LinkedIn is an excellent platform for showcasing your profile to potential employers and colleagues. Whether as an employer or a job seeker, having a LinkedIn profile that stands out is a must. Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated is important because you never know when opportunities will come knocking on your door.
LinkedIn is the “world’s largest professional network” and home to 830 million users in more than 200 countries worldwide as of 2022. Given the sheer number of users, it is important for your LinkedIn profile to stand out. In this article, we will provide you with tips on how to improve your LinkedIn profile so you can win clients.
Making Your LinkedIn Profile Standout
According to a recent report, 77% of recruiters use LinkedIn for their recruitment efforts including scouting and vetting. Having a LinkedIn profile that stands out is your key to career and professional advancement. This article will guide you on how to create a LinkedIn profile that sells.
- Write A Robust Summary
- Use Professional Photos
- Highlight Skills, Education, and Work Experience
- Don’t Be Too Descriptive
- Keep Your Account Active
- Create A Personal URL
- Ask For Recommendations
- Build Connections
Let’s get started
1. Write A Robust Summary
Your summary provides the perfect opportunity to tell your story. Think of it as a longer form of your headline. LinkedIn has a 2000-character limit for your summary. Use that space by focusing on what you can do well and what you can bring to the table. However, it is advisable not to use up all that space and keep it to half of that as much as possible.
You can be creative in writing the summary. For example, you can use real-life examples to showcase your experience. You can include links to your work portfolio or videos that you have created. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your summary section:
- Use proper spacing, formatting, and bullets where it is applicable. Avoid using blocks of text.
- Showcase your experience by including presentations, web addresses, etc.
- Add a call-to-action such as contact references and links to your web profile addresses
- Display rich media
Write your summary in a concise manner. It is worth noting that your readers will only see the first three lines of your summary so make sure that they find value in those sentences. Don’t focus on past experiences but instead paint a picture of who you really are as a professional.
2. Use Professional Photos
Since your LinkedIn profile is visible to professionals on the network, it is fitting that you use a professional photo. It does not have to be taken by a photographer but should be a good quality and professional image. Your profile picture is your opportunity to create a first impression so make it count.
LinkedIn profiles with good photos get 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. It is worth noting that your profile picture need not be entirely professional. Depending on the industry and the role you want to fill, you can choose to upload an image that is semi-professional. When it comes to profile pictures, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Wear the appropriate dress. Avoid loud colors or patterns that might distract your viewer.
- Avoid blurry images.
- Use simple backgrounds.
- Do not use stock images or group photos
- Your profile picture should be ideally 400 pixels x 400 pixels and 8 MB and your cover photo should measure 1584 x 396 pixels
- Keep cover images simple with a quote or written element that defines you professionally.
3. Highlight Skills, Education and Work Experience
When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, you always have to take into consideration the attention span of your profile viewers. You have to impress them within the 2,000-word limit. Include jobs that are related to the role you want to fill. Instead of using blocks of sentences, use two to four bullet points for each job.
For your achievements, add any certifications, honors, awards, or projects that you have done or received. These credentials can add value to your profile. If you are currently unemployed, your volunteering experience will prove that you have been part of an organization. Certifications can help make you stand out in the competition. This will show potential clients what you have achieved so far.
For skills, LinkedIn allows adding up to 50 skills to your profile. It is best to use a good mix of hard and soft skills on your profile. It will help your cause if you encourage your connections to endorse you for these skills. Look for any trending hashtags or related keywords relevant to your skills.
4. Don’t Be Too Descriptive
While it is important to include all the relevant experience on your LinkedIn profile, too much job description or summary of yourself can turn off potential employers. Your viewers are looking for a succinct overview of your professional history and personal interests. As much as possible, keep each section to just two or three paragraphs to ensure that you are not going overboard with your descriptions.
