Your LinkedIn profile is your portal to new contacts and new business opportunities. Whether you’re looking for work or just want to make yourself known among peers and other professionals, you’d have an advantage if your profile stood out from the rest.

Although your experience should be enough to indicate your capabilities, your network will really look for the things that separate you from others and if they don’t see anything that elevates you from the common to an irresistible match, you’re likely going to be ignored or forgotten.

Fret not, however, as there are some simple ways you can prevent this from happening, starting with the following.

Add A Good Profile Photo

Your profile photo is one of the first things people see and judge.

Your profile is also 14 times more likely to be viewed if you have a profile photo than if you don’t.

That’s not surprising when you consider we’re human and naturally find other humans more captivating than a pictureless piece of writing.

This also brings with it a natural propensity to rely a lot on gut instinct to judge the character of a person from a simple profile picture.

So by making sure you smile (as naturally as possible), look straight at the camera, don’t have distractions in the background, and have good lighting, you’ll have a photo that’s likely to appeal to others enough to make them click on your profile.

Craft A Descriptive Profile Headline

Your professional headline is your chance to be succinctly expressive about who you are and what you do.

It’s really a great opportunity to make a unique headline that entices people to know more about you.

A brilliant formula for a headline encourages you to include A) who you are, B) who you help, C) how you make their work/life better.

For example, “Organisational Psychologist who helps large businesses work smarter.”

Your headline is also read by LinkedIn, and headlines that read well – and include keywords about what you do – will increase your ranking in LinkedIn searches by other people.

Add Content That Shows Your Expertise

Adding a PowerPoint presentation, relevant photos, a blog post or video of yourself sharing your expertise is an excellent way to stand out as a valuable person in your profession.

Free content has become an essential part of doing business on the Internet today.

People need to see what you can offer, which will make them see why they need you, and first THEN will they get in touch with you.

Ask Others To Write A Recommendation For Your Profile

Ask people to write a recommendation for your profile.

There’s an option on LinkedIn where you can send notifications to others you’ve worked with to ask them if they can write a recommendation for your profile.

Just be prepared that often it’s expected you return the favour by writing one for them too.

Some people are too busy to respond to things that don’t benefit themselves, so a little persistence and looking around for different people who can write one might be necessary.

Describe Achievements, Not Just Skills

Instead of just listing your abilities or responsibilities in each job, list examples of evidence where you’ve made a clear impact at work, e.g. “Negotiated a restructuring of key operations in the business, which increased productivity by 15%”.

This will make your experience more credible and impressive than if you used buzzwords like “motivated” or “effective” without further explanation.

Buzzwords are overused and therefore less convincing.

Write Or Share Content On LinkedIn Pulse

Writing or sharing LinkedIn Pulse posts is a simple way to display your knowledge and reputation.

You’ll appear like an authority if you make a habit of sharing your published – or original – content on LinkedIn via Pulse.

Customise Your Profile URL

Customise your URL so it’s easy to recognise, remember and type in.

It’s simple, really – just go to Edit Profile, click on the setting icon next to your URL, do the same on the next page in the right section titled “Your public profile URL”, and give it an appropriate name (e.g. your own name).

Using this URL in your email signatures, on your website or business card is also an excellent way to share your professional profile widely.

Make a start on these, and you’ll instantly gain an advantage over your peers who haven’t made an improvement in these areas.

Now that you have a professional looking LinkedIn profile, it’s time to start using LinkedIn to generate leads and sales appointments. With the right strategy, you can generate anywhere from 5-30 predictable sales appointments each month using LinkedIn without spending a penny on paid advertising. How? Click here to find out more.

P.S. Like this article? Feel free to also connect with me on LinkedIn.