LinkedIn is, arguably, THE place to be for professionals these days, social media or otherwise. In the post-pandemic world, networking online is more important than ever, and, of course, LinkedIn is the place where most job applications live.
The first step in getting yourself out there as a professional is to create an eye-catching LinkedIn profile, but doing that requires more than just listing your experience. To help you make the most of LinkedIn, we’re presenting five key things you can do today to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
Five ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out:
Create a thoughtful headline and summary
Your headline should be a short, punchy introduction to who you are as a professional, and it should highlight what you do. It’s the very first thing on your profile, so make sure you put some thought into what it will say. For your summary, you should really look at this as a chance to expand on your headline. Spend a little more time on your strengths and skills professionally, but also emphasize the things that make you a great employee. This is your chance to tell your story, whereas the headline is the attention-grabbing elevator pitch.
Be as active as you possibly can
Being active on LinkedIn means posting regularly and liking or commenting on other people’s posts. Part of networking is getting your name in as many places relating to your career as possible, and engaging with other professionals on LinkedIn is a great way to do that. If someone in your industry is posting interesting content on their LinkedIn, you should pay attention to it. Don’t just like it, though. Read it and give them your thoughts!
Make your profile content simple and easy to read
While the summary is a great place to get specific, you should avoid making anything on your LinkedIn too lengthy. The best thing you can do is utilize bullet points to make things as concise as possible, especially when it comes to your experience and education. Don’t bog your profile down by including extreme detail in every aspect of your profile. Instead, try to sell your experience and expertise in a way that can stand out to people without them having to read multiple paragraphs.
Be strategic with your headshot and cover photo
They say a picture’s worth 1,000 words, and a quality photo goes a long way on LinkedIn. If you have professional headshots, using one for your profile photo is the best way to go. If not, make sure to use the highest quality photo of yourself as possible, and make sure your face is clearly visible. Your profile photo should be straightforward and show people who you are. You can also upload a cover photo on LinkedIn, which is a great way to give your profile some visual interest and make it stand out. Take some time to make your profile look as professional as you can, and it’ll help present you in the best light.
Network, network network
Once your profile is set up, you’ll want to start adding connections. Don’t just add people you know and have worked with (though that’s important as well), but also try to connect with people in your industry. They can be people who work for companies you’re aspiring to work for, heavyweights and public figures in your industry of choice, or even just professionals you admire. Build a network around you, and don’t be afraid to include a message in your invitation! Be as personable as possible, and when it comes to adding folks you’ve worked with before, make sure you ask them to endorse you if they’re comfortable doing so. Endorsements and recommendations go a lot further than you might think!
— Article by Sean Kelly. In addition to being an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter, Sean Kelly also co-founded a nonprofit local news publication in Savannah, GA called The Savannahian.