9 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out | Mallory Whitfield | Skillshare

9 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

Mallory Whitfield, Artist / Speaker / Digital Marketer

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
12 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Setting an intention

    • 3. #1 - Headline

    • 4. #2 - Profile Photo

    • 5. #3 - Banner Image

    • 6. #4 - SEO (search engine optimization)

    • 7. #5 - Profile Sections

    • 8. #6 - About or Summary

    • 9. #7 - Experience

    • 10. #8 - Skills & Endorsements

    • 11. #9 - Recommendations

    • 12. Conclusion


About This Class

Whether you want to grow your professional network, begin the job hunt, or position yourself for a career pivot, LinkedIn is the place to be. Even though more than a quarter of all U.S. adults are on LinkedIn, many don't use this professional social network to its fullest potential. Join speaker and digital marketing strategist Mallory Whitfield for this class where she'll share tips for how to optimize your profile and amplify your career with LinkedIn.

In this class, we’ll cover how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out by optimizing these elements:

  • headline
  • profile photo
  • banner image
  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • profile sections
  • about / summary
  • experience
  • skills & endorsements
  • recommendations

This class also includes a downloadable PDF checklist that you can use to optimize your LinkedIn profile. You'll find it in the Class Project area!

If you like this class, be sure to also check out my other class, 7 Ways to Boost Your Engagement on LinkedIn:


