How to Stand Out on LinkedIn: Your Guide to Getting Noticed
Posted November 16, 2018, by Jenny
LinkedIn as a platform for professional networking has really set a new precedent in modern life. Business networking has always been a thing, but LinkedIn has enabled people to curate a professional profile with which they can network on a whole new level... we’re talking over 500 million members here people. By connecting with former classmates, colleagues and other professionals in the same industry we can suddenly expand and strengthen our professional online presence. A standout LinkedIn profile can open doors and act as a kind of certification of our professional authenticity. Known for scouring LinkedIn for top candidates' recruiters increasingly reach out to people when they have a tasty job opportunity they want to fill.
How then can we stand out on LinkedIn with a killer profile? Here’s a quick-start guide to getting noticed.
#1 – Complete, update, connect
While you don’t necessarily have to live on LinkedIn (it’s not Facebook after all) you should make sure your profile has been completed as fully as possible. Take the time to enter your education and the schools you attended. Once you’ve got that section done, you won’t need to return to it. Follow up your education by making sure to write a killer summary, and enter your work history accurately. Pay particular attention to your headline, and summary because this is where you can signal your interests as well as hopes for the future.
Make sure as time passes by you take the time to keep your profile updated. When you move to a new job, make sure you add your new role to your profile. When recruiters see an inactive profile, they are less likely to reach out to you. Furthermore, when you make changes and updates your network gets a notification and sometimes these notifications can remind someone of you.
Lastly, make sure you keep connecting with people on LinkedIn. Reach out to colleagues (past and present), people from school and university, and other business contacts you make as you go about your daily life. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile on your e-mail signature, and this helps people to connect with you when you correspond with them professionally.
Don’t: Leave your profile to stagnate with missing information because this can cause people to doubt your credibility, and they will simply look elsewhere at other profiles who display complete information and show current activity.
#2 – Profile picture
If you are anything like me and you loathe the whole profile picture gig, just bite the bullet and get it done. LinkedIn profiles with a picture get more views than profiles without. Now, stay mindful here because this is your professional presentation of yourself to the world. So, unless you are in the creative industry where quirky stands out, keep your picture professional. Think of what you would wear and how you would present yourself in an interview, and then display this side of yourself in your picture. Make sure you can see your face, and you're not looking grumpy (unless you’re an academic who specialises in Edgar Allen Poe or something). Invest some time into capturing a proper LinkedIn headshot because first impressions do count.
Don’t: Use a fuzzy LinkedIn headshot, your pet (unless you run a pet grooming business), a teeny tiny image of you in the distance, headshots with parts of other people showing, or you looking very moody. Professional, relaxed and friendly is the look we’re going for. Read our tips on what the perfect LinkedIn photo looks like.
#3 – Consider posting your own content
Nothing signals “expert” like a well-written article or two tackling subjects relevant to your field. If writing is not a strength you can always find a freelancer to ghostwrite something for you. You can give them the article outline, references, and the points you want them to make (based on your expertise) then they can put your ideas together in a professionally written article. Posting content on LinkedIn is a great way to engage with the business community in your particular industry, and by doing this you can catch the eye of potential valuable connections (and LinkedIn recruiters).
Take 30 minutes, once a week to read content on LinkedIn relevant to your professional niche, share, like and comment on relevant articles.
While you do all these content-related activities NEVER FORGET this is your professional face. In short, your LinkedIn profile is not the place to post your musings about why you couldn’t find your sock this morning or to get political (unless of course, you’re in politics).
Posting reasonably regularly begins to add up and curates a stand-out LinkedIn profile. Furthermore, all these little actions add up, serving up your name and profile across LinkedIn, increasing your presence on the platform and opportunities for recruiters to spot you.
Don’t: Leave your profile to stagnate, keep it active even if you do something just once a week. Don’t forget LinkedIn is a professional environment, this is the place to put your best foot forward. Keep all your interactions professional.
#4 – Ask for recommendations from your network
A valuable aspect of your LinkedIn profile is the place where people can leave a recommendation for you. Asking colleagues (past and present) to write a recommendation for you adds credibility and weight to your profile. Why? Because real people are leaving real and personal feedback and you can’t measure the value of these comments.
Don’t: Forget to write recommendations for your colleagues too, especially if they’ve taken time out to write you a killer recommendation... after all he who gives will receive...
#5 – Don't overlook the skill section
You come as a package deal and important or desirable skills are not always necessarily connected to your education or experience. Yet, often those skills combine with your education and experience to create a standout profile. Furthermore, on LinkedIn when you have skills listed your connections can then endorse you for those skills, which work as an excellent way of confirming and adding credibility to the statements you make about yourself.
Everyone can say they are a ‘customer service expert’ on their profile, but not everyone can inspire other people to endorse them for this skill. This means when you add skills LinkedIn will prompt your professional network to endorse your skills. Then, when they do, they confirm and add weight to your claims.
Don’t: List skills you don’t have, remember you want your colleagues to endorse you. Furthermore, don’t forget to endorse people back. The people on your network will always appreciate you taking the time to endorse them, and then they will be more willing to return the favour.
Get ready to stand out on LinkedIn
Follow these five steps in our quick guide and in no time, you will find your LinkedIn profile reaches a new level. You will begin to stand out to your colleagues, and potentially those recruiters we know to swim in the LinkedIn waters looking for prime candidates for your perfect job opportunity. And when you stand out, your opportunities to leverage your career to new levels can only multiply.