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6 min read

Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out: 5 Easy Tips for a Better LinkedIn Profile

Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out: 5 Easy Tips for a Better LinkedIn Profile

Originally posted Jan 2023; Updated August 2023

Is your LinkedIn profile as effective as it could be?

If your answer is no, or if you’re not sure, you’ve come to the right place!

LinkedIn can be a great place to build your brand, showcase your achievements and skills, network with others in your industry, and connect with potential employers, employees, and prospective clients. 

But to wield the full potential of this social media platform you need a profile that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to connect.

We’re all busy, and marketing ourselves can feel like a time-consuming (not to mention awkward) task. But if you don’t take the time to market yourself on LinkedIn, you could be missing out on big opportunities. We’re not just talking about job opportunities here: LinkedIn offers a prime opportunity to make connections and generate leads for your business.

So let’s dig into how to build a better LinkedIn profile.

Get More Attention With a LinkedIn Profile That Stands Out

An effective LinkedIn profile helps you connect with others doing similar work, companies and individuals you’re interested in working with, industry experts, and more. 

In addition, your LinkedIn profile can give you the opportunity to build your brand, gain feedback and social proof, share your expertise, and start conversations around topics in your field.

Increase Your Networking Opportunities

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Above all, LinkedIn is all about building connections. It’s like a big, never-ending online networking event.

On LinkedIn, you can build relationships with other people and companies in your industry, mutual connections, B2B prospects, potential investors, potential business partners, and more.

To get the most out of the networking possibilities of LinkedIn:

  • Make sure your profile is well-written, fully filled out, and up to date
  • Consistently post authentic, original content to engage and educate your audience
  • Engage with other posts through likes, comments, and shares
  • Connect with others through direct messages

Build Your Brand

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When done well, your LinkedIn profile can also help you build your brand online. 

And this goes far beyond the platform itself. Because LinkedIn is a well-known and powerful network, it is typically easier to rank on Google with your LinkedIn profile than with your website or online portfolio.

Treat your LinkedIn profile as you would a resume or CV: Make sure it’s marketing you and your skills in the best way possible.

As you fill out your profile, make sure to:

  • Emphasize your strengths
  • Showcase your personality
  • Demonstrate the value of connecting with you
  • Differentiate yourself from the competition
  • Show why someone should hire you or your company

Gather Social Proof for Your Skills and Past Work

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LinkedIn allows your connections to fill out recommendations and endorsements for your skills and work experience. 

When experts back up your claims to have certain skills or experience, this boosts your credibility and makes you more attractive to employers and clients alike. Recommendations and endorsements can also highlight your connections within your industry.

Demonstrate Your Expertise

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Your LinkedIn profile gives you the chance to demonstrate your knowledge, authority, credibility, and thought leadership to your connections and industry peers.

Posting content that educates others about your industry and highlights your personal expertise shows employers, recruiters, industry leaders, and even potential clients the value you can add to their organization. 

5 Tips for a Better LinkedIn Profile

To realize all the benefits LinkedIn has to offer, your first step is to make sure your profile is as effective as it can be. Here are five tips for a better LinkedIn profile — one that will get you noticed and help you achieve your goals.

1. Get Visual With Profile and Background Photos

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Your profile photo is how you make your first impression on LinkedIn. Therefore, choosing the right photo is key to an effective profile.

Your photo: 

  • Should be recent
  • Should look like you’d normally look at work (so you’re easily recognizable)
  • Should not be a long-distance or full-body shot. Make sure your face takes up more than half the photo frame.
  • Should only include you. Whatever you do, don’t use a photo of you with a friend or colleague where it’s obvious you cropped them out. 🤦

In your photo, wear what you’d normally wear to work (if you work from home, wear what you’d wear if you were in the office), and make sure your smile reaches your eyes. Never use your company logo for your personal profile photo (save that for your business page).

Your background photo is important as well. It creates context and shows a little more about what matters to you. This photo should help your page stand out, engage viewers’ attention, be memorable, and tell more about you as a person.

