How to make your LinkedIn profile stand out

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An attractive LinkedIn profile has gone from a useful social media platform to a near-requisite for any modern professional. For those who are just starting to create their profile, it can be daunting to get started, let alone make your mark among the crowd.

More than 57 million companies are currently listed on the platform and more than 200 million applications are submitted to employers every month. That’s a lot of shuffling to get lost in, so you need to be intentional — and know a few tricks — to make your profile stand out from the page.

If you want to secure connections that will accelerate your career, take the time to refine your LinkedIn profile. Grabbing the attention of potential employers and clients is at stake, so it’s worth spending the time and attention to ensure your presentation leaves a positive impression.

Make your headline say what matters most

Too often, LinkedIn users simply copy and paste their job title into the titles section. It can work as a quick and easy placeholder, but unfortunately it can also look a bit boring – which definitely won’t help you stand out among your peers.

The title section is LinkedIn’s main real estate and deserves to be treated as such. Don’t think of it as a place to just put what your employer has qualified you for, but use it as an opportunity to say what you do, who you do it for, and what kind of results you can achieve.

There are only 220 characters to play with here, so it’s best to keep it short. Think about your unique skills and past successes, and show the kind of problems you’re adept at solving.

Don’t underestimate yourself from the start with a lackluster or lazy title. Instead, optimize the section so that the essential aspects of what you do shine through in your relationships.

Related: 10 things your LinkedIn profile should reveal in 10 seconds

Add 50 skills upfront and get them approved

The skills section of LinkedIn profiles is often overlooked because it’s located towards the bottom of the page, but it’s the perfect place to build your industry expertise. The maximum number of skills you can add is 50, so make each one count. You can choose three skills to highlight as your “Best Skills”, so be especially aware of the expertise you want to promote on the platform.

Be honest about your abilities and as detailed as possible with each one. This is important when other users are looking for profiles that need a service, because the LinkedIn Algorithm favors those with more specific skills listed.

So, instead of just listing marketing or writing, try focusing a little more on your niche. This might mean adding a few key qualifiers to the skill listed, such as “business writing” or “email marketing.” In that sense, just adding a little detail goes a long way in letting others know what you can do.

Once you’ve listed and displayed your skills, it’s time to get the most relevant ones bolstered by approval. Having another user vouch for your abilities adds legitimacy to your claims, and the best way to get this kind of help quickly is to provide it to others first. Endorse the highest rated skills in your connection and you’ll likely see the favor in return.

Case studies To display that some of the most in-demand soft skills are creativity, persuasion, and collaboration. These can be applied in various industries, so make the case that you possess these attributes.

Related: 3 tips for using LinkedIn’s new “mentions”

Publish and share quality content

Even a perfectly crafted profile isn’t worth much if it doesn’t grab attention, and there’s no better way to change that than with an effective content publishing strategy. When you post content, you are creating a pathway for your profile.

This can be reinforced with effective captions and copy, including a call to action. Making your profile a center of industry conversation improves your reputation and creates attention ripple effects that will reach beyond your immediate network.

By following these guidelines for weeks or months consistently, your profile will gain attention and credibility as an active individual in their industry community.

Standing out like this requires consistency in your posting schedule, but your content must also be high-quality and relevant to your network. If not, you run the risk of losing connections, being muted, or simply reducing the overall perceived value of your profile.

Highlighting your profile among the million other users is no small task, but it can be done by honestly assessing your ability to provide value to others. When done correctly, you have a much better chance of joining the 35.5 million other users who have been successfully hired through LinkedIn. Identify what makes you unique as a worker and position your profile as an inviting solution to common work issues.

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