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June 9, 2024
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Eight Steps to Craft an Irresistible LinkedIn Profile

Eight Steps to Craft an Irresistible LinkedIn Profile

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LinkedIn, the social media site for professionals, now has a billion users worldwide, making it a great place for graduates to highlight their skills, network in their field, and find a new job. But it’s a crowded marketplace, so it’s essential to craft a compelling profile with an eye-catching headline, a brief summary of your achievements, embedded keywords, and memorable content. 

Drawing on my years of experience using LinkedIn to build business development, sales connections, and partnerships, I’ll show you how to upgrade your LinkedIn profile and stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Eight ways to create a stand-out LinkedIn profile

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your digital resume. It’s your opportunity to present your skills, experience, and personality to potential employers, business contacts, and clients. To hone your profile and maximize your chances of building a successful network, follow the eight tips below.

1. Choose a great profile picture

A bit like online dating, your profile picture is your opportunity to make a great first impression. Definitely no fish or gym selfies here, though, please! Because LinkedIn is a professional network, your photo should be suitable for work. Remember that it will appear as a small thumbnail on someone’s feed, so small details may not show up. 

With this in mind, think about using:

  • A clear headshot that shows your face and shoulders
  • A neutral background without fussy details
  • Adequate lighting to show your features without harsh shadows
  • No filters or effects
  • A recent photo that shows what you look like now

If you’re looking for a position in a corporate firm, for example, it’s a good idea to wear a smart suit. When approaching potential clients for a more informal role such as freelance writing or social media management, more relaxed and colorful clothing and an outdoor setting could seem more approachable. 

You might even choose to invest in professional photographs. If you can’t yet afford this, use the best possible camera and ask a friend to take one, or use a tripod, to avoid an obvious selfie.

2. Optimize your profile for search

When setting up your profile, you should add the key details that recruiters and/or potential clients will be searching for. It’s particularly important to add your desired or current industry and, if you are looking for a location-dependent role, where you want to work.

Screenshot of adding industry and location information to LinkedIn

As you develop the rest of your profile, consider the keywords that recruiters or clients might search for and use them throughout. For example, if you want to work in tech, you might feature keywords like:

  • Data analysis
  • Product engineer
  • Agile management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Artificial intelligence

You can find out what keywords might be most relevant by looking at other profiles in your field, reading LinkedIn posts by those in your desired roles, or even using keyword tools like SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner.

3. Include a compelling headline

Your headline is an opening statement on your profile that will tell your potential employer or client who you are in a nutshell. My headline here isn’t working very hard: it summarizes my mission and my field of interest, but I could definitely include more keywords.

In contrast, here’s a good example for a recent graduate with a Master’s in Product Engineering looking for a role at a top tech company:

"Recent Product Engineering Master's Graduate | Passionate about Innovation and Problem-Solving | Eager to Propel Technology Forward”

And for a journalism graduate who has recently set up a freelance copywriting business:

"Passionate Journalism Graduate Turned Freelance Copywriting Entrepreneur | Crafting Compelling Narratives and Elevating Brands"

Screenshot showing the LinkedIn profile headline

If you’re struggling to create a sentence with sparkle, Wordtune’s generative AI tool can craft a short, snappy sentence for you in moments. Give Wordtune a prompt, e.g. 

“I am a journalism graduate looking for new freelance copywriting clients. I am creating my LinkedIn profile. Write me a profile headline of 40 words that includes my passion for telling stories and building brand identity.”

Wordtune will come up with an example you can then tweak and polish to suit your individual style.

4. Craft a succinct summary

The “About” summary is where you can expand on your headline to include more details of your past experience, motivations, and desired roles. You have up to 650 words, but people don’t have endless time to read, so try to keep it to under 500 words if possible. 

Screenshot showing how to create a succinct LinkedIn summary with Wordtune.

Wordtune’s generative AI tool can help you get started with this, too. Just give Wordtune an overview of what you want to say, and let it write you a short text you can use as a basis for your summary. You can then tweak the sentences using the “rewrite” function, changing the formality and shortening or lengthening the text to suit your industry and desired role.  

It’s also a good place to bring in some of your personality. You could include a personal anecdote, highlight some key achievements, or hone in on an issue in your chosen industry. 

