A candidate's guide how to optimize your LinkedIn to stand out

In today’s fast-paced digital world, your online personal brand is more important than ever before. It can influence your network, and your chance for another job opportunity, and affect your ability to level up professionally. One way to build a strong online brand is to optimize your LinkedIn profile to stand out. This helps to improve your profile ranking in LinkedIn searches and builds trust and credibility with your connections.

Don’t skip a professional headshot and background photo

You need to dress for the job you want, as it sets the tone and helps you define your brand. Add a background image that reflects your skills, expertise, or professional objectives. It should convey both your personality and professionalism.

Customize your URL

Use keywords reflecting your domain expertise, skills or job position. Eg IT expert, social media strategist, certified engineer etc. You should leverage keywords from job adverts, to increase your visibility in an employer’s LinkedIn search.

Write a compelling headline that makes you unique

Your headline is the first thing people will read. It should be keyword-rich to maximize your chance of being noticed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your job position – your headline should reflect your personal brand positioning, conveying the value you add. Likewise, it makes it easier for recruiters to know who you are and what passionate you.

Here’s an example from Linkedin:

Meticulously Writing for Word-Challenged Business Owners | Remote Content Writer | 

Maximize your introduction to reinforce your brand

Your “about” section describes what you want to be known for, so it’s very important not to skip it. View it as your digital elevator pitch where you describe the synopsis of your story. Talk about your experience, achievements and skills. So you may want to sit down and think about how you want to present yourself.

Highlight your skills and get endorsed

Try focusing on your top 10 relevant skills that best describe what you are able to do. In today’s competitive workplace, companies are giving less importance to degree requirements and are emphasizing more skills in their job adverts. Employers generally seek a combination of both soft and hard skills.

Request recommendations

Make the best use of this feature, as it helps employers to see that you have been vouched for. Invite your colleagues, managers and clients to share their positive feedback and experience of working with you, your skills and abilities. Consider it as your online reference letter.

Earn skills badges & display certifications

You can do short quizzes to earn skills badges which will be displayed on your profile, setting you apart from other candidates. LinkedIn Learning is also gaining momentum – do the courses that match your domain and display your certificates. It increases your chance to appear in searches carried out by recruiters.

Featured content on top of your profile

Pinned content is a great way to show the professional content you have created, it can be an article, a visual, videos, interviews or podcasts. It gives you an opportunity to create an all-important first impression of the value you create in your professional life.

Final takeaway

Your LinkedIn profile is a great way to market yourself to hiring managers. So, it’s the first thing to update when job seeking. It’s crucial to get prospective employers interested in your profile and want to know more, so don’t forget to make your profile professional and dynamic for maximum optimization.

Written by Karishma Pattoo, Content Specialist at Proactive Talent Solutions

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