It's not important to have your face in your background photo. Instead, choose a photo that highlights something about you such as:

  • An action shot of you at work
  • A photo of the products you sell
  • An image of an award you’ve received recently
  • A photo highlighting your hobbies or interests outside of work
  • A photo of your city
  • An inspirational quote
  • A one-liner that clearly communicates what you do

2. Spark Interest With a Compelling Headline

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Use your headline wisely. This bit of text beneath your name has the potential to create interest and drive people to your profile, since it shows up not just on your profile, but also on your posts and comments throughout LinkedIn.

Most people just use it for their job title, but it can be so much more than that.

Think of your headline as you would the headline of a news article. The headline is what tells you what to expect in the article, and a good headline sparks your interest and makes you want to read more.

Your headline should clearly (and creatively!) communicate what you do. It can also include language that communicates why you do what you do, what makes you tick, the qualities you exemplify in your work, and so on.

3. Use Your About Section To Tell Your Story

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Don’t skip the About field, and don’t use it only to list your skills or job titles you’ve held!

Your summary is your chance to tell your story and show more of who you are and what you can do for your clients. Consider this section part of your content marketing strategy. In other words, use it to market yourself and your business.

Talk about who you help, the problems you solve for your customers, how you can make their lives better, and what next steps they need to take to work with you. 

In addition, in both your summary and your headline, try to avoid overusing buzzwords like “leadership,” “strategic,” “passionate,” “expert,” “creative,” and “certified.” If you’re thinking, “But those are the exact words I want to use!” you’re not alone…everyone uses them (thus, they’re overused). These words are simply too generic: they don’t speak to what you are uniquely capable of.

And for the love of all things holy, DON’T write your About section in the third person! (i.e., “Kari holds a degree in underwater basket weaving.”) Always write in the first person, as if you’re having a conversation with the person reading it. (i.e., “I hold a degree in underwater basket weaving.”)

Want help writing a great summary? Wild Fig’s writers can craft a summary that tells your unique story and suits your personal style. Contact us to learn more!

4. Showcase Your Skills and Services

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Browse through the list of skills and choose those that reflect your experience. But remember that less is more here: only choose skills that are relevant to your current and prospective work. A skills list that is too long can be overwhelming. 

The services you pick will show up at the top of your profile. This feature helps you highlight the services you offer, and is especially useful for consultants and freelancers. 

Filling out this section helps boost your visibility in search results so more people who are searching for those services can find you. (To update this section, click “Open to”, then “Providing Services” near the top of your profile.)

5. Ask for Endorsements and Recommendations

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Skills endorsements highlight your areas of expertise and offer a sense of what you’re valued for by your clients and colleagues. They give you more credibility and back up your list of skills. 

A good place to start getting endorsements is by giving them — i.e., providing endorsements for people in your network. In many cases, if you feel strongly enough about someone’s skills to give them an endorsement, they’ll return the favor. You can also send a polite message asking for an endorsement, but stick to doing this with people whose opinion you’d place a high value on. (Note: you can edit which endorsements to show and which to hide in the Skills section of your profile.)

Recommendations are personal testimonials written by those you’ve worked with. A good recommendation will describe what it was like to work with you and explain how you excel at your job. 

Don’t wait for others to give you a recommendation — take the initiative to request one from contacts you’ve worked with. Focus on getting recommendations that are relevant to your current role or future goals. Shoot for 5-10 great recommendations from credible people who can vouch for you and the work you do.

If you make it easy for people to recommend you, they will! Consider giving them some talking points or an example of the kind of review you're looking for. Most people don't know exactly what to say, so this will help them get started.

Bonus Tip: Keep Your Profile Updated!

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These tips will help you create a better LinkedIn profile so you can connect more effectively online. But to make the most of your profile, you need to keep it updated. 

When anything changes — your job, contact information, new skills, certifications, photos, and so on — don’t forget to change it on LinkedIn! The more up-to-date your profile is, the more effective it will be for networking with industry colleagues, potential employers or employees, and leads.

Download our FREE LinkedIn Profile Tips guide for more ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out!

And if you’re looking for more ways to use LinkedIn to boost your business, the Figgy team would love to help. Connect with us to learn all the ways we can help you use LinkedIn to market your business and reach more prospects.

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