How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

If you want to secure connections that will fast-track your career, take some time to fine-tune your LinkedIn profile.

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By Josh Steimle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

An attractive LinkedIn profile has gone from a useful social media platform to a near requirement for any modern professional. For those just starting to set up their profile, it can be intimidating to begin, let alone make your mark amidst the crowd.

There are over 57 million companies currently listed on the platform, and over 200 million applications are submitted to employers every month. That's a lot of shuffle to get lost in, so you must be intentional — and know a few tricks — to make your profile pop off the page.

If you want to secure connections that will fast-track your career, take some time to fine-tune your LinkedIn profile. Getting the attention of potential employers and clients hangs in the balance, so it's worth the time and attention to make sure your presentation leaves a positive impression.

Make your headline say what matters most

All too often, LinkedIn users simply copy and paste their job title into the headline section. This can function as a quick and easy placeholder, but unfortunately, it also can come across as a bit boring — which certainly won't help you stand out among your peers.

The headline section is LinkedIn prime real estate and deserves to be treated as such. Don't think of it as a place to simply put what your employer has labeled you as, but use it as an opportunity to say what you do, who you do it for, and what kind of results you can deliver.

There are only 220 characters to play with here, so it pays to be concise. Think about your unique skills and past successes, and showcase what kind of problems you are adept at solving.

Don't sell yourself short right out of the gate with a lackluster or lazy headline. Instead, optimize the section so the essential aspects of what you do shine through to your connections.

Related: 10 Things Your LinkedIn Profile Should Reveal In 10 Seconds

Add 50 skills right off the bat — and get them endorsed

The skills section of LinkedIn profiles is often overlooked as it is located towards the bottom of the page, but it's the ideal place to flex your industry expertise. The maximum number of skills you can add tops out at 50, so make each count. You can choose three skills to highlight as your "Top Skills," so be especially conscious about what expertise you want to advertise on the platform.

Be honest about your capabilities and as detailed as you can with each one. This matters when other users are searching for profiles in need of a service, as the LinkedIn algorithm favors those who have more specific skills listed.

So instead of just simply listing marketing or writing, try to focus a little more on your niche. Perhaps that means adding a few key qualifiers to the listed skill, such as "business writing" or "email marketing." In this sense, just adding a little detail goes a long way in letting others know what you can do.

Once you have your skills listed and posted, it's time to get the most pertinent ones boosted by endorsement. Having another user vouch for your abilities adds legitimacy to your claims, and the best way to quickly secure this kind of help is by first providing it to others. Endorse your connection's top-listed skills, and you'll likely see the favor returned.

Case studies show that some of the most consistently in-demand soft skills are creativity, persuasion, and collaboration. These can be applied across various industries, so make a strong case that you possess these attributes.

Related: 3 Tips for Using LinkedIn's New 'Endorsements'

Post and share quality content

Even a perfectly crafted profile isn't worth much if it fails to attract any attention, and there's no better way to change this than an effective content posting strategy. When you post content, you create an avenue of access for your profile.

This can be reinforced by effective captions and copy, including a call to action. Making your profile a hub of industry conversation ups your reputation and creates ripple effects of attention that will reach beyond your immediate network.

Following these guidelines over the span of weeks or months consistently, your profile will gain attention and credibility as an individual who's active in their industry's community.

Standing out like this requires consistency in your posting schedule, but your content must be high quality and relevant to your network as well. If it's not, you run the risk of losing connections, being muted, or simply lowering the overall perceived value of your profile.

To highlight your profile amidst the million other users is no small task, but it can be done by honestly assessing your ability to bring others value. When done correctly, you stand a much better chance of joining the 35.5 million other users who have successfully been hired via LinkedIn. Identify what makes you unique as a worker, and position your profile as an inviting solution to common professional problems.

Josh Steimle

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Speaker, writer and entrepreneur

Josh Steimle is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of "60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery" and the host of "The Published Author Podcast," which teaches entrepreneurs how to write books they can leverage to grow their businesses.

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