A LinkedIn profile can be a powerful tool in your arsenal to build and advance your career. With over 900 million active users, LinkedIn offers an array of benefits to its users looking to advance their careers, be it offering better job opportunities, increasing their visibility to prospective employers, establishing their personal brand, or staying updated about industry trends – the opportunities are limitless.
With employers proactively searching for prospective candidates on the platform who can be an asset to their organization, this is your chance to create a detailed LinkedIn profile to put yourself out there, giving hiring managers and recruiters the opportunity to contact you regarding job vacancies that match your background and experience. Let’s have a look at how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the rest, follow our guide to increase your visibility and land your dream job.
To make an impactful LinkedIn account, start with optimizing your profile picture. According to research, LinkedIn accounts with photos had significantly greater interaction: 21 times as many views and 9 times as many connection requests. Dressing up professionally for an interview sends just the right message to your recruiter, similarly optimizing this little round image could be the right opportunity to leave a lasting impression on prospective employers who may come across your profile. Take the following points into consideration when uploading your profile picture.
Moving on, let’s focus on how you can write the most compelling headline- one that’s sure to catch other people’s eye. A LinkedIn headline appears right below the users’ profile picture and gives people a brief overview of who they are, their achievements, and career goals. It’s one of the first things an employer tends to see when they are skimming through profiles in the search bar. With the human tendency to make snap judgments within split seconds, why not utilize this opportunity to make your LinkedIn profile stand out and give prospective recruiters a reason to visit your profile?
With many people following a generic approach with their LinkedIn headline, merely stating basic information like their company’s name and job title, we suggest our readers to get specific and use this space as their very own tagline and get creative with it. Don’t constrain yourself with simple facts, instead use this opportunity to underline your USP to set yourself apart from people in the same profession. You can illuminate your value proposition either by highlighting your past achievements, or stating the results you have achieved for employers and clients. Here you can also use certain action-oriented adjectives like, ‘organized, created, sold, managed, won, contributed’, to further showcase your abilities.
To optimize your profile on LinkedIn search results and amplify the likelihood of being discovered by the right kind of recruiters, include the most industry-specific keywords. If you’re unsure of which keywords to include in your headline, investigate which ones are most frequently used in the job descriptions for the roles you’re interested in, or use the LinkedIn toolbar to find the most relevant ones with low competition. But, remember to be strategic with your placement to ensure the natural flow of your content. Overusing keywords can certainly backfire, making your profile look misleading and deceptive.
To write a rather engaging summary, we advise our readers to strike a balance between highlighting professional accolades with their personal stories, like their interests outside of work, or things they’re passionate about. A profession-focused summary can be rather bland and boring – one which fails to strike a connection with the audience. For instance, if you’re an animal lover or an advocate for the environment, this is just the space to show a little personality. And while you’re at it, don’t shy away from including a relevant quote, or a fun fact about yourself. The key here is to have a perfect balance without going overboard.
Follow it up with a detailed version of your headline, wherein you can delve into details of your expertise, career accomplishments, and jobs you’re interested in. Use bullet points to highlight your top three core competencies, backing them up with anecdotes. From there elaborate a bit more, outlining the primary skills you have acquired over the years. Basically, the idea is to provide an overview of your career graph illustrating your key achievements along the way.
Conclude it by highlighting the jobs you are potentially interested in, giving out your contact details, allowingpeople to get in touch with you. Lastly, just as you would use keywords in your headline, incorporate highly-searched keywords throughout your summary as well to make your profile perform the legwork of job searching for you, thereby increasing your visibility.
Skills are a vital part of your profile and with everything shifting towards skills, more the reason that you upload all the possible skills that you want to be found for, and are most relevant to your domain. With LinkedIn allowing you to post up to 50 skills, your list should generally comprise a combination of hard and soft skills. Most professionals focus on hard skills to build credibility, but you need soft skills to build your likability. However, as a suggestion to our readers, we don’t recommend filling in all those 50 skills as there is no benefit to adding this many. Listing up to 10-15 niche skills that highlight your services should suffice.
To optimize your skill list, refer to LinkedIn’s career explorer tool where you can identify the in-demand skills that are associated with your job domain, and then match them with your experience and expertise. LinkedIn allows you to prioritize your top skills by rearranging them in order of importance. Ensure the top skills you highlight are in tandem with your core competencies as mentioned in your LinkedIn summary and headline. The intention here is to build a cohesive story that showcases your best professional self.
