LinkedIn Profile Optimization: 10 Tips to Stand Out 

With more than 300 million users, LinkedIn is one of the largest professional networks in the world. You can use it to apply for jobs, acquire customers, or even recruit employees for your company. 

But with 300 million users, how can you stand out from the crowd? In this article, we'll be sharing tips on how to optimize your profile and stand out from the crowd. 

Let's dive in!

Tip #1) Add a Professional Profile Photo

The first thing somebody sees when they look at your profile is your profile photo. This is by far the most important aspect of any LinkedIn account. It shows who you are and makes a pretty impactful first impression when somebody is evaluating your LinkedIn profile. No image at all might show that you don't care about LinkedIn, while a really professional photo might show that you have your professional career in order.

If you don't have a professional photo to upload to LinkedIn, just go take one. Even without a professional camera, you can still take amazing profile images. You can even just use the iPhone portrait mode to blur the background and make the profile photo look a little bit more professional.

Tip #2) Add a Profile Video

The vast majority of people on LinkedIn are strangers to you, and adding a profile video is a great way for them to get to know you. You can use it to promote things, share something personal about yourself, or simply welcome them to your profile. 

Regardless, adding a profile video is probably one of the best ways to add a personal touch to your profile and give your followers a better understanding of who you are and why they might want to connect with you.

Tip #3) Add a Background Photo

Your profile isn't just your profile photo and the content within it. In many ways, you're trying to draft a persona or a vibe around your profile. One of the best ways to sculpt the feeling your profile gives off is by being selective when uploading a background photo.

There are a variety of ways to go here; you could simply upload a photo of you backpacking, a photo of you and your team, or even a more company-specific photo like the one I feature in my profile.

Tip #4) Optimize Your Headline

Another important aspect of your LinkedIn profile is your headline. This is what most people see when you send a connection request or first view your profile. Depending on what you write, people may be more or less likely to accept connection requests, so it's important to consider what is in your headline when you're drafting it.

This is especially true if you're using LinkedIn for sales. Most LinkedIn users are pretty sensitive to random people connecting with them only to pitch them immediately after. So, if you are using LinkedIn for sales, your headline will have a huge impact on connection rates. Be sure to test different headlines to see what works best.

Tip #5) Use the Summary to Share Something About Yourself

The summary on your LinkedIn page gives you the opportunity to share something personal about yourself. This can be anything from your life story, the reason behind your passion, or something catchy that just gives a quick overview of what you're working on.

Tip #6) Map Out Your Experience

This might sound obvious, but mapping out your experience is extremely important when building out your LinkedIn profile. It does a couple of things: it gives you a chance to list prominent companies you worked at and allows you to describe what you did at each. It's ultimately up to you to decide how much information you want to share about the role you had at that organization.

If you look at the photo above, I chose not to share any information about the jobs I worked at. The reason is that my job titles at these companies explain what the job entailed, and I'm also not actively looking for a job, so there's no need for me to sell myself. However, if you are looking to apply for jobs, you may want to consider explaining what you did in each role in more detail.

Tip #7) Feature Your Portfolio or Key Articles 

If you're a founder, writer, designer, or journalist, you likely have a portfolio of content or designs that you like to display or show off. Using the future tab is a perfect place to do this. 

Another great use of the feature tab is if you're applying to jobs. If you're actively applying to jobs, you can simply upload a PDF of your resume and put it on display for everybody who visits your LinkedIn profile. Of course, if you're a designer or a creative, you can also link your portfolio side by side with your resume.

Tip #8) Post & Comment on LinkedIn

Everything you do on LinkedIn is grouped under activity, and on your profile, your activity is visible. This means that staying active on LinkedIn through comments and likes is extremely important. Even better though, share thought-provoking posts, polls, and other engaging content on LinkedIn.

If the content you're posting is interesting, you're likely to get a lot of likes and comments, and this will make you stand out even more on your LinkedIn profile.

Tip #9) Demonstrate Skills

Simply scrolling down a list of skills and selecting the ones you want to put on display is generally not very useful, but I can make your LinkedIn profile look a little more professional. The only true use case for skills on LinkedIn is if you're applying to jobs on LinkedIn. When you're applying to jobs, if you have selected skills that match the jobs you're applying to, you're more likely to stand out as a candidate. So, depending on which industry you're in and which jobs you're applying to, be sure to select the skills that recruiters are most likely selecting for their job postings.

For anybody who's not applying to jobs, selecting skills is almost purely for aesthetic reasons.

Tip #10) Add Some Character or Humor to Your Profile

And above all, the best way to stand out is to add some character to your profile. This can be anything from adding a silly or unique tone, to adding some humor to your past experiences.

And when it comes to humor on LinkedIn there's almost no better example than Len Markidan, who chose to list out hilarious experiences like:

Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, when it comes to your LinkedIn profile, it should be a reflection of yourself. If you're more professional or working in a more professional industry like finance, then a standard Professional Profile will be just fine. However, if you're a creative or working in design, you may want to spend some time making your profile as unique as possible by adding your own designs to your background or even making your profile photo a bit more unique. 

Regardless, it's really hard to go wrong with a LinkedIn profile as long as you follow the tips above.

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