10 Ways to Shine on LinkedIn

LinkedIn logo on office wall
LinkedIn logo on office wall

According to a recent Forbes article, job seekers and hiring managers agree that LinkedIn is the best place to search for jobs and find candidates. With so much traffic on LinkedIn, it’s important to know how to properly use the networking tool and look good doing it. Here are 10 ways to make your profile on LinkedIn work hard for you:

  1. Customize your profile. You want to attract the right kind of attention. It’s important to think through what you want to say before posting. To do that, you need to customize your profile to appeal to employers you’re targeting. In an article on business2community.com, Jennifer Parris suggests being approachable, but still professional on your summary and feed.
  2. Include recommendations. Recommendations tell a lot about a person. Parris suggests being selective — only include well-written, relevant recommendations, preferably from former managers and colleagues.
  3. Fill the white space. Make sure your writing is direct and concise, but use every opportunity offered in your LinkedIn profile to attract employers. Some sections will be easier than others to fill in, but use them all.
  4. Take your time. Don’t rush to finish your profile. It’s a lot of work, but you won’t get much out of an incomplete or incoherent profile.
  5. Bring your profile to life. Post pictures, videos, slideshows and more to your profile summary. These tools can help you sell yourself, show your work and prove your worth.
  6. Avoid clichés and use action words. When you’re writing or updating your profile, think through what you’re trying to say and avoid tired buzzwords and clichés. They’re boring and will not help you stand out. They could even date you or suggest incompetency. In an article on businessinsider.com, Julie Bort recommends replacing overused clichés, like “detail-oriented” and “self-starter,” with action words that describe your accomplishments.
  7. Include extracurricular activities. What you do in your free time could say even more about you than what you do on the clock. Volunteer work, life-changing experiences, extensive travel, self-discovery activities: These kinds of things add interesting layers to your profile and give employers a better sense of who you are and what you have to offer.
  8. Give and get endorsements. Look through your contacts on LinkedIn and start endorsing people. By endorsing others, you help them be more marketable and, in the process, you gain allies. Others will endorse you for specific skills, making you more marketable and pushing you up the ranks in certain skill categories.
  9. Be a follower. In this context, following others – specifically thought leaders or executive influencers – is a good thing. It shows readers that you’re informed and well-rounded. According to Bort, there are many well-known, successful leaders who write columns for LinkedIn that you can choose to follow, such as Richard Branson (Virgin Group) and Bill Gates (Microsoft).
  10. Say cheese! Don’t overlook the opportunity to include a photo of yourself. Putting a face with a name is expected in social media. Make it professional, but not stiff.