1. Introduction: do you want to grow your professional network? Or maybe you're looking for a new job or you're ready to transition Career fields. If so, linked in is the place to be. Even though more than 1/4 of adults in the United States are one linked in, Ah, lot of people are not using this professional network to its fullest potential. Hi, my name is Valerie Whitfield. I work full time in digital marketing as both a director of marketing, and I currently teach a class on digital marketing for Tulane University's School of Professional Advancement. In this class, I'll share nine ways to make your linked in profile. Stand out. This is a great class for beginners delinked in, but it can also offer some tips for intermediate at people who are even a little bit more advanced. Linked in has been hugely beneficial for me. I've been able to grow by influence at my personal network, and I've also had quite a few recruiters reach out to me about potential opportunities in this class. I'll share nine ways that you can optimize your profile unlinked in to advance your career and grow your professional network will cover your headline, your profile photo, your banner image, search engine optimization, your profile sections you're about and summary section your work experience, your skills and endorsements and recommendations in each of these areas, all share examples of people who are doing a really great job of optimizing their profiles . You could see how it works for different people in different industries, and I'll share tips along the way. This class also include a downloadable PdF checklist, So I encourage you to download it, print it out and use it. Take a before and after photo of your linked in profile and share with us what you've learned. Let's get started. 2. Setting an intention: Hi. So first, let's talk about setting an intention and getting clear about why you're unlinked in and what your goals for using lengthen our. If you head over to the class project area of this class, you'll find this downloadable. PdF. So in this first box, you'll see that you want to define what is your goal for leg debt, And this is really important because you've got to get clear on why you're on linked in in the first place or get clear about what you're doing when it comes to any sort of social media platform or marketing, because if you're unclear about your goal, you're not going to be able to think strategically about what content to include what pictures to include the tone of voice that you want to convey on any individual site. There are lots of different reasons that people use LinkedIn. Maybe you are looking for a new job. We're looking to transition career field. That would be one type of goal or one type of intention. On the other hand, some people use LinkedIn as a place to grow their thought leadership. They want to be seen as an industry expert in their field, that might be a very different goal. On the other hand, some people are using linked in for sales and prospecting or recruiting. There's so many different reasons that people are using LinkedIn, so I want you to get clear. What are your reasons for using linked? I also encourage you to think about how do you want people to feel when they interact with you or see your profile in lengthen? One of my very favorite quotes of all time is incredible, Maya Angelou, who said. People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but they will never forget the way that you made them feel. And I think that's so true when we make somebody feel good or when we make somebody feel bad, those feelings stick with us for a very long time, and often on a place like LinkedIn, you have that first initial impression, and it can be hard to change that feeling about somebody after that first impression has been made. So getting really clear on how you want people to feel when they interact with you, whether it's in the news feed or via your profile or wherever else on LinkedIn. Think about that, because that's really gonna set the tone for how you go through the rest of this class. 3. #1 - Headline: your linked in headline is the number one way to make your linked in profile Stand out now . The reason this is because your linked in headlines shows up in lots of different places around LinkedIn. You'll see that if you make a post on the news feed, it shows up right underneath your name. If you make a comment on somebody else's post, it also shows up right underneath your name, and there's lots of different places that it shows up. So it's really important to be intentional about what you're including here. There's no right or wrong way, so I'm gonna show you some examples of how different people have handled it. So if I start typing a search for Ashley, for example, you can see this person that connected with Ashley Malone just includes a simple title of what she does. Director of Marketing and Smile Direct club. Whereas Ashley Ammons includes a title, she's president at Mixed Rose. She's also a speaker, and she includes an accomplishment named to Entrepreneur magazine's 100 powerful women of 2019. I've seen people use emojis in these headlines. There's lots of different ways that you can showcase what you dio gonna show another example. So I'm connected with a lot of different speakers because I do speaking myself so you can see how people within one industry, like speaking, have handled this in a lot of different ways. Award winning speaker, passionate diabetes advocate or keynote speaker and bestselling author. Um, there are lots of different ways to approach this speaker, consultant, author, cheese lover Investing in diversity, dividends that work so you can include a little bit of personality here in your headline. You can say what you do in terms of I help companies unlocking culture of care where HR means human relationships. So there's a lot of different approaches to the to this, you can focus just on titles of things that you do companies that you do, showing a little bit more personality. If you're actively seeking employment or specific opportunities, you can also up that your headline to say this prominently. If you want to edit your headline, here's where you do so so I'm currently logged into my own profile and you'll see this big pencil button here. So click that and it will open up the edit information for your introductory section. This