If you want to standout on LinkedIn, you need a seriously good LinkedIn profile
It’s a new year, and if you want to standout on LinkedIn, you need a seriously good LinkedIn profile. If you want the best LinkedIn profile tips for 2021 to help you stand out to recruiters, grow your professional brand, and cultivate the right relationships, keep reading.
As we kick off 2021, an entirely new decade, one of the things that you might be thinking about is how you can accomplish your career goals, and what role LinkedIn can actually help play to get you there. No matter if you’re going to use LinkedIn professionally to help you find a new job or to build your professional brand or just because you want to stay in touch with your colleagues, the place that you need to focus first is on your LinkedIn profile. With the right LinkedIn profile tips, your profile is going to stand out and set you apart from everyone else. So without further ado, let’s just jump right into it.
The first thing that “you need to do is to upload a professional LinkedIn profile photo.” Unlike other social networks, where you may upload a photo of you and your friends, perhaps one of you traveling, your LinkedIn profile pictures should generally be one that is a professional photo. Because that little tiny circle appears everywhere, but it’s not very big, what you actually want to use for your LinkedIn profile is a professional headshot. You don’t have to go and get a professional headshot taken. I know that this is something that throws a lot of people off.
Just a professional headshot, That You can even potentially even take by yourself, against a plain backdrop is going to be something that works very, very well for you. And if you do want to integrate a photo from your real life, what I would recommend is still make sure that it is a picture where your face is fully visible so that people can actually see who you are. After all, that kind of is the core of your personal brand, isn’t it?
The second thing that “you need is a really good attention grabbing headline.” When you’re scrolling through LinkedIn, like what I’m showing you on the screen right now, one of the first things that you see for each profile is their headline. This is going to default to be your current job title and your current company, but you can actually optimize this.
What I generally recommend is including not just your current title and your company, if that’s going to be something that helps you grab attention, but also include some additional information. Add some keywords that are going to help you get found and stand out on LinkedIn.
This is prime SEO territory in your LinkedIn profile, so make sure that you leverage the characters that you have available. Many of my connections & friends are using a blend of that default current title, current company as well as showcasing a few of their key skills. This is one great way if you are potentially feeling out a new opportunity, this is one of the strategies that’s going to help you be discovered by recruiters, if you are considering a new, and are using your LinkedIn profile for that purpose.
I want to emphasize that your profile photo and your headline are the two things that are going to entice someone to visit your profile. So if you’re looking at them, and you’re not sure if they’re doing that, they’re probably not, and this is a great opportunity for you to invest a little bit of your time and effort and get a huge pay off in terms of visitors to your LinkedIn profile.
When your profile photo and your headline have done their job and gotten someone to your LinkedIn profile, the first thing that the person’s going to see aside from those two things is going to be your cover image.
This is another great opportunity to capture someone’s attention and encourage them to scroll and visit the rest of your profile. There are two different strategies that I actually love for the cover image on your LinkedIn profile. The first is simply taking a photo of you doing something that you love. Whether that’s repelling rocks in a cave in New Zealand, speaking on a stage, or walking down the street where you live. Or just simply sitting down and drinking a cup of coffee at your computer.
These are going to be things that are going to demonstrate your personality and who you are to anyone who visits your LinkedIn profile. The second strategy is particularly important if you are trying to brand yourself as an expert in your industry or trying to get attention for a new role, and that is showcasing your skills and abilities. You don’t have to have a fully built out personal brand. There’s all sorts of colors schemes and things like that. You can actually pop into a tool like Canva, and you can actually really quickly take one of their templates to create a really nice LinkedIn profile cover image.
I recommend keeping it short, concise, but showcasing who you are and what makes you special at what you do.
When your LinkedIn profile visitors scrolls, the next thing they’re going to see is your LinkedIn summary. And this is super important. This is a story of who you are. Your LinkedIn profile summary should do three things.
- First of all, it should tell the reader who you actually are.
- Second, it needs to demonstrate the things that make you exceptional. What makes you stand out
- And third, it should be conversation starters.
Listen, no one wants to have one of those boring biographies that might as well just be on some corporate website that are just blah, blah, blah. You went to school and you worked at a whole bunch of different jobs. Trust me, they can get that information elsewhere on your LinkedIn profile. Tell your story about how your career has actually evolved.
- What got you set down this path in the first place?
- What is your super power?
- What are you really good, really exceptional at, really excited to do on a day to day basis?
- What are your actual areas of expertise and be specific.
A well-written LinkedIn profile summary is going to be something that makes people want to actually speak to you. And if you read your LinkedIn profile summary, and it’s not doing that, definitely integrate these tips to make an amazing LinkedIn profile summary. If this is something that you would be interested in a article to deep dive into, let me know in the comments down below. Because I have a lot of tips and strategies on this one.
