How to Start Using LinkedIn and Make Your Profile Stand Out

LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world with more than 600 million users. And it is extremely important whether you want to invest in your career, find an online job, or just reach out to the leaders of the industry. Many users treat LinkedIn like a digital resume, but it is much more than that. It can help establish your expertise in the field, get your name out there, and meet new people in the same business. 

So, if you are interested in starting with this platform and making a winning profile, here are some steps to take. 

Add a Relevant Photo

The account picture is a simple yet crucial step in crafting a top-notch profile. It is almost the first thing people see when they look you up or open your page. Choose a relevant picture of a high-quality. Your face should be about 60% of the shot. Use a professional headshot and wear something you’d go to work in. Of course, depending on career and industry, you might get creative with it, but stay in the lines of professionalism. 

It is also possible to add a background picture to make your profile unique and create a custom URL. These are the small details that make your page look polished and original. 

Craft a Headline 

A headline is a sentence right below your name. It is also something that shows up in the search bar to potential employers. Of course, the best idea is to put the current position there, but do not be boring about it. Make it attention-grabbing! For example, write something like “Sales Representative in IT Outsourcing helping businesses achieve success. More than 50 happy clients!”

What if you are job searching and do not have a current position? You can list the desired position like “Social Media Manager” and add “Seeking for new opportunities” instead of company name or industry. 

Work on Your Summary 

The next essential step is to fill in the summary. And you need to give it some time and thought. After all, when you feel stuck with your resume, you can get professional help from a resume edit service, but on LinkedIn, you are on your own.

How to craft a summary that will make you stand out and will get more interviews? Here are some tips:

  • be clear, concise, and straightforward; 
  • use first-person narration; 
  • tell your story; do not focus on your laborer or company, only on your activity there; 
  • highlight your accomplishments and results; use active words and numbers; 
  • keep in mind the target audience – colleagues or recruiters – and formulate the text according to their expectations; 

Show how your experiences and key skills are relevant to the current job and prospects and what benefits you can bring to a company. 

Use Keywords but Not Buzzwords 

A recruiter can often use an applicant tracking system to find only those professionals that fulfill the requirements. The same goes for resumes – these ATS systems scan documents to find specific keywords that are relevant to the position. If you do not have them, your resume will not go through to humans. 

LinkedIn has quite an advanced search system, and it is essential to use keywords so that recruiting firms or leaders of the industry can find you. To find out what keywords are relevant, you can look up several job postings and analyze what specific words for skills they use. 

Another tip is to avoid buzzwords. Those are words that are used so much that they’ve lost their meaning, something like “leadership”, “team player”, “strategic”, or “innovative”. Of course, you can use them if you want, but back them up with some numbers or a credible qualification. 

Be Active 

Do not treat LinkedIn just like a page you’ve created and that’s it. Whether you want to land a job, recruit someone, or establish your professional expertise – it is important to be an active user of the platform. Here are several things to do:

  • sync your profile with email, so you can add to connections people you know from work; 
  • add only people you know personally and write them a welcoming message to be polite; 
  • join several active groups regarding your work experience or industry; 
  • follow industry leaders, comment on their posts something valuable, and engage in conversations; 
  • share useful posts and create your own posts. 

Another essential thing to do is to ask for recommendations. You can reach out to colleagues or former employers that can write you a well-rounded and honest recommendation. It is good to have 5 and more of them. 

Get an All-Star Profile 

There is a bar that shows your profile’s strengths. It means that you’ve filled in all the fields. The best rate one can get is “all-star”, so pay attention to it. Add your experience and education, all certifications, internships, language courses, and so on. If you’ve completed a program via LinkedIn Learning, you can add a certification to your profile. 

Do not forget to list all your skills and manage which ones are shown first. Endorse other people’s skills, and they’ll do the same for you. Also, specify your location and interests. 

Pay Attention to Links, Certifications, and Verifications

LinkedIn is perfect for career development as it has many features to benefit from. First of all, if you have a blog, website, or any publications, you can link them to your profile. These are additional verifications of your skills and achievements. 

You can also get a skills assessment test and get a “verified skill” badge on your page. It always looks amazing and attracts attention. You can choose to display it or not and take tests as many times as you want when your level of skill gets higher. 

In Summary 

LinkedIn is a great platform to learn, network, and land a job. If you are interested in exploring new opportunities while being employed, you can always set the “open for work” button. This way, you’ll appear in recruiters’ searches, but LinkedIn will hide it from your current employer and related professionals. Just be active, showcase your expertise, and put some effort into polishing your page.

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Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
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