How to Make your LinkedIn Profile Standout

According to U.S.News, "about 95 percent of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as a major sourcing tool to find candidates to present to their client companies seeking top-tier talent. But if you want to be found by one of them, it's important to understand how they use LinkedIn to source their candidates and position yourself accordingly." Since 2002 LinkedIn has been serving its users longer than even Facebook. So, if you don’t think an interested party is going to look on LinkedIn think again. Here are a few tips to help make your profile shine.


Don’t Use Your Mugshot

This one should be obvious but that’s not always the case. Adding a good, preferably a professional headshot is the easiest way to stand out. According to the Association For Psychological Science, “it only takes 1/10 of a second for someone to draw conclusions about you based on your photo.” So, it is in your best interest to make that photo as professional as possible along with a smile. With the huge numbers of people on LinkedIn, those without a photo are easily pushed aside.

You should also consider adding a cover photo. The cover picture you choose should help you portray your professional story in a creative way. A few examples are:

  • Colored pencils to reflect your creativity in graphic design
  • A computer keyboard to show your history in computer science
  • Weights at a gym to demonstrate your fitness training background


Good clear photos on your LinkedIn profile will help you get noticed more than someone who has poor quality photos or no photos at all.

40 Words Will Get you the Gold

According to LinkedIn's official career expert Nicole Williams, “your summary should look similar to that of an objective statement on a résumé — a brief bio explaining who you are and your intentions.” Remember your goal here is to get noticed by the right company, recruiter, or employer.

Your summary should showcase your interests, what you do for your job, how your role benefits others, and most of all show your personality. "A summary of 40 words or more makes you more likely to turn up in a future employee's search," Williams says. So keep that summary upbeat and unforgettable. If someone reads your bio and smiles you know they’ll be back.

Use those Skills to Win

The skills you display on your profile matter — and in case you missed it, back in 2015 LinkedIn tweaked its search engine so that you can filter by the skills on a user's profile. Your LinkedIn Skills affect your search rankings. LinkedIn reports that “Members with five or more skills listed are contacted (messaged) up to 33 [times] more by recruiters and other LinkedIn members, and receive up to 17 [times] more profile views.” Your skills show at a glance what you are capable of doing for an interested party

Here is a list of 5 skills, according to The Balance Careers that will set you apart from others:

  • Analytics (problem-solving, research, critical thinking)
  • Management (coaching, leadership, negotiation)
  • Information Technology (tech support, UI/UX, Data presentation)
  • Communication (editing, newsletters, writing)
  • Marketing (social media, public relations, media planning)

Skills are a great way to present what you bring to the table. They are little check marks in the eyes of future employers so, keep them updated.

You know what they say: "The more the merrier." In this case, this is definitely true.

Making simple changes to your LinkedIn profile picture, summary, and skills can help you shine in the crowd. Future employers will be looking at all your social media to see how you represent yourself so make sure you keep everything updated and respectful.

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