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LinkedIn: Do you “Fit in” or “Stand out”?

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“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?” When I saw the above quote, it sure caught my eye – amazing words!! I browsed to find it was from the movie – “What a Girl Wants”. I haven’t seen the movie, which is a surprise, as I thought I had to endure every romcom :-). This statement is very true when it comes to job search – very evident when I surf LinkedIn. Many LinkedIn users choose to “fit in”, it’s safer and less offensive.

There are key ingredients to setting up a basic profile (100% complete profile, customised LinkedIn URL, recommendations, using applications, posting updates etc), but users can go beyond this. Quite often the obvious is ignored. Below I look at the 3-2-1 of LinkedIn. 3 simple tips to stand out, 2 simple tips to keep standing out, and 1 not so simple BUT essential tip.


Headline – I am very surprised that more people don’t use this. My headline reads “Career ~ Outplacement ~ Personal Branding Consultant. Inspiring Creativity, Increasing Visibility & Generating Career Smiles” A catchy headline can help draw people to view your profile. I’ve been using “headlines” to draw readers to read my blogs, since 2007. The same principle applies to attract people to read your LinkedIn profile. Be creative and have some fun 🙂

Summary – It is important to have a summary. It is more important to get “you” across in your summary. Inject some personality. Bland will lose the reader. I use the word “I” in my summary to help soften this section. Write from the heart, as this will help you connect to the reader.

Experience – I still read profiles with no (or little) content. These profiles are missing a perfect sales opportunity. I won some outplacement work, a few months back, when a potential client read Eng/Pharma recruitment experience on myLinkedIn profile. If you lack content in your Experience Section, you should add some. Remember – Don’t bore the reader. Focus on facts, figures and achievements. Excite the reader.


Ongoing Profile Maintenance – Ensure you continually review and update your LinkedIn profile. Add anything new that will enhance your profile – a new project, achievement or training. For example – I recently added that I spoke at the National College of Ireland Career Bootcamp in August. Your connections are notified when you amend your profile. Curiosity killed the cat, and curiosity draws them in to have a look.

Seek Feedback – You should always seek to improve your LinkedIn Profile. It is important to seek feedback. Ask people (friends, clients or customers) to review your profile. I continually do this. I ask clients to review my LinkedIn profile, summary and headline. I ask the questions – “Do I get me and my personality across?” and “Would my profile make you pick up the phone?”


Attract Viewers – A nice profile with no viewers is like dressing up in a new dress and sitting in, or like a website with no traffic. YOU NEED TO ATTRACT VIEWERS TO YOUR PROFILE!! What are you doing to attract viewers to your profile? Some viewers may stumble across your profile BUT don’t leave it to chance. Help them find you by becoming the “Pied Piper of LinkedIn”.

LinkedIn Training Workshop for Job Seekers/Employees on 6th November @ Bewleys Hotel Dublin