As I’ve written about before, I keep my LinkedIn profile updated even when I’m not job hunting.
If you’ve already set up a LinkedIn profile and you’re looking to take it to the next level, below are a few things I can suggest.
1. Get a custom URL
This is a small thing, but you can create a custom LinkedIn URL. It means, instead of Linkedin.com/18348089578728 it will be linkedin.com/in/hailleygriffis. (Except with your name, of course.)
This looks much nicer and as a bonus, it’s so much easier for you to remember and share the URL.
To see the steps you need to follow to set this up, head over to this LinkedIn help page.
2. Make the most of your summary
I’m surprised at how often the summary is underutilized. I recommend using it as a place to highlight your strengths and provide an overview of your career. I wouldn’t recommend highlighting your current experience too much, because there’s space for that in the ‘Experience’ section. Instead, use it to tell a story about who you are and your career journey.
3. Spice up your cover photo
While the standard LinkedIn cover photo is commonly used and a great option, if you’re looking to stand out a little bit more it’s nice to have a custom cover photo.
I’ve seen some really clever ones like an Uber executive who had a screenshot of Uber cars as her cover photo.
A nice photo from Unsplash is always a good option as well!
To save you some Googling, the dimensions for a LinkedIn cover photo are (currently) 1,584 x 396 px.
4. Add media to your experience
Just you can add media to your summary, you can links and attachments to your experience as well.
I personally love the way it looks to feature two pieces of media per experience. As you can see I leaned heavily on that with my own profile:
Since I work in public relations, naturally I want to feature press mentions that I’ve achieved for Buffer.
I’ve also seen people include portfolio samples and projects that they’ve worked on.
I should also mention that you can add more than two pieces of media, I just got a little obsessive with making them align.
5. Write recommendations
On your profile not only can people see the recommendations that you’ve received, but there’s also a section for recommendations given. I think it looks incredible to see several high-quality recommendations for people that you might have worked with in the past on your profile.
Side note: Writing a recommendation for your colleagues without being asked is often an easy way to surprise and delight them as well as add to their LinkedIn profile.
6. Request recommendations
This one is only important if the purpose of your profile is to help with job opportunities, clients, or other opportunities, like speaking, where you might want to have strong recommendations.
The reason that I mention that this isn’t for everyone is because I’ve worked with executives before where we’ve removed all of their recommendations because their goal was thought leadership, not job hunting.
It can be tricky to request recommendations but going forward with a polite ask of people you’ve worked very closely with can go a long way to adding credibility to your profile.
7. Play around with your headline
As you change positions be sure to update your LinkedIn title but also feel free to get a little creative here.
Your LinkedIn headline will be the bit about you that people see when they search for your name or your profile pops up as recommended to connect with.
I’ve often seen founders use this space to say “We’re hiring!”
Another great example is from Candice Galek. I was lucky enough to interview her on the Buffer podcast a few years ago about LinkedIn and one thing she mentioned is that she leverages her headline for calls to action.
8. Adjust your public profile
This is not a feature I hear about a lot but I quite like it. LinkedIn has a public profile that comes up when someone is not connected to you, and you can alter it so that it looks different for them if they aren’t in your network.
Here’s a page from LinkedIn detailing how to make those changes.
This is up to you if you’d like a very private profile or if you’d like people to be able to see all of your experience. I think this is totally up to personal preference. For me, I show job titles but not the description to people who aren’t connected to me.
9. Create a profile in another language
When I figured out that this was possible I was totally blown away. You can create LinkedIn profiles in multiple languages!
This means that if you create a profile in French, and someone comes to look at your profile and their settings on LinkedIn have their language set to French, they will see your French profile!
I think this is just so neat. I’ve worked with a few government workers in Canada where they’ve wanted both French and English LinkedIn profiles and I think there are many other uses for this.
(Here’s the page from LinkedIn on getting a profile in another language set up.)
That’s all I have to say for now about creating an outstanding LinkedIn profile. If I missed something you think should be on this list, leave a comment or send me a tweet.
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