You may be wondering how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out… keep reading to find out more.
During the application process for a job, an employer will most likely search for you online. The main thing they’ll be looking for is your LinkedIn profile. Alongside your CV, this is an opportunity to sell yourself by giving them an idea of who you are. It will show more of your personality than your CV does because it features a picture of yourself, recommendations from your previous employers or colleagues, as well as a feed of posts shared or written by yourself that are relevant to your career. This means that they’ll get a much clearer and more well-rounded idea of who you are and why you might fit well into their team or organisation.
The candidates you are up against will likely have a LinkedIn profile too, so here are a few tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd.
Stay active on your LinkedIn account
Keeping your profile up to date is really important. It will help convey that you are proactive in finding the right job or career and that you’re putting the time and effort in. Being active also means you will be more easily found when organisations are browsing for people to join them. You never know what opportunities are around the corner.
Plus, adding any new skills, responsibilities or achievements as you gain them means you can keep on top of the updates and aren’t faced with having to do a complete rehaul of your page when it comes to applying for each job – much like you should do with your CV.
Choose the right photo of yourself
What makes a good photo for LinkedIn?
It’s professionally appropriate: It might be obvious, but no bikini pics or outfits that reveal too much flesh. You don’t need to be wearing a suit and tie necessarily but just make sure you’re wearing something that helps convey you present yourself in a professional manner.
The quality isn’t poor: Don’t worry about getting a photographer to take it, but do consider the quality of the camera used and how the picture is captured. If it’s clearly an old picture or the quality is grainy, it might show a lack of attention to detail or perhaps communicates that quality isn’t that important to you. Try to choose a picture that’s been taken within the last year – you don’t want to look unrecognisable in an interview. Choose a headshot with a plain and neutral background and with good lighting on your face.
You appear personable: Another obvious one, use this opportunity to show that you’re friendly and approachable. Don’t be too serious with your picture and chose or take one with a friendly smile that says that you’re easy to engage with.
Just bear in mind that the kind of photo you choose can also depend on the career you’re interested in. For example, for most jobs, you probably shouldn’t go for a picture where you’re holding a drink – but this might be OK for a role in events or PR for example, where networking and socialising with clients tends to be a part of your working week.
Focus on your highlighting your best bits
By this, we mean try to include your best features only and avoid being too descriptive. Employers or recruiters will skim-read your profile, so keep it succinct and avoid putting them off by going into lots of detail. If they can see the skills they’re on the hunt for and tick them off quickly, they’re much more likely to follow up with you.
It’s good to include the most relevant work, volunteering or educational experience on your LinkedIn profile, but having an overly descriptive job history or summary of yourself could suggest you’re trying to make up for what you’re lacking. After your summary, try to keep each section to 1 or 2 paragraphs each.
Publish your own content
Professionals use LinkedIn to share their thoughts and opinions on what’s going on in their industry or sector. Sharing interesting content that’s relevant to your career interest is great, but writing your own is even better. This could really spark the interest of industry professionals as it shows you’re engaged and keen to share your ideas. Set yourself a goal of writing an article every couple of months when you’re looking for a role. They don’t need to be that long and researching for the content will be great for your industry knowledge.
These posts might also spark up conversations with professionals in your industry and make you some useful connections. Building your network is what LinkedIn is all about so doing this will help you to use it to its full potential.
The platform recommends you connect with 300+ individuals that you know to have a high-quality network. The more common connections you have with anyone searching – recruiters, organisations, potential clients etc – the higher your profile will rank within their results when they search words that are most relevant to your LinkedIn profile.
Use a personal URL
When you set up your profile on LinkedIn, it will assign you your own URL that consists of a few numbers and letters, which can be used to link people to your profile. This URL is fine, but it won’t look particularly professional. It’s good to remember that it’s often the little touches of detail that set you apart. So, you can change this URL to something better – for example, ‘John-Smith-Lawyer’ or ‘Josephine-Bloggs-Copywriter.
To do this, find the ‘Edit public profile & URL’ option on your LinkedIn profile. Then, click ‘Edit’ in the ‘Edit URL’ section and save your changes. This will give you a link that is easy to share, and recognisable to other professionals who may be searching for you.
Request endorsements from your colleagues
Endorsements on your LinkedIn profile from other professionals are a great way to show you come with recommendations. Ask any previous employers or colleagues you have – even if those roles were in part-time jobs, temp jobs or even volunteering roles.
We understand that you mightn’t have much work experience at this point, so utilise your connections from university. If you’ve worked on projects together or been in a team together, they may have something positive to say about what you brought to that team or a particular piece of group work. Or, maybe you’ve been in charge of organising a social event for a university society that evidenced your teamworking and organisational skills. It’s a good idea to ask for these endorsements periodically throughout your studies and your career.