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How to stand out in 2020 with your LinkedIn profile

12 February 2020 By Chris Morrison GAICD

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LinkedIn has more than 660 million users and that number grows daily so if you’re looking to stand out amongst the crowd and progress your career or grow your personal brand then there are a few things you can do to polish your profile.


The days of only updating your resume for a job application are long gone. New careers or opportunities could be a click away if the right person discovers your LinkedIn profile and it’s looking sharp. Even if you’re not on the job hunt, maintaining your personal brand by sharing your knowledge and valuable content can showcase your experience, build relationships and help you stand out.


We’ve listed our five top tips to help you grow your LinkedIn network and be seen by recruiters.


1. First impressions count

As soon as a recruiter or potential employer clicks on your LinkedIn profile you have an opportunity to impress them. Plus, if you pique their interest, they’ll spend more time discovering who you are.

  • Make sure your profile photo is a professional and clear photo of you. This is such an obvious one but still many users have pixelated or no photo of themselves.
  • Optimise your headline by ensuring it is succinct and sets you apart from your peers. You have 120 words to create an elevator pitch for a recruiter quickly flicking through your page. Use it to your advantage.
  • Use you background photo feature. Very few LinkedIn users utilise this feature, but it is a great way to showcase your personal brand, key achievements or portfolio.


2. Beat the buzzwords

We all use them as they quickly sum up what we have or can achieve for an organisation but when everyone uses them, they lose their impact. Some of the favourite buzz words in the past decade were:

  • Specialised
  • Experienced
  • Skilled
  • Leadership
  • Passionate
  • Expert
  • Motivated
  • Creative
  • Strategic
  • Focused

It is best to avoid these words and instead describe your achievements, experience and skills using your own relaxed but professional vocabulary. Then back these statements up with facts and figures.


3. Boost your profile’s visibility

If your profile is looking sharp but you still aren’t receiving many views, then applying effective Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques to your profile is the secret to increasing traffic.

  • Make sure your headline contains keywords as this is the most prominent branding message, as well as the most highly rated field in the index (aside from your name).
  • Update your job title to include more than just your official title. There are 100 spaces available so make the most of them and include keywords relevant to what you do.
  • The skills and expertise area on your LinkedIn profile is one of the most under-utilised and misunderstood sections. The keywords contained in this section are not only searchable by recruiters but when the skills on your profile are endorsed by others, they can draw serious traffic.


4. Be proactive

It is one thing to have an SEO-optimised and updated LinkedIn profile but being proactive and engaging with your LinkedIn network can really help you stand out. Continually updating your profile with new information and content is important but even more so is creating or sharing valuable knowledge and industry-related articles. If you are blogging and it is relevant to your professional image, then include your blog posts and link to your website. It is also important to be strategic with who you connect to on LinkedIn and make sure you engage with their content by commenting, liking and even sharing their posts. We recommend setting aside between five to ten minutes per day on LinkedIn to see real results.


5. Be different

Creating videos is not a new concept but including them in your LinkedIn profile is something you may not have considered, and it is a growing trend. It is also a different way to share content and connect with your followers. Here are some best-practice tips to consider when creating video for LinkedIn:

  • Keep videos to less than 10mins.
  • Tell a story: real emotions are inspiring and much more interesting than dry, robot-like content.
  • Use interesting and captivating visuals that capture people’s attention and are moving, powerful and arousing.
  • Write detailed descriptions for your videos that are accurate, so followers get what they expect.
  • Include subtitles as most people listen without sound and to make sure your message isn’t lost in translation.
  • Finish off with a call to action, which may include requesting followers’ feedback, asking them to follow your page or contact you to find out more.


LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool for individuals and businesses so updating your profile is not only important but essential if you want to stand out in 2020.  


About the author


Chris Morrison is the founder and Director of Meritos, an executive search and recruitment business working with purpose-driven organisations. If you're interested in connecting with Chris, you can find him on LinkedIn here. You can also reach him on 02 9055 6836 or via email at chris.morrison@meritos.com.au