There’s a lot of competition on LinkedIn, so if you want to get noticed, you need a few tricks to stand out.
In this article I’m going to show you how to make your LinkedIn stand out and catch attention from recruiters, hiring managers, and anyone else you want to network with.
The first thing you should do to make your LinkedIn profile stand out is to have a friend (or professional) help you take a great headshot.
You should be clearly visible, smiling, and in a somewhat professional setting (not a dimly-lit party surrounded by beer bottles).
Your image on LinkedIn is one of the first things people see… in search results, when you make a post, when you comment on other posts, etc.
And it can make or break the first impression of you.
Also, the worst thing you can do is have no profile photo at all. Many people will assume you’re a fake account if you don’t have a real photo.
So before you do anything else to make your LinkedIn profile stand out, get a great photo set up.
Along with your image, your LinkedIn headline is one of the few things people can see BEFORE they click your profile. So it’s ultra-important if you want your profile to stand out to recruiters and employers.
And there’s no rule that says your headline needs to be your exact job title.
You can get creative and put whatever you think will attract attention from the people you want to connect with.
One good option is to use your job title but also add more details, keywords, and accomplishments. For example, if you’re a Sales Associate, you could write:
Sales Associate | B2B Sales | Relationship Building
One word of caution: If you’re a job seeker, I don’t recommend saying “Actively seeking positions” in your headline. Putting a headline like the example above to show how you’d be valuable to a recruiter or employer is a much better approach.
If you need help with your headline, you can find 10 LinkedIn headline examples here.
This is probably my favorite (and most underrated) tip for how to stand out to recruiters on LinkedIn…
Don’t think about yourself as you write your LinkedIn. Yes – it’s about you and your work experience. However, it’s also about the reader.
And you’ll get noticed more on LinkedIn if you think about your ideal reader when writing your profile.
Picture the person you want to read your profile and think about what they’d be looking for.
(This is why I mentioned above that you shouldn’t say “Actively seeking positions” in your headline. Recruiters are looking for people with certain skills and experience (based on the positions they’re recruiting for). They’re not really looking for unemployed people.
Now sit down to write your LinkedIn profile thinking what that person will find exciting, what they’ll notice, and what will get THEM to click your profile and contact you after reading it.
(Your image and headline are what get people to click, and the LinkedIn profile sections on your actual profile page are what will get them to contact you).
Think of your ideal audience when writing ALL of this.
The next thing you should do to make your LinkedIn stand out to recruiters is to make sure everything is well-spaced and very easy to read.
Use bullets. Keep your paragraphs short. Make it as inviting and easy to read as possible. This is one way you’ll make recruiters and hiring managers want to keep reading (and hopefully contact you) after they’ve opened your profile.
Recruiters typically move very quickly through LinkedIn and they’re unlikely to read a giant paragraph in your LinkedIn summary or employment history. Whereas, they’re much more likely to read some bullets or short paragraphs.
Another way to make your LinkedIn profile stand out to recruiters and hiring managers is to ask a couple of colleagues to write you a recommendation.
Very few job seekers have recommendations on their profile, so even getting one or two recommendations will immediately catch an employer’s attention and get them to notice you.
You can ask past colleagues, bosses, current coworkers, or anyone else that knows your work!
If you want more info on this, I wrote an in-depth article about getting recommendations on your LinkedIn profile and why it’s so powerful.
Part of getting your profile to stand out on LinkedIn is getting seen. Nobody can click your profile if you’re not showing up on their screen, right?
So no matter how great a profile you write, you also need to be active on the platform to get seen by more people.
Look for relevant groups to join and post in. You can ask questions, answer questions, share articles, and more. Just make sure you read the group rules first. Some group owners are terrified of someone “stealing their thunder” and posting advice in “their” group (it’s a terrible mindset and they’re not going very far in life or business, but that’s how some people think).
You can also post articles and tips/thoughts on your own feed. You can follow other people, comment on their posts, etc.
Every time you’re commenting, posting, responding to comments on your own posts, or anything else, your photo and headline are getting seen! And that’s a key part of getting clicked and getting messaged once you’ve written a basic LinkedIn profile that looks good and stands out from other people.
Recruiters spend a LOT of time on LinkedIn and they look through hundreds of profiles. They usually see the same things each day over and over.
However, when they see a great, unique profile that someone put effort into, it does stand out and grab the recruiter’s attention.
And when that happens, they’re more likely to want to talk to you about job opportunities, invite you to interview for a position, or add you to their network.
So if you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to create a standout LinkedIn profile that helps you grow your network faster through recruiters so you can get more job interviews and find a job in less time.
Biron Clark is a former Executive Recruiter who has worked with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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