is also where you edit your profile photo your your picture, your name, all that good stuff. So here is your headline. Now there is a character limit so you want to be short and sweet, but again showcase what you do, what you're really proud of and think about how you want to portray yourself to the rest of the world on linked in. 4. #2 - Profile Photo: the second way to help your linked in profile Stand out is your profile photo. So here's mine. If you want to swap yours, just log in with this little tensile button. Click this one and then you can upload at it. Reposition your photo here. You'll see some profile photos from some folks that linked in is suggesting that I connect with and you'll notice that a couple of these people don't appear tohave profile photos. Now one thing that I became aware of when I was doing some consulting for some folks on Linked in is that sometimes the privacy settings that you have set can prevent your photo from appearing to people, even if you have a photo uploaded, depending on how you have your privacy settings and evil people might not be able to see it so they might not be able to see what you look like. Connect with you. Be interested in clicking further, much like your headline. There are plenty of different ways to approach what type of photo you include on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional network, but you don't have to be stuffy. See, this photo is professional but still friendly It's a well shot photo. It's clear it's easy to see, but it's just a personality. And this person is an art director, designer, author, illustrator. So a more casual photo makes sense for what he does professionally, where, as this gentleman, Tim is in a full suit, some of these photos you know you can see the differences. Some people are smiling. Some people look more serious. Some people are holding baby alligators of there's lots of different ways to showcase your personality. But I do recommend you think about your photo from how you want to portray yourself how you want other people to see you unlinked in. Do you want to be seen as somebody who is smiling and, you know, engaging somebody? Somebody would want to be friends. Whether connect with Are you uploading a photo that looks like it's maybe more appropriate for Facebook that looks more casual or like it was taken at a party or a bar? Maybe not the type of image that you want to portray on linked in. If you want to prevent this situation where your photo doesn't appear, even if you've uploaded it, I'm gonna show you how So if you go into settings and privacy, opens in a new window and go into edit your public profile, many click change and then over here they'll be your profiles. Public visibility. So I have might already switched on. And you can set here your profile photos specifically, how you want that to appear. I have mindset to public. So anybody, even if they're not logged in conceit. My profile. Photo on linked in You may want to appear on Lee to all linked in members. Some folks only have it to set to appear to their network or only to first degree connections. So those photos I just showed you might have been set to one of these two. But if you are actively looking for a job or wanna make more connections, you might want to set it to either all linked and members or set it to public 5. #3 - Banner Image: the third way to make your linked in profile Stand out is with your banner. So here you'll see that I have a fun photo of me performing on stage on the way to update your banner is the same area as where you update your profile, photo your name, your headline, all of that. You'll see that specific pixel recommendation 15 84 by three and 96 is what you can upload . You can also drag to reposition it, just like you do with your profile photo. So I'm gonna show you a few examples of what some people have done with their profile banners. So this is someone who hasn't uploaded their own custom banner. So this is what linked in shows as a default banner. If you don't upload your own and there's nothing wrong with this, it looks fight. It's just a missed opportunity to add some additional information or additional personality about yourself on LinkedIn. Here is one person Arthur, who has included a fun graphic image, kind of like what I did. We're just doing a little bit of personality with a photo or graphic. This person that I connected with recently it works for this company Smart. So they have posted a graphic that promotes their company. I also love their little use of emoji in their headline. Communication is key, so they work in marketing and communication. Here's another example. Quinton, who does a lot of great influencer work on Linked in It's got a great interesting headline here and here. You can see how he's tied it all together. So has got the profile photo, and this banner actually says, Follow me. So this is actually in the image itself and mentions Contact us for video storytelling, lead generation, personal branding, strategy and content and has the website your URL. So it also shows him speaking on stage because he's a Ted ex speaker. If you want to create your own custom banner and don't want to just upload a something as simple as a photograph, you could use a tool like Can Va to do so. Now, Canada is a really great free or paid graphic design tool. They have both free and paid versions, and here you can see they have a lot of great templates for linked in banners these air already size and the exacts that in the exact right specifications, and you can upload your own photos. Change out the words. Here are some examples You could have your photo and your name and what your title is and just give you the option to have a couple of different photos. You could put your favorite quote. You could put more information about your company on there, and all of these are very customized. We'll pop into one. Just you can see how this works. So if you've never used canvas a really great tool, you can drag and drop. You can change out all of this text. Change out all the photos you can upload your own photos. It's a really great tool, and then you just download it and then upload it into your linked in profile. 