Stand Out on LinkedIn

by Jake Quintanilla, Account Executive, FCBChicago

From Beginner to All-Star: Key Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Appeal

Welcome to the professional world. By this point, you are preparing to trade in late nights studying for late nights at the office. This is also the time to establish yourself and get your information in front of recruiters. What better way to do that than LinkedIn.

As most of you know, LinkedIn is the professional’s social media. It’s where recruiters, colleagues, business leaders and more, come for information about you. This is one way for them to see if you are the right fit for their company.

With all those recruiters looking at you, the next question is how do I make the best first impression? And, how do I know if my LinkedIn page is good?

In an effort to gain recognition from recruiters let’s focus on growing your LinkedIn skill level. Here are some tips to grow your profile from Beginner to All Star.

LinkedIn_Profile_StrengthStarting from the top:

  1. Profile Pic – keep it “clean, clear and under control.” If you can, the best thing you could do is use a professional headshot. If you don’t have a nice camera, or a friend in photography, make use of your smartphone and a blank background. You want to appear as a professional but also friendly and approachable.
  2. Summary – make it “Short and sweet.” Use this online real estate as your elevator pitch. Make sure to provide insight into who you are and what you can do. Grab reader’s attention by providing a quick view into who you are, what you do and what makes you unique.
  3. Experience – This is your “time to shine.” This is what people are really looking at when they open your page. You want to make sure your work can speak for itself without having you there to explain it. Make sure you describe your role through action words and be as thorough as possible.
  4. Organizations – Build your profile strength by showing the work you can do outside your 9-5 job. Personality goes a long way in landing a job, express your interests and hobbies to help you match with job opportunities.
  5. Honors & Awards – Time to “Humble Brag.” If you have any awards post them loud and proud! If you have not received any awards (don’t worry, you’re still a winner) go ahead and leave this blank, it won’t count against you.
  6. Volunteer – Show the softer side of you. Everyone can be a hard working, dedicated, and competitive individual but to be empathetic and see the world in a different lens makes you a valuable team member.
  7. Projects – It’s all about the side hustle. It’s good to show your ambition and how your work is never done. Share that passion with like-minded individuals. You never know, it could open more opportunities than what you were expecting.
  8. Skills and Endorsements – Once in the industry it’s easy to get siloed into one discipline. However, it’s always valuable when you have experience with different skills that can provide new insights. If you have a skill or trait that you’re well known for get it endorsed by a co-worker or mentor. Having someone willing to get behind your talents speaks volumes to recruiters.

Additional Tips:

  1. Connections – If you are just starting out on LinkedIn start looking for connections you can make. Recruiters like seeing common connections and how looped in you are with your industry. This doesn’t mean going invite crazy and adding everyone you see. Be strategic in who you choose! Most importantly, make sure you have actually connected with that person or if you plan on connecting with that person in the future.
  2. Articles/Posts – Recruiters and connections love it when they are have someone who is in the know. Show your knowledge of your industry by posting articles or examples of work on you page. Make sure you post articles from a reliable source, articles from the Onion or other “funertainment” news sites may end up hurting your credibility.

If you can make sure to cover these spots you will be on right path towards success. At the end of the day, it’s your creativity and drive that will make your profile stand out from the rest. With so many candidates in the market trying to land a job, especially a first job, the competition is rough. Going to school, getting good grades and staying out of trouble is a good start but it’s what you do next that counts.

For more ways to improve your LinkedIn profile you can view these additional articles for more guidance:

12 Steps to Reach All-Star Linkedin Profile Status
LinkedIn All-Star Status Rocks & How To Reach it in 7 Steps
Make the Jump: Beginner to All-Star
NEW 2017 UI |LinkedIn 101 | From Beginner to All-Star in 8 easy steps!