Once you have the most important sections of your LinkedIn profile populated (which are your headshot, headline, about section, work experience and education), there's a few simple ways you can truly go above and beyond to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
If you're all in on getting a great job, this is for you!
For all of you overachievers out there (and if you're reading this guide, we're guessing you're one of them!), you're probably wondering how you can take your LinkedIn profile to the next level. We're talking total LinkedIn rockstar status here. 🕺🏾
We've got three ways you can go above and beyond.
Ask for recommendations. At the bottom of someone's LinkedIn profile, you will often see offers that speak to the person's value to a project or team. These recommendations are typically written by colleagues, clients, or managers and are glowing reviews of how great the person is. It's not essential that you have suggestions, but they provide additional context for working with others and delivering results. Reach out to 1-2 of your job champions and ask them to write you a recommendation. Note that this is only worthwhile and helpful if the recommendations are strong.
Post content. You'll be considered for more opportunities if you've stayed top of mind with your connections. One way to get your name in their heads is by regularly posting engaging content on LinkedIn. Share articles from news sources, write articles of your own or post your perspective on your industry's relevant topics. Only 1% of LinkedIn users post content, which means that people will see it! Be thoughtful with what you post, and speak to what you know. There are many upsides to posting quality content, but there is a potential downside to posting unprofessional or irrelevant content.
Show your interests. Following people and topics that are relevant to your role can help showcase a bit of personality. Consider following companies you admire, thought leaders you respect, and organizations that you'd love to work at.
Your LinkedIn profile, much like your resume, should evolve as you narrow down your interests, target new roles, and gain more experience.
Whenever you update your LinkedIn (and especially when you create your profile for the first time!), get feedback from someone on how they perceive you by looking at your LinkedIn.
Find someone who is invested in your success and who can also be really honest with you. Hearing all nice things from someone who loves you might feel good, but it won't help you tweak your profile to be exceptional. Consider reaching out to a friend, mentor, or colleague and ask them to respond to the following questions:
What is your initial takeaway after spending 5-10 seconds looking at my profile?
What jumps out at you?
What is your understanding of my skillset after reviewing my profile?
Do you understand the types of opportunities I'm interested in?
Do you have a good sense of the value I've added in my various work experiences?
What is one change I can make to enhance my profile?
This insight is precious and will help you continuously improve your LinkedIn.
An effective way to evaluate if your profile positions you well for the roles you're interested in is to look at the profiles of people who currently have the roles you're targeting.
Search LinkedIn for the job titles that interest you or the companies you're most interested in. Then, compare your profile to those of people who have the jobs you want.
This will give you a good idea of the attributes and experiences the hiring managers are looking for. Adjust your profile to incorporate similar language or interests while still being true to your own work experience.
Once you get your LinkedIn profile up and running, it's time to make sure you have the appropriate settings in place. Boring topic? Maybe. Important topic? For sure.
One of the great features of LinkedIn is that you can notify recruiters that you're looking for a new job without your current employer being able to see.
To do this, click "Data and Privacy" from the drop-down on your homepage (right below your profile picture in the top banner) and then go to the "Data Privacy" section. Turn on "Signal Your Interest to Recruiters at Companies You've Created Job Alerts For."
If you're job seeking, there's really no downside to turning this on.
Let's start with the basics. The purpose of your LinkedIn profile is for people to find you and understand the type of work you excel at. So, unlike other social media platforms, you want to make your profile as public as possible.
Even if you aren't connected with someone, they should be able to see your entire profile - especially your headshot. There's, of course, the risk associated with making any of your data public on the internet, but in general, for LinkedIn, the risk is worth it.
Ask a friend you're not connected with to show you what your profile looks like to them. (And then after, connect with them!)
A pro tip that most people don't know about is to deactivate the automatic setting of LinkedIn recommending people similar to you when someone views your profile. The default is for the profiles of these other people to fill the right panel of your profile. This isn't ideal, especially if you're looking for a job, because you want the recruiter to be focused on you versus your competition.
This is what appears on your profile if you don't change the setting:
To change this setting, follow these steps:
Under Account, select Settings, and Privacy
Under the Site Preferences section, click on Viewers of this Profile Also Viewed
Change this setting to No