When writing your LinkedIn profile, never make the mistake of falling into the “more is more” trap. Long summaries will make it difficult for your readers to grasp your career goals in just 5 – 6 seconds. In addition, having a long job description will overshadow your key achievements. Don’t focus on the usual data included in job descriptions because recruiters already know it. Instead, tell them how you did it better or differently from the other candidates.
Keep in mind the rule of 6 or limiting your descriptions to just 6 bullets. This will help ensure that the most critical data on your resume will be read by the recruiting party. Lastly, a longer resume will inadvertently make you overqualified for a certain position. LinkedIn will also search for candidates based on a certain amount of experience and putting more jobs in your resume will cause the platform to overlook your resume.
5. Keep Your Page Active
LinkedIn is more than an online resume. It is also a networking site. To get the most from the platform, you need to stay active. Update it with posts and articles. Check out recent posts from your connections. Like and share posts that resonate with you. Engage with thoughtful comments that will demonstrate your expertise.
By being active, you can grow your LinkedIn network. By engaging the members of the LinkedIn community, they will become more aware and give you more business in case they like your profile. If you do not have a post on your LinkedIn profile yet, engage with others on the network by sharing their content.
Join groups that align with your industry and professional interests. Joining groups allows you to meet people with similar interests as yours. You can add them to your network and who knows? It may become the start of a long term business partnership. Respond to comments of members on the group, Not many people do it but if you do, you will surely stand out.
6. Create A Personal URL
Your LinkedIn URL is the web address for your profile. Once you have a LinkedIn profile, the default URL will include your name and random numbers on it. Why not go for something more relevant? On the right-hand side of the profile, you will see the option to edit your public LinkedIn URL.
Instead of the default URL, customize your URL by including your full name and job-related keywords. Your profile will appear better and faster in search results resulting in increased profile visits as well. Personalizing your LinkedIn URL will make you easier to find in the network.
You can use profile badges to promote your profile on personal websites, guest blogs, etc. Once clicked on, these badges will redirect them to your LinkedIn profile. Using vanity URLs offers various benefits, including:
- Creates link trust
- Makes you more memorable
- Enables consistent branding
7. Ask For Recommendations
Just how important is a recommendation to your LinkedIn profile? Recommendations will give prospective employers an idea of what others think of your work. When asking for recommendations, think of the people you have worked with in the past. There is an Ask for Recommendations button that you can click.
You can choose what you’d like to be recommended for and choose a list of people from your connections. Then send it to them and hope that you get some feedback from them. When asking for recommendations, it does not have to be your previous bosses only. It could be previous colleagues who have an idea of how you work.
Getting the right recommendation is key to getting the approval of your prospective employer. Recommendations from former managers and colleagues will give the recruiter an idea of the following:
- Who you are as a professional.
- Did you have a good relationship with your team?
- How many people are willing to vouch for you as a professional?
- Do you have leadership qualities and professional soft skills?
8. Build Connections
The LinkedIn algorithm is designed in such a way that even your second and third degree connections can see your profile. Thus, you need to encourage them to interact with you. All it takes is adding the right people in order to build and expand your network. The more connections you have, the more likely you will be found by hiring managers and recruiters. If your LinkedIn profile is a car, consider the number of your connections as the “amount of gas in your tank.”
As much as possible, connect with people you know personally, former colleagues, met in a professional capacity, or live in your city or region. You can connect with someone you have not met in person but make sure to send a note on why you want to connect with them. At the very least, you should aim to surpass 500 connections as this would mean that you are a player on LinkedIn.
Growing your connections helps you stay visible and opens up engagement opportunities. When it comes to connecting on LinkedIn, don’t be afraid to reach out. It will provide you with a window of opportunity and endless possibilities. The most important thing is to make sure that you are connecting with quality connections.
Leverage The Power of LinkedIn Connections
LinkedIn can sometimes be intimidating. Who wouldn’t feel intimidated? With over 800 million users to date, you wouldn’t really know if they would connect with you. The beauty of LinkedIn is that once you have a profile, you can become part of the network of highly successful people.
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