By Biron Clark
According to LinkedIn, there are 675+ million users on the platform, as of February 1, 2020.
So while standing out is not easy, there are still some opportunities to set yourself apart (that most job seekers do not know about and do not take advantage of).
In this article, I will walk you through 6 areas where you can make your LinkedIn profile stand out to recruiters and hiring managers.
You have many opportunities to gain attention on LinkedIn. Start with these six ways to make a big impact for your job search:
There is no rule that says your LinkedIn headline needs to be your job title, yet most job seekers do not adjust their headline (or take full advantage of the space it offers).
Get creative with your headline and put more than just your last job title, and you will get more attention on LinkedIn.
In my experience as a recruiter, very few people have recommendations from colleagues, former bosses, and coworkers.
Most people have been endorsed by colleagues for specific skills, but a LinkedIn endorsement is not the same thing as a LinkedIn recommendation.
A recommendation is a personalized, hand-typed endorsement from someone who knows your work, speaking to your accomplishments, your positive traits, or whatever they feel like recommending you for.
And having even one or two recommendations can set your profile apart because many job seekers have zero.
To get started with this:
You can mention that you read this article talking about how recommendations are a powerful way to distinguish yourself and set your profile apart from the millions of others out there.
Just like recommendations, very few profiles have media or attachments in my experience.
I don’t ever recommend attaching your full resume. It comes across as needy, and it gives millions of strangers access to private data!
But, I do recommend taking advantage of the ability to attach other media.
Even one or two attachments can grab a recruiter’s attention! Then, they stop scrolling and start reading your profile more carefully (which is the first step to getting them to call you for that job!)
You can put attachments in your "About" section and in your "Experience" section.
This section of your LinkedIn profile showcases recent posts you’ve made, comments you’ve left, and articles you’ve published.
That last part is what we will focus on here --
Publishing even one short article on LinkedIn can help distinguish you as someone who’s knowledgeable and passionate about your field (which employers will LOVE).
Not every recruiter and hiring manager will click through and read the article when they see it on your profile, but they will likely be impressed by the fact that you have published an article either way. Most people have not done this, so it is a great way to stand out as an expert.
This section appears near the top of your profile, so it is likely to be seen by anyone checking out your information.
Most people have content here, but it is typically quite short and/or generic.
LinkedIn allows a lot of content in this space (you can easily fit multiple paragraphs), so get creative and write something to show employers what’s unique about you.
For more inspiration, read some profiles of other people in your industry and see what stands out about their "About" section. There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other profiles; just don’t plagiarize!
It is often much easier to get ideas for your own profile by browsing other profiles. Staring at your own profile and trying to write brilliant content with no outside reference is often more difficult.
Most people on LinkedIn have filled out their Experience section, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still do more to stand out here.
By putting more details in your Experience section while also making it better-spaced and easier to read, you’ll attract and impress more recruiters and employers.
LinkedIn has millions of active users, so a few extra steps are needed if you want to get noticed and get interviews on the platform. However, by taking the extra steps above, you can capitalize on the opportunities that other job seekers are missing. As a result, you will stand out and get contacted by recruiters and employers. While it might seem intimidating or difficult to get noticed among so many other people in your industry or function, very few are taking advantage of everything we looked at above. So, view this as an opportunity for you to gain an edge in your job search.
Biron Clark is a former Executive Recruiter for multiple Fortune 500 firms and venture-funded tech startups, and founder of the job search advice website Career Sidekick. His advice is read by more than one million people a month and has been mentioned/quoted in CNBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Business.com, Yahoo Finance, The Muse, and more. Selected by LinkedIn as one of 10 "Top Voices for Job Search and Careers," follow Biron on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @bironclark.