Now a bonus tip for both your summary as well as your work experience, is to understand the keywords that people would use to actually find you on LinkedIn. One really easy way to do this is to actually look at jobs in LinkedIn profile jobs to see what skills are actually being sought after. Make sure that you’ve integrated as many of those skills that are applicable, but not too many, into your profile. And also make sure that you leverage those as keywords in both your LinkedIn profile summary, as well as in your skills and experience. Make sure that you’re keeping this area up to date and instead of outlining what your job actually is, which something that people is probably already know based on your job title, use this area to showcase your successes and achievements. And really what makes you stand out. Again, integrating your keywords in here as well. It’s going to be something that helps you show up in search when someone is looking for an expert such as yourself, and I know we just mentioned this, but make sure that you do have skills but not too many skills.
One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make is they just add a whole bunch of skills without doing any of the research to figure out what skills they actually should be including. That are going to help them be discovered by the right people on LinkedIn. For example, if you’re going to be using your LinkedIn profile to help you find a new job in 2021, you’ll want to make sure that you do your research on the skills, on current jobs and including jobs that you would legitimately want to apply to make sure that you go see what skills are actually on those job profiles. Take note of them and the ones that are most popular. Make sure that you have on your account.
The next thing that you need to do on your LinkedIn profile, is get some LinkedIn cred. Now, you’re probably not going to be brought in opportunity because of a skill endorsement or recommendation that you get on LinkedIn, but these are things that are actually great in terms of social proof to demonstrate who you are and what you’re really, really good at.
I also think that using recommendations and skill endorsements is a great way to cultivate relationships with the people that you have in your network. I don’t just focus on your own LinkedIn profile here. Help a friend out for your colleagues, your clients, or your partners that you work with on a day to day basis that do things that you really appreciate or really just have made your life easier. Go and write them a LinkedIn profile recommendation. Not only is it going to make their day, they’re also going to be very likely to reciprocate.
One of the things that I hate most is getting a LinkedIn recommendation request when someone hasn’t actually written me a recommendation. This is just one of those things that reciprocity really matters. It’s not sufficient to write a note saying that you’re going to reciprocate. Then basically what you’re doing is just bartering an exchange of a LinkedIn recommendation. Write recommendations for the people that you work with and you are going to get organic recommendations written for you in return. So what if not everyone writes a LinkedIn recommendation for your profile? That’s not why you’re writing it for them. And if it is, trust me, it’s going to be obvious to anyone who reads that recommendation now that you felt after your LinkedIn profile.
The next thing that you’re going to do is you’re going to take time to network and connect. Make sure that you send connection requests to the people that you work with, your friends, your friends from school, whoever it is. When you cross paths with someone professionally, make sure that you send a connection request so that you can continue to cultivate that relationship online. Many people are also interested in connecting with others who work in the same industry as them. So if you are looking to expand your visibility within the industry, this is a great way for you to actually do so. But there’s no point in building those connections with people if you don’t do the last step. And that is to post and engage. Writing LinkedIn posts, and engaging with other people’s posts, is what’s actually going to grow your relationships with the people in your network and beyond. And this is one of the really funny things on LinkedIn and this unique juncture in time is that most people, while they have a LinkedIn profile and maybe they’re looking to optimize it just like you are, so many people are not actually posting onto LinkedIn. And they’re not necessarily engaging on other people’s posts. But people are increasingly logging into LinkedIn using the newsfeed to consume content, discover people and hear what others are saying. Make a regular practice of posting on LinkedIn to demonstrate your thoughts, your expertise. The easiest way that you can begin doing that is to simply share an article that you appreciated and write a post.
- Why did you agree with this?
- Why should someone read it?
- What do you disagree with?
- Start sharing your opinion.
This is going to help establish you as an expert on LinkedIn, which is going to show up in the relationships that you do have in the real world. It’s going to give you credibility when you say something, you’re an expert. In fact, you’re an expert online, which makes you an expert in the real world, but it’s also a great way for you to actually start creating your own content on LinkedIn, without having to do something like write an entire article or film a video of yourself.
I know for a long time LinkedIn felt like this stodgy professional relationship that you would only go to if you were looking for a job, hiring someone or trying to sell something. But it’s really taking shape into something new, different and exciting. And that’s why I’m so excited about LinkedIn. And why your LinkedIn profile is so important in 2021. Remember, after all, it is a social network, so get on there. Be social. Own your expertise. And let your LinkedIn profile help you find the opportunity that you’re looking for.
Now, I would love to know, are you already actively posting on LinkedIn? Let me know in the comments. And if you aren’t, what’s actually holding you back from doing so?
Now you know that LinkedIn is going to be really important to your career strategy in 2021, and you want me to create more articles about LinkedIn and how you can make the most out of LinkedIn in 2021 to accelerate your career, please give us a like. And if you have any specific requests, leave those in the comments down below. High five for being unapologetically ambitious, for taking this time to invest into your career, plus building out your LinkedIn profile. And thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. Thank you so much again for reading. Bye for now.