6. #4 - SEO (search engine optimization): another way to help your profile stand out on linked in is through etc. Oh, or search engine optimization. This is important because if somebody searches for you, even on Google, LinkedIn is often one of the first sites that will come up even if you actually have your own website. So, for example, this I searched for Lilia Gallant, who is a friend of mine and a speaker here in New Orleans where I live, and she has her own website. So she had a lot of information about her own website pop up. She also writes for Forbes and has for many years so that popped up was the second result. But if you scroll down to just the third result, her linked in profile is the third result on the Google search page. This is above the book that she wrote This is above her Twitter Page or her Facebook page, so that linked in profile is going to be one of the first things that people see when they search for her. And this is often true of many people, even people who you know, have their own website or are so influential in some way This is another friend of mine who is a speaker. Dr Samuel Jones. You can see videos of him speaking that appear on YouTube are some of the first things to show up at his linked in profile is actually the second thing. It's the first result. That's not a video. It comes above the Speaker Agency website. It comes above this other speaker directory, and so it's really important to have your linked in profile really optimized, especially if your own website isn't optimized if you have one. This is another friend of mine, Ashley Robinson. So I recently helped her update her linked in profile, which she is still in the process of, you know, continuing to refine it. I'm always continuing to refine my own profile, but here you can see her linked in profile shows up as the third result. If somebody searches for her name with New Orleans behind it, eso this company where she works. It's actually nonprofit organization while see two pages the staff page in the specific page about her show up first in the Google search results. But after that, it is our linked in profile. So even if it was you know you're looking for a new apartment, and the landlord is researching. You're you're looking for a new job and somebody's looking you up online. Your linked in profile is often one of the first things that people are gonna find on the Internet when they do the Google search. So it's really important toe have your linked in profile up to date. Of course, linked in does have its own internal search engine, which is how you find jobs or people or groups. So it's important to optimize your own profile around what you want to be found for one linked in itself. So here I've searched digital marketing because that is a space that I work in so you can see some of the other people that appear if you type in digital marketing, there are speakers about digital marketing. There's digital marketing manager, digital marketing and content expert. Again, you can see the importance of a headline in a profile, so think about including phrases that somebody might be searching for whether on linked in or on Google and including those in all the different parts of your profile. 7. #5 - Profile Sections: the fifth way to help your profile stand out unlinked in is to take advantage of all of the different tools that Lincoln offers, including all of the profile sections that are appropriate to you and your work and career experience. So here I'm logged into my own profile, and I've clicks this ad profile section so you can see all of the different options under intro. You can show that you're looking for job opportunities or that you provide services to your clients under your about section. So I've completed this section, but you'll get props if you haven't already beefed up your profile. As much as I've beefed up in the featured section, you can add your favorite post or documents portfolio, things that you've created. You could include links to specific website content. Down here is what that looks like on my section. So I do speaking. So I've included some different videos to some of my speaker videos, and you can also edit that from here, drag drop of rearrange at it and delete moving on under the back ground section. So this is the part of your profile that feels a little bit like a resume, you can add different work experience. You can add education. You can even add licenses and certifications. If that is relevant to you. You can also specify your volunteer experience. Maybe you're early on in your career, and you want to include voluntary experience to help beef up your linked in profile. Or maybe you're transitioning to another career where you're volunteering your volunteer experiences more relevant to the type of role that you want to move into. You can add skills. You can add accomplishment so the accomplishments might be relevant for some people and not to other. So it's up to you. But here's just a few of the options publications, patents, courses, projects, honors and awards, test scores, languages and organizations. Under this additional information, you can request a recommendation, which I'll speak to more specifically in a later video, and you can also add other languages. So if you are bilingual or Multilingual, you can add that here 8. #6 - About or Summary: the sixth way to help your linked in profile stand out is to focus on your about section or your summary, so I'm gonna show you a few different examples. But I suggest writing your summary in first person, and there's a lot of different ways to approach this. But first person, instead of writing about yourself in the third person, seems more authentic and just offers you the opportunity to tell your story from your own perspective and help you connect more deeply with the people when linked in. So this is Joe owes profile and, as you can see, is the founder and CEO of local or And he tells the history of how he got started with his company and what the other companies they work for during the course of his career are he also named some of the companies and organizations that he's worked as a consultant or adviser for since it's pretty standard telling your history of your work experience your professional career. Some people are on linked in with the purpose of selling either their own work or selling on behalf of another company. So this is all back to what is your purpose on LinkedIn. Are you looking for a job? You're using it for sales, but so this is Laurie, who I know does