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5 Steps to Creating a Strong LinkedIn Profile

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Make sure you get noticed on the best social network for professionals!

If you're looking to make the most of your online networking, then LinkedIn is the place to be. But with 467 MILLION profiles, and more being added every day, it's difficult to get noticed, particularly if you work in a highly competitive industry such as finance, insurance or legal. So, here at IDEX, we decided to create a step by step guide for people that want to stand out on LinkedIn.

This article is accessible for everyone, whether you're just setting up your LinkedIn profile, or you want to give a makeover to your existing one. Here are 5 steps to creating a strong profile:

1. Upload a Professional Photo

Uploading a professional photo of yourself is the first step to creating a great LinkedIn profile. In fact, research has found that adding a professional photo to your LinkedIn can result in up to14 times more profile views.

  • Make sure you look professional and personable

  • Have a friend or a colleague take a photo for you. No selfies!

  • Make sure you use a recent photo of yourself 

Remember: your profile photo acts almost like a first impression, so make it great! 

2. Create a Stand-Out Headline

Changing your headline is one more way you can stand out among other people in your industry. When changing your headline, think of something that summarises your unique selling points to potential employers.

  • Keep it short, creative, and memorable

  • Speak directly to your audience

  • Include a keyword or two to better your chances of being ranked highly in Google searches  

Here is a good example of a stand-out headline:

3. Complete Your Profile

When you sign up to LinkedIn, there are three main sections to your profile: summary, education, and experience. Let's talk about these in more detail...

Think of this as your elevator pitch. Your summary should be personalised and highlight your biggest accomplishments and best qualities, but it should also be succinct and easy to read.

If you're a senior executive with 25+ years' of experience, then education is certainly not as important as on-the-job experience. But if you have less experience then we would recommend that you fill this section in if you can. 

It's likely that potential connections will look here first, so don't be afraid to add detail. Give descriptions of your previous roles, highlighting the skills that you used and gained, and the accomplishments you achieved in each role.

You can add up to 50 skills to your page and your connections can endorse you for these skills. According to Entrepreneur, your LinkedIn profile has13 times more chance of being viewed if you add your skills.

  • Remember to add your contact information to your profile. You can do this by selecting 'Edit Profile' at the top of the homepage and then navigating to 'Contact Info' 

  • Use rich media where possible -- videos and images help to create a visual portfolio and will be more engaging for your connections.

Recommendations are undoubtedly the best way to capture attention on LinkedIn. They show that you are a trustworthy and well-liked colleague and employee. At the very least, you should have two recommendations from your most recent -- or most important -- positions.

Remember: Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations! 

You can do this by heading to the 'Manage Your Recommendations' tab. Click 'Ask For Recommendations', choose the role you want to be recommended for and then select who you want to ask:

The recommendation will appear under your received tab. If you're happy with it, then add it to your profile. 

  • Ask for recommendations from people you know well

  • Give recommendations in return

  • Keep recommendations up-to-date

4. Customise Your URL

By customising your URL, you make it easier for people to find you and share your profile. To customise your URL, log in to your LinkedIn account and head to your public profile. On the right-hand side, you will see the option to change your URL. Click on the pencil icon next to your URL and create your own unique link:

5. Engage with Your Network

 Be strategic with who you connect with. Contact coworkers, industry-related peers, and past and present clients.

  • Keep your connections at a manageable level

  • If you have more than 3,000 connections, filter out people that are no longer relevant

Updating your status regularly will help you to capture the attention of connections because it shows that you are in-the-know about current events in your industry. If you feel comfortable with writing content, then posting articles on LinkedIn -- past and present -- is another great way to capture attention.

If you don't have anything to say, then sharing relevant industry content is also a great way to keep your profile in the spotlight. You can do this simply by scrolling down your homepage and sharing posts of interest:

  • Post or share content regularly

  • Make sure your updates are relevant to your industry 

Think of LinkedIn as a professional marketplace. There are millions of potential stalls for recruiters and connections to look at, and you have to make sure yours looks the best.

We hope the 5 steps highlighted in this article will improve your chances of capturing attention. 

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