25 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Stand Out

25 Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Stand Out

Whether you’re in the market for your next opportunity,…

… or you’re growing your experience and skillset in your current position, investing time in your LinkedIn profile can prove to be widely beneficial to your career. While it seems easy to “let yourself go” when you find the one, we don’t suggest you let your LinkedIn profile go ignored once you find a great job.

We talk about personal branding often because we believe it’s vital to getting the job of your dreams for the salary you deserve, but for this article, we are magnifying one profile in particular: LinkedIn. If you’re ready to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, keep reading for 25 ways to make yourself stand out.

1. Invest the Time – Make Your LinkedIn Profile Amazing

In the wise words of Aubrey Drake Graham, “we make time for the things that we want.” Leaving your profile incomplete can come off as either (1) lazy or (2) like you don’t know why you’re on LinkedIn. Luckily for you, LinkedIn offers a helpful completion percentage bar, and even gives you tips as you complete your profile on how to further optimize it.

2. Customize Your URL

It’s easier to share your LinkedIn profile with a unique URL. LinkedIn tries to do this when you sign up with a string of numbers to identify your profile, but if you really want to stand out, changing your URL to linkedin.com/name will add a classy touch. You can edit this by going to the “Edit Profile” screen and selecting “Edit” to the right of your Public Profile URL at the bottom of the screen with the rest of your basic information. Once you’ve picked your URL, select “Set Custom URL.”

3. Make Your Profile Photo Stand Out

If you want to stand out on LinkedIn, your profile photo is really the first place you should start. This is truly your first impression, so you’ll want to make a great one. Use a high-resolution, professional photo, that fits the industry you are in or aspire to work in. What does that mean? If the industry you’re a part of chooses not to wear ties to work, it’s not necessary to have the uptight yearbook photo with the top button buttoned as your LinkedIn profile. If it doesn’t fit your professional style, don’t try to overdo it. Likewise, you’ll want the photo to match the position you want to have. If you want that C-Level position, go ahead and pull out your classiest tie. Other suggestions for your photo: make sure it’s not a group photo, make sure you can clearly see your face, and that it’s a friendly, approachable photo.

4. Try a Unique Headline

It’s all about the headline. You’ve seen it before: the old job title and current employer thing that most LinkedIn headlines include (and typically only include). If you used tip #1 and completed your profile, that information is already available in your career history. Translation? You’re wasting prime real estate on old news. Try using your headline to highlight your specialty or how you’re different from your peers. If you’re looking to stand out, maximize the use of this space that LinkedIn offers you.

5. Use Keywords Density to Your Advantage

If you’re looking for a new job, pay attention to the key terms your target job descriptions include. Recruiters for those jobs that you’re interested in are most likely using those same terms in their search for talent like you. Use those keywords throughout your summary and career history. (For more on keywords, read Beat the Resume ATS.)

6. Optimize Your Summary Space

More prime real estate! The longer your career history, the harder it is to keep this section brief. Try to keep your summary no longer than five paragraphs, ideally only three or four. It should include your primary skillset, the various industries you have experience in, and any other passions or key information a potential employer should know about you. Don’t be afraid to use bullet points to break up your summary somewhere in the second or third paragraph.

7. Stand Out with Stats

Employers are looking for results, and it’s really hard to argue with the numbers. Highlight your successes in your summary since this will be one of the first things recruiters see on your profile. They will be more impressed with the facts rather than subjective opinion.

8. Make Sure Your Profile is Inviting

When people view your profile, that is technically your first chance at a great first impression. You’ll want your profile to a have a warm, welcoming feel to it. Your summary should reflect your professional personality. Making it in the 3rd person or drafting a long drawn out speech can come off distant and realistically unlikeable. Your summary shouldn’t be hard because it should make sense to you and anyone that knows you! After all, who knows you better than you?

9. Ditch the Cheesy Buzzwords

Don’t use a string of adjectives used on every resume and job application in the history of jobs (responsible, analytical, creative, etc.). BE creative, don’t just say you are. Using these words will only blend you into the LinkedIn crowd. Make your profile really shine by using more industry-specific niche-related descriptive terms.

10. Mimic Your Resume

Your career history doesn’t have to just be a monotonous list of duties and responsibilities. Talk about your best accomplishments in each role you include on your profile. Make your experience section stand out by featuring accomplished goals, achieved milestones, and teams or individuals that were impacted by this success.

11. Don’t Use 3rd Person

While it’s common and even suggested to use 3rd person language on your resume, it’s simply not necessary for LinkedIn. It actually makes your profile more personal, so it’s okay to say things like “I’m a passionate web designer who improved bounce rate by 60% and increased overall web traffic by…” rather than “John Johnson is a web designer…”

12. Show Your Personal Brand Off

Just like you wouldn’t write your resume the way you write your cover letter (at least we hope you wouldn’t), your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be composed the way your traditional cv or resume are written. Don’t be afraid to personalize the content as if this was your first conversation with a connection. Your network wants to know who you are as a person, so feel free to include any passions, values, or hobbies throughout your profile. This will make you an interesting connection, and make your profile stand out from your peers.