sales. So she talks about you know what she does. She's a change maker, a game changer. She talks about some of the company leaders that reach out to her business, the company leaders that come to her and like, why they come to her. And here she includes, You know, this called action. Let's talk with her email address or phone number and some hash tags. So over here in Quentin's profile, if you watch the video about that Lincoln banner, we already looked at his profile from that aspect, but he's a great about section as well. He encourages you right off the bat to D. M him for more info because he makes brands and people more money through videos and stories. I like the use of the emoji check marks here to kind of make this section pop with how he can help you, and he includes his website. You're all right here. Now you'll notice the about section. It doesn't make these website euros clickable, but I think it's really helpful to include information about how to contact you, whether online on LinkedIn. Message me for more info or include the link to a website that you can check out for more information. This is my friend Samantha's profile. You can see you don't have to go super long. Hers is pretty short and sweet on this about section. It's only two short paragraphs, but it still gives a good overview of what she does in terms of her career. She works for. She went to West Point. She works in the military, and she mentioned some of her leadership skills. She leads cross cultural teams. Here is another example over here, the founder of a company called Inclusion. It's a different way to organize your about section. A serial entrepreneur of 17 years, he has been featured in all of these different publications. A little humble brag there, which I think could be helpful depending on what your goals are linked and are and again includes a way to connect with him offline on LinkedIn, so includes both an email address as well as a callin legally, so that means that you can click this and find a way to directly schedule an appointment to chat with him, Um, assuming via phone or like a Zuma conversation. And finally, here's somebody else that was suggested to me. I'm not connected with Adam yet, but he is currently looking for employment, So he mentions that he's currently looking up here in his headline, and he also mentions that further in his about section, so explains that he was laid off in March 2020 due to cope in 19. I think that's a very understandable scenario. In this day and age, he's definitely and let not alone. So then he goes on to describe some key initiative that he helped to accomplish in his past roles, and he also uses Emojis uses the little Black A box to kind of turn this into bullet points . So I think these air some really great examples of different ways that you can use that about section 9. #7 - Experience: the next way to make your linked in profile stand out is with your experience section. So here you can see my own experience section and I'm logged in, of course, and your experience section feels most like a resume, so it's important to keep it up to date, and it will help you when you do need to update that resume to go on a job search. If you need to add a new section to your resume, as long as you're logged in, you should see this plus button. And from there, if you click it, you can add your title. You can add your employment type. You don't have to add this, but you can. If you want a feature that you can say the company. And as you start typing in the company, it should give you options for things to include. Now you can include the location. I'm in New Orleans so similarly, if you start typing, it should give you different options. You can see if you're currently working in this role, or if it was a pastor roll. It will give you the option. If it's a current role to end one of your current positions. You don't have to. If you're doing part time, work on multiple different jobs, it will give you this option to update your headline or to not update your headline. And then here you can include a description of what that role entailed. You could also upload or linked to any documents, photos, presentations that were relevant to that role. And then here you can enable it to automatically share it with your network or switch this feature off. So this is a really great way to boost your engagement. If you want to let people know that you got a new job or a new promotion, if you had multiple roles at a company, you can also do that too. So you can see here. This is my own company, Malaprop LLC. So I have been doing this company for more than 14 years, and I have I warn a lot of different hats within this role. So I've included here my work as a speaker where you can see even uploaded some media, some photos and videos of me speaking. I've done work as a digital marketing consultant on a lot of different things here you can see one of my more formal rules and how and showed how that transition. So I've included two different roles here. I can update either one and again you go back to that plus button that I just showed you and add it for the same company, and that will give you what appears here. So for about a year, I was a full time director of marketing, and then the company went through some restructuring. So I've updated my rolls here at Look far to clarify that, so that if somebody is looking at me for a potential opportunity, it's really clear about how my career has transitioned over time. And with so many people doing part time jobs in the gig economy, I think this is a really helpful feature that linked in offers. Now you can also rearrange these roles. You can use this hamburger tight line menu on and kind of drag and drop it to rearrange things, and it will go away if you move your mouse away as you see. But if you hover back over it, it will up here again when thinking about what to include in the description of Futural try to think in terms of the benefits instead of the features. This is something that we think about in sailed. So think about what you specifically did that was valuable to the company. So, for example, in this description of my work, it look far. I mentioned how a newsletter that I curate for the company, the subscriber base increased more than 635% since I took over that newsletter. So I have included that I spearheaded the expansion of the third