends on communication, let’s look at six ways to convey EP in your profile.

1.      Compelling and Custom-Fit Communication
The opposite of this would be a brief statement either from your resume summary or a vague description of what you do using boring, seen-everywhere-before language. Your profile must be dynamic, convey energy, and demonstrate your passion in a way that shows you understand your big picture and the value you want to bring to the professional world. Don’t do what everyone else does. Write in a way that reveals you are highly self-aware and emotionally intelligent. Write authentically in your own voice.

2.      Expertise in Subject Matter
Are you really good at what you do? Are you a master in your field able to demonstrate deep knowledge? Tell us about it on LI. A great way to do this is to write a first person narrative description for each job in the experience section that illustrates what you enjoy, your motivated skills, and your best results. Remember, LI is not your resume. I strongly encourage you to go beyond a static copy and paste of the typical list of job responsibilities.

3.       Ability to Get Results
Proof you can get the job done beyond expectations is critical. This is a big part of what separates you from Joey Professional in a similar job. Use quantitative measures whenever possible to market your skills. Think action – skill applied – result.

4.      Credibility
First, be sure you have a complete profile. Seriously. Then, boost your credibility through recommendations (strive for 5-8 current recommendations), well-documented education, training, and development, and work samples when possible.

5.      Confidence
One of the biggest barriers my clients have in creating a rock star profile is their inhibition to writing confidently about themselves. This is your chance to advocate for yourself. No one else is begging to do it for you. There is a difference between confident, authentic communication and arrogance. I’m confident you can stay between the lines of the former and still rock your profile!

6.      Polished Professional Style
This includes your picture which is your first digital impression and arguably equal to the weight of your impression during the first few seconds of an in-person interview. Use a focused, well-lit headshot with a crushed (slightly blurred) outdoor or indoor office background in which you are dressed professionally.

This also includes your language. Proof read. Have impeccable grammar. Errors will only undermine your efforts to cultivate EP.

In conclusion, follow these guidelines to maximize your LI profile for executive presence, networking, and career opportunities. Know that achieving the above can be difficult and feel time consuming to do on your own. I welcome you to reach out for revision help anytime. Best wishes!

We hope this is helpful to you! Stacy Smyk-Santiago, Career Coach at

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