They all look the same don’t they? Same font, similar layout and often similar information. So what can you do to make sure your LinkedIn profile stands out from the sea of blandness we are used to on LinkedIn.
Here are my five top tips for profile ‘standoutability’
Put a coloured border around your profile picture.
Assuming you do have a profile picture (if you don’t you really do have very little chance of being remembered!) you can play a trick with the viewers eye by drawing attention with a brightly coloured border. Take a look at the example below and notice how your eyes are automatically drawn to the red bordered profile picture.
This is not something that you can do within LinkedIn, it requires some basic editing of your profile photo prior to uploading it to LinkedIn.
This can easily be done with most photo editing software but if you are not sure how to do it you might want to download this free step-by-step guide.
Write a unique and compelling headline in 120 characters.
When you first created your profile LinkedIn populated your professional headline with your job title and employer for you. This can (and should) be changed to a sentence that accurately describes who you are and what you offer.
I would advise typing your copy in Word or similar word processing software first so that you can count the characters, spellcheck and make sure that it makes sense as a full sentence. The LinkedIn field is too small to be able to see the full 120 characters in edit mode.
Be mindful of keywords (words that people may use when searching for someone like you) as this field is especially keyword sensitive.
It may also be advisable to include your name (if you have room). This is because people outside of your network using a free account will not normally see your full name in a search result.
Both the above techniques are applicable to a search shortlist result and will hopefully encourage viewers to click on to your profile. The following tips refer to making your profile more attractive when viewed.
You can enhance the look and information provided by attaching various types of media into your profile under the Summary, Experience and is Education sections.
You can add videos, presentations and even audio by linking to a variety of websites such as YouTube, SlideShare or SoundCloud. You can also add smaller files (under 100mb) straight from your computer such as documents, spreadsheets and images.
This not only adds more information and a better look to your profile but it also makes it more unique.
Edit your company display name.
When you select the company you work for in the experience section, LinkedIn will automatically insert the name of the company as shown in their company profile. This may be suffice but you can improve this by adding a better, more interesting description to the name by using the ‘edit display name’ link when in edit mode (See below)
This not only makes this field more interesting it can also more accurately inform the reader which specific division, branch or specialist area of the organisation you work within.
You have 100 characters so why not use them?
Add a background image to the top of your profile.
Originally this feature was only available to premium account holders but LinkedIn are now rolling it out to all users.
You will need to ensure that you use a high quality image and that the dimensions fit within LinkedIn’s guidance of 1400 x 425 pixels and no larger than 8mb. Avoid using images with text/font and the letters usually look very pixellated.
As you can see the results can really improve the look of your profile.
So there you have it, five simple techniques that can have an immediate impact on the quality and attractiveness of your profile.
Why not have a go at all five and then post a link to your profile in the comments below.