5. Show off your experience

Of course, a key part of your profile is the summary of your studies and work experience to date. Start with your most recent experience and work backwards. For each role, use action verbs to show what you contributed and achieved. For example:

  • Led a team of four to deliver an improved sports training program
  • Designed a new app for young people at college
  • Completed a research thesis on artificial intelligence in science
  • Awarded the school prize for mathematics

Where possible, add quantifiable outcomes, such as:

  • Raised $10,000 for local charities
  • Team achieved first place in the 2023 Hackathon

If you don’t have much work experience yet, you can include volunteer experiences or extracurricular activities to round out your resume. And don’t forget to add the keywords you researched earlier where possible.

6. Add special skills and endorsements

Adding your key skills to your profile can highlight to employers and clients where your talents lie. Think carefully about what you need to demonstrate. You might want to look at a few relevant job adverts to see which skills come up most often. 

Once you’ve added your skills, your contacts can “endorse” you, which means they’re confirming your ability in this area. You could reach out to some friends or colleagues to kickstart your endorsements.

Screenshot showing skills and endorsements on a LinkedIn profile

Adding your key skills to your profile can highlight to employers and clients where your talents lie. Think carefully about what you need to demonstrate. You might want to look at a few relevant job adverts to see which skills come up most often. 

Once you’ve added your skills, your contacts can “endorse” you, which means they’re confirming your ability in this area. You could reach out to some friends or colleagues to kickstart your endorsements.

7. Build an audience with memorable content

Your main profile page is just a start. To bring your page to the attention of people in your desired field, you need to produce relevant and valuable content. When people in your network like or comment on your content, it will be shown to others, which can really boost your reputation.

There are some tips and tricks to posting on LinkedIn, but in general, you should post regularly if you want to build an audience — aim for two or three times a week. You can post short text posts, longer articles, images, videos, or carousels (multiple images that users can scroll between). Experiment with a variety to see what works best for your audience and shows off your knowledge and skills. 

In terms of content, think about what people in your chosen field will find interesting. You could highlight relevant news stories or publications, gather key statistics or facts, write an opinion piece, or tell a personal story that illustrates a pertinent point. 

For example, for a tech graduate:

  • A carousel of graphics illustrating the growth of AI companies over the last two years
  • A personal story about how you overcame adversity in your university degree and what this taught you
  • An image or video of you working on the computer to develop your own app

Wordtune has a wealth of tools that you can use to craft compelling content. Firstly, its generative writing tool can kickstart your text posts, articles, and captions. Then, you can upload your final version to double check the spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and experiment with adding suggested examples, facts, or even jokes to your work. 

8. Create a network

LinkedIn is a social network, so creating a web of connections can help you reach your career goals. You can use it to hear about open roles, get to know top companies, understand key issues, and learn from people who’ve already been where you are. 

As well as posting relevant content, you can find potential connections by searching for companies or roles that interest you. Sending a polite message introducing yourself is a good way to start – many people will be up for a virtual (or even in-person) coffee. 

Reaching out to people whose content you’ve enjoyed is another good way to connect, especially if you can ask a question or highlight a key point of interest.

Conclusion 

An eye-catching LinkedIn profile can help you build a professional network that brings your dream job, client, or company closer. Remember to include a compelling headline, a concise summary of your story, your key skills and experiences, and regular content to appeal to your target audience. 

For more on how Wordtune can help you craft your writing on LinkedIn, check out the full Wordtune guide. And if you want to learn about crafting excellent social media posts, we’ve also got your back.

FAQ

What should a good LinkedIn profile have?

An effective LinkedIn profile should have a clear, professional profile picture, a headline and summary that capture your passion, a list of your achievements and key skills, and regular, relevant content to build an audience. 

How do I make my LinkedIn profile stand out?

A LinkedIn profile that tells your personal story can help you stand out from the crowd. Use your headline and summary to communicate your mission and passion, and find opportunities to give personal anecdotes from your experience in posts and articles. 

What are the best skills to include on a LinkedIn profile?

You should research the skills that are most relevant to your chosen field. These could be technical skills like “cloud computing,” “blockchain,” and “cybersecurity,” or soft skills like “creativity,” “flexibility,” and “teamwork.”