It is great to have All-Star profile status to improve discoverability, but is your LinkedIn profile as stand out as you think? Here are 6 quick ways to take your LinkedIn profile from ordinary to memorable.
1. Select a profile picture that looks like you.
Did you know LinkedIn users with a profile picture get up to 21 more views than those without one? Although we live in an era of filters and selfies, you want to make sure your LinkedIn profile picture is current and accurately portrays what you look like on a regular basis. If you don’t have a professional headshot, modern smart phones make it simple to take your own.
Best profile picture tips:
- Use a high-resolution headshot that is cropped to square (1:1) where your face takes up 60% of the frame.
- Dress according to your profession.
- Edit wisely. Photo touch ups should be natural; don’t overdo it.
- Use a non-distracting background.
- Your facial expression and body language should exude confidence. Smile and make eye contact with the camera.
Your LinkedIn profile picture is an initial opportunity to present yourself as trustworthy and likable.
Curious about where your picture stands? Get your profile picture graded.
2. Use a meaningful background photo.
Your background photo is the visual backdrop for your LinkedIn profile. It should visually support your professional brand through obvious or subliminal meaning. Pick a background photo that aligns with your end goal whether that be getting a job, promoting your current company, or showing more about yourself. You can use a photo or design a custom image with free tools such as Canva.
- Background photo specs – maintain a 4:1 aspect ratio, dimensions 1,584px x 396px
- Limit the amount of text on your background photo as it may get cropped on different devices (mobile vs desktop)
Background photo ideas:
- Show off your hobbies – are you a runner? Do you volunteer? Do like to travel? Use imagery that represents this.
- Show something meaningful to you – consider imagery that shows your favorite place, tools of your profession, or unique scenery.
- Show professional achievements – display your credentials and skills.
3. Make your summary first impression worthy.
Think of your LinkedIn summary as your elevator pitch; you have 2,000 characters to make a great first impression as part of social selling. Your summary is not intended to be a section that repeats your work experience, but rather, connects the dots between who you are as a person and your career path. This is an opportunity to humanize your skills, credentials, responsibilities into a story.
- Write in first person.
- Incorporate what you do well with keywords describing your top skills.
- Show your character with traits such as loyalty, diligent, and humility.
- Explain the unique value you bring to an employer.
4. Be selective about your listed skills.
You may have a plethora of skills listed under your LinkedIn profile, some more mediocre than others. It is important to be selective of the skills you display as these skills are the keywords you come up under in searches. Focus your skill selection to only those that convey your professional brand story.
Best skills selection tips:
- Reorder your skills to list the most valuable ones at the top.
- Focus on marketable skills that are unique to what you can do and your profession.
- Remove irrelevant skills that don’t differentiate you and are almost assumed (i.e., email, typing, etc.)
5. Verify your skills.
If you want to validate yourself and stand apart from others, you can take skill assessments and display the results on your profile. This provides visible and verifiable proof of the skills you are claiming. LinkedIn data shows that those that verify their skills are 30% more likely to be hired.
Categories of skill assessments:
- Technical skills (i.e., HTML, Jquery, ArcGIS)
- Business skills (i.e., QuickBooks, Microsoft Power BI)
- Design skills (i.e., Adobe Illustrator, AutoCAD, Final Cut Pro)
View all the available LinkedIn skills assessments with sample questions for each here.
6. Use visuals to bring your experience to life.
Listing each work experience with responsibilities and accomplishments is great but using visuals will take this one step further. Use rich media to further tell your professional brand story and illustrate your capabilities.
Accepted media formats:
- Adobe PDF (.pdf)
- Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt/.pptx)
- Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx)
This is a great opportunity to show how you accomplished something through photos, videos, presentations, and links. Examples could be articles you’ve written, a video showing how to write an algorithm in a programming language, visual charts showing metrics achieved, and award badges.
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