5 Ways to Have an Outstanding LinkedIn Profile

Written by Helen Hensell
Graphic Design by Joe Lewis and Jamie Brown
Person sitting at computer working on their LinkedIn profile

Have you just graduated from college? Are you a professional considering changing careers? Now you need to face your most significant obstacle yet. You must somehow transform your LinkedIn page into a beautiful shrine of all your accomplishments. You find yourself staring at the page as your eyes scroll from your tight smile and monochromatic wardrobe in your profile picture to a list of tedious achievements in the summary. In addition, you realize you only have seventy-six connections. Hopelessly, you wonder whether recruiters or hiring managers will ever want to hire job seekers with a page like this.

Fortunately, you can execute a few simple tricks to create an enchanting LinkedIn profile that is 100% recruiter-friendly! Read on for the five best tips on improving your profile so that recruiting managers can find you in search results.

1. Upload a Professional Photo

Have you ever connected professionally with someone on LinkedIn to discover they had no profile photo? Or, if they did, was it unprofessional and at a weird angle? How did that affect your perception of them? It might even be a sign that they are not business or tech-savvy. Also, you might not be inclined to take them seriously. So, save the casual pictures for Instagram and Facebook. LinkedIn is an entirely new ballgame, as you will see below!

How to Post a Professional LinkedIn Profile Photo

  • Choose an outfit that you would wear to the office or a dinner party and not at a casual outing.
  • Always go with the color that compliments your skin tone and background. Read this for tips on finding the best color to captivate any recruiter or hiring manager!
  • Hire a professional photographer to take your headshot with a simple background.
  • Remember to smile in the profile photo, as you want recruiters to get a small glimpse of your captivating personality.
  • Make sure that your profile image is up-to-date.
LinkedIn profile page with banner

Wait! There's More!

Fortunately, thanks to LinkedIn’s new feature, you can show even more of your personality! Recruiters can click on your profile photo and watch a 30-second video. This means that you can create a short video introducing yourself to anyone looking at your profile. The possibilities are endless, from promoting your business and sharing your brand’s key message to sharing your interests and skills. What will you use this new LinkedIn Profile Video feature for? Comment below with your ideas!

A graphic showing where to find the LinkedIn profile videos

By uploading a photo and a video, you will instantly create a profile that is memorable as it is compelling. Hiring managers and recruiters who do a simple LinkedIn people search will be able to get a sense of your personality and even visualize you as a possible talent for your purpose-filled career. Most importantly, they will be able to consider you as a serious candidate or prospective talent. 

Now that you’ve got their attention, you must learn how to keep it. So, how can you get any recruiter to hire you for that purpose-filled career? Continue reading to find out!

2. Create a Relevant Cover

Whether your goal is searching for the right career or featuring your accomplishments, you need a cover. This is your chance to let your creativity shine through! Consider using a free tool like Canva to help you create a company or industry-related image that allows you to summarize your brand visually.

You can also use this section for marketing your talents to anyone on LinkedIn. On the banner, include the job position you are searching for and your skills and expertise. You could even have a personal slogan or an inspiring quote. Finally, ensure that your image is relevant to your industry. This means that you should not include your phone number, address, or any other personal data.

The cover is an extension of your profile picture and helps to visualize your branding. For example, you might customize a banner with a picture of a desk and writing utensils if you are a writer. Whatever image you choose, ensure it is professional and relevant to the industry. By having a fantastic graphic, you will pave the way toward creating a visually appealing LinkedIn page!

3. Write a Powerful Headline

One thing that many people on LinkedIn get confused about is the headline. Many think that this is the spot to post the job title. However, it is much more than that. It is one of the first opportunities to show any recruiter browsing through search results what you do and how you do it differently while also delivering a splash of your personality. In other words, you can customize this section to stand out instead of simply saying that you are a Web Developer, Human Resources Manager, or Teacher.

How to Write an Optimized Headline Using This Proven Formula

  • What do you do? 
  • How do you do it uniquely?
  • Who do you help or serve?
  • What is your job title? 
  • What is your secondary title or message?

Here’s an example:

Optimizing Blog and Website Content for Tech-Challenged Business Owners | SEO Strategist | Motivated Stay-at-Home Dad

In the first section, you can write your job title. However, you also want to make it different. Instead of saying that you are a ‘Web Developer,’ consider mentioning the people you help and how you do it differently. For example, as a Web Developer, you can help many people design and develop their websites, from small start-ups to large corporations. You can narrow down your job description by being as specific as possible. Instead of saying that you are a Web Developer, consider this: using current market trends to design websites for small non-profits. This title is much better because it identifies the people you help and how your position as a Web Developer differs from others.