To demonstrate your standing, think about acquiring recommendations from co-workers or superiors for your skills. Endorsing is a quick, one-click process, for other professionals to vouch for your abilities to increase the credibility of your profile. Not just that, the more endorsements you have for specific skills the more likely LinkedIn is to recognize those skills as being important and valuable to you, making your profile appear higher in search results for those particular skills and increasing your visibility to potential employers. Additionally, profiles with more endorsements typically rank better as the LinkedIn algorithm views these profiles to be more reliable and trustworthy. Clearly, endorsements can contribute significantly to establishing your professional brand, however not all endorsements are created equal. A Project Management endorsement from a business associate or a past colleague is more impactful in comparison to a high-school friend attesting for the same. The key here is to only add the most relevant skills to your profile and select the most credible and quality endorsements for display. Recommendations, on the other hand, are more like testimonials from people who have either worked with you or served as your supervisor, and have seen you demonstrate your expertise. It’s more comprehensive, so to speak, and highlights your skills, experiences, and professional qualities in greater detail. Simply put, consider recommendations and endorsements as a dual force that offers social proof of your abilities.
When reaching out to your connections for recommendations or endorsements, always customize your request straying away from generic messages. Be sure to provide them with a context. For instance, if it’s a colleague you have worked with in the past, remind them of the projects you have collaborated with them on, and your contributions they can possibly refer to. To yield a targeted and effective outcome, be specific about the skills or qualities you want them to focus on. Lastly, offer to endorse or write a recommendation for them in return.
Undoubtedly, the precursor to having a well-endorsed and recommended profile is a robust network. And with that comes the need to connect and engage with your network on an ongoing basis. One way to leverage this opportunity is by sharing engaging content, which not only allows you to build and foster relationships but also showcases your expertise in your respective field. Rest assured, with the tips we have enlisted you can be certain of delivering quality content to your audience.
Customize your content in a way that represents you and your personal brand. The basic crux here is to back your professional experiences with personal anecdotes. By basing your content on your learnings, mistakes, and experience you can be sure to stand out and provide high-value content that may not be as easily available, since it’s unique to you.
Before shelling out content on your profile, do thorough market research. It’s rather important to curate content that your audience is interested in, otherwise there’s little point in investing all that time. LinkedIn polls can give you much-needed insight into your network, understanding their points of struggle and pain, allowing you to create thought-provoking content for them in return.
Regardless of the type of content you’re sharing, always end with a question or a call to action. Let a blog ending look something like, “What’s your takeaway from today’s blog?” or “Have you experienced something similar? Tell me in the comments below !!”. Basically, your ending has to be an invitation for people to share their thoughts and engage in meaningful conversation with you.
Using hashtags is a sure-shot way to widen the reach of your content beyond your network. When users look up a specific hashtag on LinkedIn they are presented with material featuring it whether they are connected or not. Use this opportunity to widen your network by using a combination of niche and industry-relevant hashtags for your posts and articles. However, avoid exceeding more than five, as it may end up looking desperate.
Optimizing your profile in a way that showcases your full potential is important to develop business connections with other professionals. To draw and target potential employers they need to see value in you, only then they are likely to respond to a request or initiate a connection with you. Once you have outlined your profile in a way that’s sure to attract prospects, you have to proactively start seeking connections you know are of value. Begin with defining your target audience- who are the people you want to connect with? And, why?
Refrain from just honing in on people you already know, like friends, family, and past colleagues. Although, this doesn’t negate the need to reach out to known connections and colleagues to yield good recommendations and endorsements, but don’t limit yourself. Instead, also focus on building new connections with people you ideally wouldn’t cross paths with in real life. Connect with well-sought leaders of your industry or people you would be interested to work with. Consider getting affiliated with LinkedIn groups, where you can find other like-minded individuals from the same industry, or refer to LinkedIn recommendations for other valuable connections. Lastly, remember that for every connection request you send to a fellow user, they receive a generic message from LinkedIn promoting the same. By personalizing your message and explaining why you want to connect with them, you can exponentially increase your connection request acceptance rate.
Clearly, optimizing your LinkedIn profile goes a long way in building your professional brand and enhancing your career prospects. To leave a lasting impression, each aspect of your profile should be consistent and work in collaboration with one another to exhibit the value you can add to an organization as a prospective employee. By following our tips and guidelines you can be well on your way to making your LinkedIn profile stand out, showcasing your caliber to the fullest potential.