and fourth annual Ada Lovelace Awards on and that I helped to grow that awards to nearly 100 nominees from across the Gulf South region. Now, there are some people that don't include this description at all, and you know something is better than nothing. So if you're just trying to get your linked in profile up and started, and you wanna do a certain amount of work right away and then come back and fill in this description later offs always okay, but definitely think about coming back and filling in more information in this description part because what you include here is also gonna help in terms of the search visibility. Remember, I mentioned SC Ofer linked in our search engine optimization. And so this description is one opportunity for you to use those keywords or phrases that people might be looking for when it comes to your experience on linked in. 10. #8 - Skills & Endorsements: the next area to focus on to improve your linked in profile is your skilled and endorsements area, which is seen right here. So this section is right below your experience on your education. You can take a skill quiz. This is a newer feature added by LinkedIn. You can actually take multiple choice quizzes. Get a badge for your skill, and it will recommend quizzes that are based on your existing skills that are mentioned in your profile already, as well as give you options for other quizzes that are included here. You can also manually add a new skill and rearrange your skills. So if you don't have any skills added, you'll click. Add new skills, and it will suggest skills based off of your existing profile. Or you can type in other things. If you click this edit button with the little pencil, you can also drag and drop the most important skills to your top skills area so you can see here that I have three top skills pen. I have public speaking, keynote speaking and marketing strategy, but if I wanted to drag one of these other ones, I would just grab the hamburger menu or for wanna delete one hit that trash can. Now you can see that I've been endorsed by other people who are also highly skilled at certain things, and I think that's really important when it comes to getting endorsements, forgiving endorsements. Think about the relevancy of the people that you are asking to give you an endorsement. Are they also skilled or knowledgeable about the thing that you're asking to be endorsed for? Similarly, if you are going to endorse someone else, do you have the skills and knowledge to properly endorse them? If you got a recommendation on your accounting skills from your dentist, does that really help as much as getting a recommendation for your accounting skills from another accountant or a C P A. 11. #9 - Recommendations: and finally the last, but not least, if I will share for making your linked in profile. Stand out is recommendations, so recommendations appear near the bottom of your profile, but they are definitely something that could be really helpful. You can also use these recommendations as quotes on your website or quotes in a cover letter for too attached to resume. For example, you can see I've given 17 recommendations and received 11 currently. As of this recording, so you can ask for a recommendation here on LinkedIn. It gives you this handy little tool, which I will show you. So you can say who you want to ask for a recommendation. This is my friend Ashleigh. So then it will ask. How do you know Ashley? Did they work for you? Did you report to them? Etcetera? Did you train or study together where their mentor And then you can say what your position waas. So it'll give you the option based on what's already in your resume, and you can choose that so you can use this linked in future and I do recommend using it. However, I would also say Reach out personally before you use this or at the same time, so you can either send them a direct message via the messaging future on Linked in to say, Hey, I'm about to send you a request for a recommendation. I would be happy to also recommend you in return or send them a direct email or a text message or a phone call or something. I would just before you use this feature recommend. Go ahead and follow up personally one on one, just to ensure that they get that request for the recommendation, Um, and so that it feels a little bit more personal and less transactional. When you reach out for that request for recommendation, I would also suggest Give them talking points for specific things that you want them to mention. Make it as easy for them as possible to help you out. You could even write a draft of what you want this to say based on your relationship with that person, and then let them edit it to fit their own words. So what if somebody takes the time to leave you an amazing recommendation? But maybe there's an error and you don't catch it Until later. I had this situation with somebody that I was helping where somebody had left them a recommendation and they had missed used a word they wrote that this person was contentious when they actually meant to say conscientious. It was a, you know, totally understandable misspelling. But contentious means that, you know, somebody fights a bit in a job environment where conscientious made that they're very thoughtful so that two words have opposite meetings. It was important to reach out and ask that person update this. So how did you do that is You click this edit button and then it will show you all of the recommendations that you've given or received. If you have one that you just want to hide entirely, you can switch this button, click it off. You can also ask that person for a revision. Similarly, you can see all of the ones that you've given toe, others you can delete or revise. If you know, maybe your relationships with that person has changed because of some reason you might want to do that 12. Conclusion: So that is it for this class on ways to make your linked in profile. Stand out. I hope you found it helpful. Be sure to head to the class projects area and use this worksheet to guide you through as you update your profile. And if you want toe share what you've done it. Take a before and after screenshot of your linked in profile and share it with us in the class project area. If you like this class, be sure to leave a review and also check out my other class on ways to boost your engagement on linked in thanks.