If you haven’t created a Linkedin account or if you need a push to get you moving in the right direction with your account, this blog is for you. Although LinkedIn is a social network, it’s basis is entirely different than that of your other social channels. The manner in which you interact with your followers is different than how you would on Instagram or Facebook. LinkedIn has over 500 million users, with 40% of those users logging in daily. Are you part of that 40%? If not, keep reading for tips on how to make your profile stand out.

1. Add Photos to Your Profile

LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21x more views and 36x more messages. Your profile picture does not have to be a professional headshot. Clearly you don’t want to use the kind of photo you may use for Instagram or Facebook, but choose a photo that represents your brand the way you want others to see you. First impressions matter, and you want your photo to represent you in the best way possible. Here’s an example of my LinkedIn profile for reference. The picture I chose to use is a recycled school photo. If you happen to be a college student reading this, it may be beneficial to see if your university holds events for free professional headshots! There are easy ways to get the perfect photo. You could even have a friend snap a photo of you in front of a plain wall with an iPhone or a camera and no one will never know it was taken at home! Also, here is a quick video on how to snap that perfect photo.

2. Create a Custom URL

The URL your LinkedIn has at first will be long and ordinary. But there is a solution to that! LinkedIn gives users the options to shorten their URLs and make them a little more personal. Now this is not just for vanity reasons, it has practical uses too. By making your URL more unique, it makes you appear sooner in search results and easier to find. Right now, my LinkedIn URL is a long assortment of letters and numbers, but we are going to change that!

How to Shorten Your LinkedIn URL:

  1.  Go to LinkedIn’s Customizing Your Public Profile URL page.
  2. Click the “Me” icon at the top right of your LinkedIn homepage.
  3. Click “View Profile”.
  4. Click “Edit public profile & URL” on the right.
  5. Click the pencil icon next to your public URL.
  6. Type in what you want the last part of your URL to say.
  7. Click “Save”.

Make sure to choose a custom URL that’s simple and fitting. For example, I made mine simply my name. So now my URL is “LinkedIn.com/in/JillianShur”. An easy and simple hack to make your profile appear in searches easier!

3. Add Your Location and Industry

According to LinkedIn, it is crucial to specify your industry and location because they are the first and most important filters recruiters use. Although it may seem like an obvious one, forgetting to add these two to your profile would make your profile less efficient.

To Add Your Location and Industry

  1. Click the pencil icon on your profile.
  2. Fill the information the pop up asks for, paying close attention to the “Industry” and “Location” tabs towards the bottom.
  3. Click “Save”.

4. Start Connecting

The whole point of social media is to connect with others, right? Once your profile is complete, connect to anyone and everyone in your professional network. LinkedIn puts it this way, “you can ask someone to join your professional network by sending them an invitation to connect. If they accept your invitation, they’ll become a 1st-degree connection.” But be careful with 1st-degree connections, these types of connections are given access to any information you have included on your profile.

When you connect with another user by clicking “connect” while scrolling through the “People You May Know” tab, you send a general request. But, if you go to the persons profile and click “connect,” you are given the opportunity to make this connection a little more personal by including a note. You don’t want to just connect with anyone, but people who are relevant to your professional sphere. What I mean here is don’t click that connect button non-stop, sending out requests to just anyone. Make sure your connections make sense and are useful.

5. Post Content Frequently

LinkedIn may seem like a job search site- but it has so much more potential to users than just that. LinkedIn is the perfect place to share updates about yourself, your company or brand. Share useful information that you are proud of and want to make others aware of.

Examples of content that is LinkedIn worthy

  1. Any large accomplishments or milestones
  2. Promoting events and registration
  3. Blog posts
  4. Product launches
  5. Announcements of job acceptances

Only 3 million LinkedIn users share content on a weekly basis. Why not stand out and be active on this social platform?

There’s no reason your LinkedIn profile can’t be stellar from the get-go. Let us know if you use these tips when get started with your LinkedIn.