In our last post, we shared Ümit’s insights into LinkedIn’s company values and what his role as a content manager for them entails. Ümit Uludag has worked for LinkedIn Germany since 2019, developing content for German language e-learning courses on topics such as marketing, diversity, and tech. He himself has over 500 connections and 681 followers on LinkedIn.
In this follow-up article about Ümit’s advice to the EU community, we’ve summarized his tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out and how you can use the platform’s posting and publishing tools to not only increase engagement with your own profile, but also to learn from other professionals within your network.
How to make your LinkedIn profile stand out
Ümit thinks of LinkedIn profiles as being less like resumes and more like digital portfolios. According to him, your profile should be a dynamic mix of information and images that all come together to tell your professional story.
But with over 750 million members worldwide, how can you make sure your LinkedIn profile stands out?
1. Add a photo. It doesn’t have to be a professional headshot (though it should be in high res), it just has to show your network your professional and authentic self. Members with a profile picture get up to 9x more connection requests, 21x more profile views, and 36x more messages than those without.
2. Update/add your name pronunciation. You can do this via the LinkedIn mobile app. Your name is an important part of your identity, and knowing how to pronounce it will help your network feel more connected to you.
3. Add your industry. Often, this is how other professionals will find you and connect with you. More than 300.000 people search by industry on LinkedIn every week, and members with industry information on their profiles receive up to 9x more profile views than those without. They are also up to 38x more likely to appear in recruiter searches, so this is a must-do if you are using LinkedIn to search for jobs.
4. Clarify your job-seeking status. If you’re looking for/open to new opportunities, show employers you are open to work by clicking “add profile section” and selecting “intro,” “looking for a new job.” This feature allows you to specify your job preferences and filter the people who can see you are looking (your network or recruiters only).
5. Write a compelling summary. Think of this as being like your elevator pitch. It should introduce you to your network and highlight your career accomplishments and aspirations. Adding a summary of 40+ words makes your profile more likely to turn up in future recruiter searches. See our recent post on How to Write an Elevator Pitch to help you with this one!
6. Feature content. Showcase the work you are most proud of right at the top of your profile. Share articles, documents, links, or rich media like photos, videos, and presentations with your audience. This will visually enhance your profile and make it more dynamic.
7. Add your professional experience. This is your opportunity to tell your professional story and talk about your accomplishments in each of your roles. Ümit recommends you write a short paragraph under each heading rather than using bullet points, because this will make it read like a story. In addition to what you did, make sure you highlight the impact you had, results you delivered, and changes you made. Did you know? Members with detailed positions listed on their profiles receive up to 5x more connection requests, 8x more profile views, and 10x more messages than those with half-completed profiles.
8. Add volunteer experience. This is a great way to round out your professional identity. Half of the employers surveyed by LinkedIn say they treat volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience, and members who add volunteer experience to their profiles get up to 6x more profile views than those without.
9. Add skills & get endorsed. By adding skills, you can showcase what you’re great at. Members who add 5 or more skills receive up to 17x more profile views than those who don’t have any skills listed. Hiring managers also search key skills across LinkedIn, so this is another great way to be found by recruiters.
10. Request a recommendation. Recommendations are a great way to help you build your credibility and validate your skills. Request recommendations from colleagues, professors, managers, etc. Always customize your request and let the person you are contacting know what you want to be recommended for specifically. When you make the request, you could write a first pass or outline to help them, to show that you value their time. Remember to ask people you have worked with closely, so they can provide specific examples of your impact and achievements.
In addition to this, it is also crucial to keep your profile up to date. Make sure your location, education, and accomplishments are current at all times, to maximize your chances of being discovered and contacted by recruiters. Furthermore, sharing posts and status updates and publishing longform articles are all great ways of attracting people to your profile.
Posting vs. publishing, what’s the difference?
Posting on LinkedIn is a great way to share personal and professional insights with your network in short bursts. Update your status, post video or article links, or share a quote that resonates with you to generate impressions and engagements from your network.
You can have 500+ connections on LinkedIn, so it’s important that what you’re posting is original and fresh to garner attention. Here are some of Ümit’s top tips for making your posts stand out in the feed:
- Be authentic. This is your opportunity to really (and he means really) connect with your network. It’s important to be genuine, to stay on brand, and to show up consistently.
- Post regularly. The more you share, the more likely your profile is to be discovered. Ümit recommends setting reminders to post on your phone or calendar to help you create and stick to a regular posting schedule.
- Start a conversation. Encourage your network to talk to you. Ask questions and always respond to comments. The more engaged you are, the more people your status update will reach.
- Include rich media to further increase engagement. Photos and videos will catch peoples’ eyes as they are scrolling. Posts that include rich media get more likes and comments than plain text updates.
Publishing, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to share insights and the benefit of your experience in more detail. LinkedIn posts are limited to 3,000 characters, which is approximately 500-600 words. If you want to delve deeper into a topic, publish an article on your LinkedIn profile instead.
To publish a successful article on LinkedIn, you’ll need to:
- Come up with an attention-grabbing headline. If you wouldn’t stop scrolling for it, the chances are neither will anyone else, so make sure it’s eye-catching and leaves your audience wanting to know more.
- Use photos to your advantage. Again, a cover photo will attract more attention, but you can also use photographs within your article to break up the blocks of text and make it more readable. LinkedIn publications that include pictures are proven to get more views and comments, so it’s well worth the extra effort of sourcing the images!
- Be authentic. You have a lot to offer, and the people in your network follow you because they want to hear your views, so be truthful in what you share.
- Think about your audience. You want to create a balance between what they want to hear and what you think they’d benefit from learning. Tailor your content to your audience’s preferences to maximize your chances of engagement. For example, if you’re followed by a lot of people in the tech sphere, share your views on breaking news in that sector.
- Don’t ramble! The optimum length for a LinkedIn article is between 600-1.000 words.
Anything you publish on LinkedIn becomes part of your profile. It also gets shared with your network and beyond, allowing you to reach out to the largest group of professionals online. The biggest advantage of publishing articles instead of just posting status updates, however, is that once you start publishing, other people can start following your profile. This means, when you post in the future, your status updates and articles will show up in their feed.
To get the most out of LinkedIn, you will want to share a diversity of posts, including status updates, articles, and rich media, in order to maintain a regular presence and encourage your audience to engage with you. Plus, it’s a two-way platform, so don’t forget to follow individuals, companies, and influencers who inspire you, too. Engage with and learn from their posts to further your own professional development.