13. While You’re at It, Show Off Everything

Recruiters are looking for action-takers, task-completers, goal-reachers, results-driven individuals. Highlight your career achievements so LinkedIn recruiters can see at a glance that you provide the results they are seeking. Consider the bigger projects you were specifically picked to lead or the times you were trusted with a heavy responsibility and feature your experiences in your summary and career history.

14. Keep a Current Job Entry

Even if you’re not currently employed (especially if you’re not currently employed), keeping a current position filled is important since many recruiters filter talent by this criterion, an option available through LinkedIn’s search feature. Make sure you keep this section up to date when you accept a new position or receive a promotion. If you aren’t currently employed, create a position that you are targeting along with the distinction that you are currently seeking a new opportunity. For example, “Software Developer” as the position and “In Transition” or “Seeking New Opportunities” as the employer.

15. Add Files to Make it Snazzy

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s “social profile” features that allow you to add multimedia to your profile. LinkedIn allows you to upload a variety of files including photos, presentations, reports, and other representations of your work that appear with your profile summary. This is the perfect display for your recent work samples and presentations.

LinkedIn also allows you to add multimedia to the career history section of your profile. Include company websites, portfolio pieces, and visuals of your achievements from each position to really buff up your profile.

16. Add ALL Your Special Skills

Are you bilingual? Do you volunteer at a kids tech camp every summer? Did you complete the 3rd biggest project of all time at your company? There’s a space for all of that in the “Accomplishments” section of your profile. Display your certifications, patents, and languages here to stand out from your competition.

17. Ask for a Recommendation

You could talk about yourself all day, but it will never carry the same weight as someone else endorsing you. Try to get at least one recommendation once a month in order to boost your credibility and enhance your profile.

However, don’t just ask anyone for a recommendation. Have a strategy for requesting recommendations that touch on each one of your special skills or key industries, ideally someone who was previously or currently assessing your work such as a manager or supervisor. LinkedIn allows you to curate which recommendations are shared publically, so don’t be afraid to pick which ones you publish based on what highlights your professionalism and work ethic the best.

18. On the Subject of Endorsements…

LinkedIn also allows other users to endorse your skills. Make sure to feature a select few skills that really emphasize your specialty, and endorsements can really bump up your credibility. To really make the most of this section, keep your skills updated based on your current role, what skills you want to use in your next role, and omit the skills that you no longer use. Your skillset is always evolving as you grow in your career. Keeping this section fresh will help your network know exactly what skills you want to be endorsed in.

19. Join Your Community

Regardless of your industry, there is a multitude of LinkedIn Groups that you can join related to your profession and your field. Participating in your professional community can show maturity in your networking skills and that you’re open to new trends within your sphere. Best of all, you’ll be plugged into the latest news and events related to your field!

20. Manage Your Connections

Not enough? You look uninvolved. Too many? You can come off suspicious. You’ll want to have more than 50 connections, which should be easy to do as you develop your career. If you’re stuck, you can start with former college mates, professors, previous co-workers and supervisors, and any mentors you have. This should be plenty to grow your network organically. Don’t try adding a bunch of people you don’t know because LinkedIn can shut down your account if your requests to connect are rejected enough times.

21. Don’t Overwhelm Your Visitors

As we reach #22 on our list of ways to stand out, you may have noticed that there are many tricks to optimize your profile. It’s easy to go overboard on the features LinkedIn has to offer. Our best advice for this is to keep it classy. Have someone you trust take a look over your profile for areas that could be condensed or improved so that your visitors see what needs to be highlighted without having to search for it too long.

22. Make Your Job Search Private

If you’re in the market for new opportunities, keep your search discreet by hiding your activity from your employer. These settings can be accessed from the drop-down menu under your profile: Find “Settings & Privacy” under Account.

23. Be Searchable

This is a great jumping off point for your visitors, so you’ll want to utilize this space to direct traffic where you want to be found. Include your email address, your website, Dribble, GitHub, or anywhere else you would want a recruiter to go. Make your profile a living portfolio that goes beyond LinkedIn.

24. Be Enthusiastic

If you implement all 24 previous suggestions without the enthusiasm to back it up, all the work you’ve put into developing your profile could be overlooked. Make your profile personal to you by expressing your passions for your profession. Let it be known that you love what you do! Nothing stands out more to a recruiter than someone who does the work because they love to do it. Let your profile reflect your passion for your work so that you can’t be ignored.

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