According to Omnicore Agency, there are over 756 million LinkedIn users around the world. LinkedIn is one of the best tools when trying to find your next gig, change careers, or even build a network of like-minded people.
When I first got into freelancing, I was on Fiverr offering to help people redo their LinkedIn profiles. I saw so much: bathroom selfies as their profile pictures, headlines that said their sun/ moon sign, and every faux-pas you can imagine.
Your LinkedIn is your online business card, it will show employers all they need to know about you. I’ve gotten a dozen job offers from there, and I know you can too if you put in the effort on your profile. So here are seven tips I’ve picked up, and have gotten expert approval, for making your LinkedIn stand out.
Be Active On Engagement
Now you don’t need an active account, with any social media, it just helps. Karen Condor, HR expert with USInsuranceAgents.com says, “To amplify your LinkedIn presence, consistently carve out time daily or weekly to be active. When you draw interested parties to your profile, they will scroll to your Activity section.”
If you’re questioning when the best time is, from his experience, Brad Cummins, founder of Insurance Geek outlines the best times to post. “The safest times to post are Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m.–2 p.m.”
Be Active On Your Own Profile
Along with being active on other people’s posts and profiles, you need to make sure you’re active with your own profile. We’re talking about everything. If you won an award, put it in the award section. Wrote an article? Either put it in the article section or post about it. Even if you’re doing a contract role, you add it to your experience. You get it.
“Keep your profile updated at all times. Fill out as many areas as possible. Keep adding any fresh experience that you get. This will reflect professionally on your career progression,” says Christina Wright, Head of HR at Leaf Nation.
Another thing people commonly overlook is the featured section of their profile. Make sure to put your most recent resume, social media, and any websites or bios there.
Making The Perfect Headline
Your LinkedIn headline is like your handshake, it’s one of the first things people see and judge your profile on. Having a great one can possibly make or break your chances. But it’s hard to create the best one. Luckily, over time, I developed a formula for creating the best headline. It goes like: Current role(s)/ Organization + Generalized Job ID (Freelance Writer + Business Owner) + 3 skills. So for example, your profile could look like this:
- Writer for XYZ Publication | Editor for XYZ Publication | Freelance Writer + Business Owner | Highly skilled in X, Y, Z.
Perfect Summary Tips
“If you know your desired position, you can tailor your profile’s “About” section to it, mentioning the relevant skills and experience. HR people do read that section and it would be wise to leverage this opportunity, highlighting the skills that correspond to the career path you want to take (instead of writing everything you’ve done and can do),” says Maris Tepers, the CEO of MateHR IT recruitment agency.
Along with creating a great headline, creating a great summary is another thing that can help your chances. And I’ve created a formula for that as well:
- Intro (adjectives, recap headline) + Backstory + Current Job/ Description+ Notable Parts of Career + School + Skills/ Software + Work Ethic/ Future Goals + Contact Information
Add Open To Work And Creator Mode
If you want to get some of the benefits of a Premium LinkedIn subscription without the hefty price tag, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
The first is to add “Open to Work” to your profile. It’s a very simple step that only takes a couple of minutes, and it’s proven to have recruiters see your profile more. Heck, I’ve gotten quite a few job offers since turning this on.
Now one additive many people overlook is the creator mode option. “You can turn on Creator Mode to enhance your LinkedIn presence. According to LinkedIn, this mode will make it easier for other members to discover your content and follow you. Its features include reordering your profile to display your Featured and Activity sections first and expanding your Activity section to showcase more of your recent content,” says Condor.
Get Recommendations And Endorsements
“Focus on getting recommendations from former/current colleagues and supervisors.LinkedIn profiles that have recommendations (which are essentially online versions of referral letters) show up more prominently in search results when employers are looking for candidates,” says Zach Reece and I’m the owner and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Colony Roofers, a locally-owned and fully licensed roofing business from Atlanta, GA.
Even if it’s just a few sentences, it does help your profile stand out. You can message some of your friends, and offer a swap. You write one for them, they write one for you. Some people also offer to write recommendations for a cheap price through Fiverr.
Connect With Everyone
Pretend it’s circa 2009 Facebook, and add everyone in sight. Whether they’re in your industry or not, you never know who will be your next comrade to getting your dream job. You can start by adding people from your dream companies, then venture to other departments in said companies.
“To maximize your LinkedIn presence, connect with those outsides of your industry. For those looking to amplify their LinkedIn presence, it’s not about what you share – it’s about who you share it with. One thing I always look out for is diversity in online social circles. People tend to hit a wall and start stagnating if their circle of connections consists only of other individuals in their field or industry,” says Tina Hawk, Senior Vice President of HR at GoodHire.