6 Easy Changes to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out
February 24, 2020
Your LinkedIn profile communicates who you are. It’s a way to tell your story, get heard, and be discovered.
But what makes a great profile? How do you break through the crowd to get noticed by recruiters, peers, and others who will connect you to the opportunities you want?
A compelling profile starts with better expressing the amazing individual you are: who you are and why you are unique.
To simplify the process of crafting a differentiated LinkedIn profile, here are some tips from my new course Rock Your LinkedIn Profile. Whether you’re starting out in your career, looking for your next move, or re-entering the workforce, I want to help you unlock your story and your potential with a profile that stands out.
6 ways to rock your LinkedIn profile
#1 Speak to your target audience
The first step is to define who your key audience is. Then craft a story focused on your contributions, your career journey, and the values that are important to you—all tailored to the right audience. For example, are your audience industry peers, customers, or executives? Think about how you’d tailor your content differently for each and customize.
#2 Make simple updates to your intro
Listing industry information—such as Internet, Financial Services or Education Management —leads to up to 9x more profile views and can help you get discovered up to 38x more in recruiter searches, according to LinkedIn data. Plus, adding something as simple as your location in your profile can help you get up to 19x more profile views.
Start small by updating your intro section to include your industry and your location. Then, to take it a step further, add or refresh your profile photo and background photo, and be sure to add a headline, the one-liner that appears under your name. These small steps can lead to big opportunities.
#3 Lean into your story with a strong “Summary”
Many people ask me where they should invest their time when it comes to improving their LinkedIn profiles. My answer is always to focus on the “Summary” section. This is the first section everyone will see, and you want it to catch people’s attention. Use this space to make a bold first impression and draw others into your story.
Explain how you’re different by showcasing your key skills, and how you want to impact, contribute, and add value. Focus not only on what you do, but also why it matters and your “superpowers” (i.e. key strengths that differentiate you.) To really stand out, consider adding a personal mission statement or leadership purpose statement. This will help others get to know the compass that guides you in your life and career.
#4 Lead with impact and results
Remember: your LinkedIn profile is NOT a resume. Yes, it’s important to paint a picture of what you do day-in and day-out in your role. But, to really make your LinkedIn Profile sing, speak to the impact you’ve had, the change you’ve created, the initiatives you’ve led, and the results you’ve delivered.
Once you’ve clearly articulated the impact and results, you can then explain how you got there.
Need inspiration? Here are a few examples that bring this concept to life.
#5 Don’t skimp on the visuals
Pictures are worth a thousand words—and then some. It’s one thing for you to tell people what you do for a living, but it’s quite another to bring that to life with images. To help showcase your accomplishments, add rich media such as photos, videos, presentations, and websites.
Not sure where to start? Your Summary and Work Experience sections can be great places for a little visual love.
#6 Credibility is the Reigning Queen…or King
Credibility is essential to telling your story on LinkedIn. Because what’s a story if no one can back up its claims? Enter the LinkedIn Recommendations section. A recommendation is how your community can validate your professional story by writing about their experience working with you.
Request recommendations from a diverse group of people you’ve collaborated with across different roles, and who can speak to your specific work experience, skills, and major achievements.
When asking executives or senior leaders for a recommendation, consider writing a first draft of the recommendation for them as a starting point and let them edit to fit their voice and tone. By giving them a starting point, you’ll help them narrow their focus on what you would like them to say and save them time.
Use these tips—but forge your own path
You Are the Magic Formula
I often get asked what the formula is for a great LinkedIn profile. The short answer is: there is no one magic formula.
The long answer is: YOU are the magic formula.
Everyone defines opportunity and their career journey differently, and there is no one linear path to communicate that. Your path is yours and just as you travel it independently, you must also express that in your own way. Your profile is all about your voice and your experience.
So as you follow these tips, never lose sight of telling your authentic story and showcasing your unique brand. Stay true to that and you’re sure to create a compelling profile that others will understand and connect with.
Want to learn more about how to rock your LinkedIn profile? Dive in and learn more here.
Other LinkedIn Learning courses you may be interested in:
A Career Strategist’s Guide to Getting a Job with Jenny Foss
How to Rock an Interview with How to Be Awesome at Your Job