The second half of the LinkedIn headline can be reserved for something more personal. Whether you are a self-taught knitter, a stay-at-home mom, or a personal blogger, you can add something to help highlight who you are when you are not working. You never know — something that you write here could even resonate with the hiring manager, and they might ask you about it during your interview. Just remember to keep this section under 220 characters. 

Other Things to Add to Your LinkedIn Headline

Location

Go to your LinkedIn settings and change the location. Select your city or the closest metropolitan city. This will help make your page easy to find in search results for any recruiter searching for job candidates in a specific location.

Keywords

Keywords are important. Be sure to add relevant keywords associated with your target job position and industry in your headline so that anyone searching for these keywords can find you. Keywords are an excellent way to make the necessary connections with clients and recruiters.

Using this powerful formula, you can begin using strategic marketing to share your brand. Everyone on LinkedIn who sees your posted headline will know what you do, how you do it, and what matters the most to you. Furthermore, a well-written headline could help you make the necessary connection to the right person who can lead you to your purpose-filled career!

4. Grow Your Network to 500+

Recruiters and hiring managers often acknowledge that you should aim to have more than 500+ industry professionals in your network. And it’s true! As you reach this elite number, you will be seen in more and more search results by recruiters who might search for someone with your skills. Furthermore, having more than 500 people in your network makes you more likely to have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree connections. This will give you more credibility and trust in the eyes of recruiters.

You can leverage your 500+ connections to give and ask for relevant endorsements and recommendations. You could also join career or job organizations on LinkedIn to further connect with people in your network.

How to Connect With 500+ People on LinkedIn

Following this step-by-step guide, you can grow your network to more than 500 people in five weeks.

  • Click on the ‘My Network’ tab at the top of your LinkedIn page.
  • LinkedIn will populate a list of people you might know based on their algorithm. These people are often connected to you professionally from your past or current companies or schools. To ensure you get an accurate list of related persons, fill out the experience and education sections in your LinkedIn profile!
  • Click ‘Connect’ to initiate the connection for everyone on the page. Keep in mind that there is a weekly limit of 100 a week or 400 a month.
  • Wait for them to accept your connection request! Most will receive and accept the request immediately or within the next two days. Consider removing any pending request that is longer than a week so that you can connect with more people!
A collection of LinkedIn profiles

Follow this proven four-step formula, and you will have 500 connections in five weeks. You will also start appearing in relevant search results to any recruiting manager or employer searching for a candidate with your skills, expertise, and education!

5. Craft a Masterful Summary

The key to creating a masterful summary is to write an engaging story that the reader can connect with emotionally. In other words, what is posted in your complete overview should immediately draw recruiters in so they will want to learn more about you. Just remember to keep your story under 2,000 characters!

How to Use the Pixar Method in the About Section

The Pixar Method listed step-by-step
Once Upon a Time...

Set the stage by describing a pivotal or life-defining moment. It can be an event from your past or something more recent. If you are struggling to find a situation, ask yourself if there was a problem or conflict you were facing and how it helped you to become the person that you are today.

Until One Day...

Elaborate on what everyday life was like for you as you struggled with your conflict. Consider using your five senses to describe what it was like entirely.

And Because of This...

This is the climax of your journey. This is the moment when everything changes. What was it?

And Everyday...

Describe what happened after the climax. What did you do? How did you feel?

And Because of This...

You might now have to go on another journey due to the previous one. What else did you do?

Until Finally...

Share where this journey led you and what kind of person it made you.

People like stories. Stories can draw you in and make you want to know more. Anyone reading your LinkedIn profile will want to learn more about you and your story. Whether long or short, you have a story that is different from everyone else. So, what kind of story do you have to tell? If you’d like to learn more about how to write an effective bio with the Pixar Method, check out our blog here.

Now, What's Next?

So, there you have it! By posting a profile photograph, writing a headline and summary, and creating a cover image, you can enhance your LinkedIn page so that any recruiter or future employer can find you. All it takes is just a few minutes of your time to level up your profile so that you drastically improve your visibility in search results!

If you’d like to work with an expert Career Coach who can offer advice on everything from creating an excellent and engaging LinkedIn page to finding your purpose-filled career, consider signing up for a course today! From job seekers and career changers to college students and military spouses, there is a course geared toward your needs! For more tips on everything from finding the right purpose-filled career to nailing that interview, check out our blogs here.

Have a Super Day!

Helen Hensell

Helen Hensell

For as long as I could remember, I knew two things: I wanted to write and help people. But I didn’t know how I could do both. And then, I found Super Purposes, where I learned that I could make a difference through my words. As a writer, I hope to be able to use my words to make an impact.