9 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out to Employers

Your LinkedIn is probably due an upgrade. Fly above the competition with these practical steps.

If you’re looking to explore new professional opportunities in 2024, you need to be on LinkedIn. Due to the platform’s networking functions and search features, around 72% of recruiters turn to LinkedIn when hiring new talent, making it among the top sites for landing a job in the US.

Yet, with the site attracting millions of job seekers, standing out among the competition isn’t always easy, especially as the labor market continues to cool amid widespread layoffs and the growing use of AI.

There are lots of tangible steps you can take to boost your profile to recruiters and employers on LinkedIn, from securing a professional headshot to using the platform’s job seeking features to your advantage. Read on to improve your hiring potential today or jump to a specific tip using the links below.

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1. Nail your headshot

For better or for worse, your experience isn’t the only thing that does the talking on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn headshot is one of the first impressions recruiters get when they see your profile, and while how you look shouldn’t influence your ability to secure a job, how you choose to present yourself will.

A professional headshot indicates that you take pride in your presentation and that you’re serious about the job search. It also helps to get your personality across to recruiters, in a way that’s almost impossible to do through text. In the age of the iPhone, taking a well-crafted, polished headshot doesn’t need to cost big bucks. All you need is a professional or appropriate outfit, a plain background, and a friend or reliable self-time spot to take the photo.

Example of some AI generated LinkedIn headshots

If this isn’t feasible, you can also create a professional LinkedIn headshot using AI. There are a plenty of apps that can help you do this, like Vivid AI and Aragon AI. However, you should approach these apps with caution, as some AI headshot generators alter the appearance of the user, and these images also risk your LinkedIn profile being flagged as a fake account.

2. Upload a professional banner image

Visually customizing your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t stop at your header image. LinkedIn’s banner feature is also a great way to display your personal brand, and to make your profile stand out from the masses.

Banners are a prime piece of real estate on your LinkedIn profile, and they can be used as your own personal business card. Whether you want to use it to display a personal quote that means a lot to you, your company logo, or the city you’re searching for a job in, there are lots of creative ways to utilize the feature.

If you’re struggling to find an existing banner that’s representative of you, you can also make your own on Canva by editing images of your own or ones from Pexel, the platform’s in-house stock photo library.

3. Perfect your summary

If your LinkedIn banner image is your business card, think of your summary as your cover letter. You should use this space to give readers a quick overview of yourself, what you do, and what you can offer professionally.

Summaries help recruiters assess your eligibility at a glance, without having to rife through years of work experience. They also give them insight into your personality and aspirations – something that is hard to decipher through the rest of your profile.

Thanks to LinkedIn’s SEO, a well-crafted summary can also improve your visibility on the platform. Specifically, seamlessly integrating keywords relating to your position or field of work, into your summary will increase your profile’s chances of getting viewed by the right people.

4. Show off Your Credentials

Many roles require qualifications, training or specialized certification. To stop potential employees playing the guessing game, it’s a good idea to put any credentials you have upfront.

LinkedIn has a dedicated section where you can add these, and you also have the extra option of taking LinkedIn’s ‘skill assessment‘ surveys, which, providing you score 70% or more, will give you a special LinkedIn badge to show that you know your way around certain software and platforms.

Performing these LinkedIn assessments also unlocks free training courses, allowing you to up your skills even further.

5. Tailor Your Experience to LinkedIn

Now it’s time to showcase your experience. If you’re building your LinkedIn profile from scratch, or updating it after a long hiatus, it may be tempting to paste pre-written sections from your CV – but don’t.

Your CV and LinkedIn profile have slightly different aims. Your LinkedIn should be tailored to the wide job search over one particular opportunity, so should include a more detailed overview of your career history, and it should demonstrate your versatile skills.

When filling out your job experience we also recommend formatting the copy in bullet points to make it scannable,  using active tense to keep the copy engaging, and avoiding hyperbolic statements and language to make you seem personable.

6. Expand your network

While we don’t recommend reaching out to anyone and everyone on LinkedIn for the sake of it, making valuable connections is a highly effective way to increase the viability of your profile.

Instead of sitting back and waiting for recruiters to come to you, taking the power back and strengthening your professional network keeps your profile from staying stagnant while opening up opportunities for professional growth.

You should deploy a targeted approach, though. We’d recommend reaching out to people with mutual connections first, and with experience in your industry. This way, you’re more likely to benefit from the new connection, and they’re more likely to accept your request.

7. Turn on ‘Open to Work’

LinkedIn has a plethora of smart focused designed to connect job seekers to professional opportunities, including its Open to Work banner. By turning on your Open to Work banner, you automatically let recruiters know that you’re looking for a job. You can also customize this feature by entering your preferred job titles and locations.

And don’t worry, if your boss doesn’t know you’re searching elsewhere, you’re able to change its settings to ensure the banner is only able to be viewed by recruiters and hiring managers.

Activating LinkedIn’s Open to Work banner couldn’t be easier, either. All you have to do is click ‘Open to’ in blue under your profile picture, select ‘Finding a new job’ in the dropdown menu, and select ‘Choose who sees you’re open’ to control its visibility.

8. Create a Personal URL

If you want to take your professionalism to the next level, you can even create a custom URL.

Opposed to the randomly generated code that users are automatically assigned on the platform, custom profile URLs make it easier for recruiters to find you, and also help you achieve a more polished online image.

Like displaying a professional headshot or using a custom header, creating a custom URL makes it clear to recruiters that you’re serious about the job search. It is easy as pie to change too, all you have to do is click the ‘Me’ icon at the top of the LinkedIn homepage, select ‘View profile’, and select ‘Edit public profile & URL’ before editing it to your liking.

9. Seek Endorsements from Colleagues

It’s easy to fabricate the truth on LinkedIn. For this reason, an easy way for recruiters to cut through the noise is by seeing what skills you’ve been endorsed for.

Being endorsed by colleagues is a clear way to validate strengths already shown in your profile, as well as bring attention to new ones. It also offers recruiters insight into what you might be like to work with, and how likely you are to fit into a team.

If your endorsements are few and far between, rest assured. You can easily ask a friend or colleague to endorse you on a particular skill, and you can also increase your chance of receiving them naturally by endorsing fellow professionals.

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Written by:
Isobel O'Sullivan (BSc) is a senior writer at Tech.co with over four years of experience covering business and technology news. Since studying Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also worked as a freelance tech researcher. Isobel’s always up to date with the topics in employment and data security and has a specialist focus on POS and VoIP systems.
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