LinkedIn isn’t just a social network for professionals – it’s an invaluable tool for shaping how your colleagues and potential employers perceive you. While most people know that recruiters will scrutinize your LinkedIn profile, very few realise exactly what they’re hoping to see.

A carefully crafted profile will not only impress those who are actively searching for it, but attract others outside of your existing network too. Once you’ve uploaded your headshot, summary and current job title, it’s time to get into the specifics. It can be tempting to see this as simply bulking up your profile, but this step is far more important than simply filling in the gaps.

So, how can you make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd?


Just like your CV, your LinkedIn profile needs to show the specific time frames that you’ve spent working at each company. Even if you’ve spent years working in the same role, include both the month and year that your employment began and ended. Similarly, make sure to include the dates of any promotions and secondments. This is a great way to subtly show how much you were valued and successful at your previous role.


While your CV is limited to just one or two pages, your LinkedIn profile gives you an opportunity to share more about your duties for each role undertaken. It’s worth noting that your role descriptions should still be concise, but there’s certainly more room to expand on your responsibilities. If it helps, treat it like SEO optimisation, which is all about selecting the most effective key words and repeating them where necessary. In this case, your key words need to be your strongest skills and specialisms.


It’s easy to have tunnel vision when you’re putting together your LinkedIn profile – as of course, you know exactly which industry you work in and what your job entails. But to a complete stranger – and most importantly, a hiring manager – it’s not always so straightforward. A common mistake is not setting your ‘industry’ as the industry in which your company operates. For example, if you’re an accountant in an IT company, set ‘IT’ as your industry, rather than ‘accountancy’. Sometimes an employer will look for someone with specific industry experience, and this is your opportunity to prove that you can fulfil their criteria.


When you’ve worked hard and met – or better still, exceeded – your targets, it’s worth shouting about. On LinkedIn, this is totally normal and it’s not something to shy away from – even if it feels a bit uncomfortable at first. After all, how will potential employers know about your fantastic achievements if you haven’t drawn attention to them? Your profile already has designated areas for your accomplishments, certifications and awards, so be sure to fill them in and showcase your successes.