Standing out among a sizable fraction of Earth’s population on LinkedIn is no easy task. However, revamping your profile doesn’t take long and can significantly increase your networking visibility. Here are six ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out:
1. Get Rid of Filler Skills
Your endorsed skills section should not include filler. Being skilled at Microsoft Word and Google Docs does not set you apart in the workforce. And unless you’re trained at social media marketing or managing business pages, you shouldn’t list Facebook or Instagram.
Instead, make a list of skills that are important for your particular position and industry. It may be helpful to think of another industry for comparison in order to hone in on your particular skill set. Finally, put these skills in order of importance.
2. Customize Your URL
Having your own URL makes your profile look more professional, particularly when you need to include a link to it. To do this, click on “Profile,” then “Edit Profile,” then the “Edit” link under your photo. Your URL should include your first and last name, with a middle initial if necessary.
3. Upload a Good Picture
No matter how far we dive into cyberspace, we still operate best when there is a face to look at. LinkedIn profiles with a headshot have a 14-fold higher likelihood of getting views than those without.
4. Take Full Advantage of Your Headline
Your headline is not just a place to state your role in the industry — it’s your elevator pitch. It’s a chance to distinguish yourself by stating what sets you apart.
Instead of “Dean of Admissions,” you could write “Bilingual (English & Mandarin) Dean of Admissions — 15+ Years of Engaging New Students & Exceeding Admissions Rates.” Take your time with this area, as it can make or break whether someone continues onto your profile.
5. Purge Clichés
Show, don’t tell. You don’t want to claim you are motivated, passionate, creative, or driven (all of which are on the top 10 list of LinkedIn’s most used words). Anyone can say these things, and most everyone does.
Instead, think of how you have demonstrated these qualities. Tell a story that encapsulates your ability to work as part of a team or display leadership.
6. Get Recommendations
Having others recommend you on your profile displays competency and networking. Here’s how to populate your profile with some helpful recommendations:
- Pick those who will give the recommendation the attention it deserves.
- When you ask, be specific — ask what you’d like highlighted and what you’re seeking to achieve.
- Space out your requests so they don’t all appear around the same date, which can clue others that you asked everyone at once.
A great recommendation is one of the surest signs of faith in your abilities. Take full advantage of this feature of LinkedIn.
Elliott, Kyle, et al. “10 Fast LinkedIn Fixes That Take 5 Minutes (or Less).” Free Career Advice, The Muse, 26 July 2017, www.themuse.com/advice/10-ways-to-improve-your-linkedin-profile-in-under-5-minutes.
Foss, Jenny. “4 Keys to Scoring Amazing LinkedIn Recommendations.” Free Career Advice, The Muse, 14 July 2014, www.themuse.com/advice/4-keys-to-scoring-amazing-linkedin-recommendations.