LinkedIn Personal Branding: A Guide for Professionals

Last Updated on April 3, 2024

linkedin personal branding tipsLinkedIn continues to grow as one of the most prominently used social media platforms for professionals

Your LinkedIn profile should function as a dynamic digital resume. You can easily update it whenever you change jobs, switch careers, attend or speak at a conference, or get a new certification.

Another huge benefit about LinkedIn is that, unlike with a resume, you can interact with others. This provides many opportunities to promote and grow your personal brand.

Personal branding on LinkedIn is not just for CEOs. Even non c-suite members can promote their personal brand to make a great impression on employers, recruiters, and potential clients

Here are 11 ways to use LinkedIn to carry out your personal brand and advance your career. 

Updating Your LinkedIn Profile

Personal branding on LinkedIn starts with what’s on your profile. From your profile image, to your job history, to your description, here are a few ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

1 Set Your Profile to Public

By default, LinkedIn sets your profile to “Public”. If you’ve ever set it to private in the past, go ahead and change it so that people can find you. To control your public profile settings from the LinkedIn mobile app: Tap your profile photo. Tap Settings, then Visibility and Edit your public profile.

linkedin personal branding tips

To change your privacy settings on LinkedIn: Tap your profile icon, tap settings, and tap visibility.

2 Headshot & Imagery

Using high-quality photographs on your profile builds credibility while making a strong first impression with your network.

A great headshot will attract new visits, new connections, and new opportunities to your profile. 

When choosing your profile picture, don’t just upload your latest selfie. No matter what industry you are in, consider investing in a professional photographer to take a headshot that you can use. Professionals can help you stand out from the crowd, and well as make you look like the professional you are.

BONUS TIP: Don’t neglect the background picture, as it occupies a lot of visual space on your profile. Choosing the right picture can grab people’s attention and let them know who you are professionally. Just make sure the picture is relevant to the work you do. 

3 Use a Creative Description

Your LinkedIn description is your opportunity to sell yourself. 

Your LinkedIn summary is the text at the top of your Profile, under your profile photo. Think of it as your “about” section. You get 2,000 characters maximum. 

This is a great place to:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Reinforce your personal core values
  • Show your personality
  • Review on career path and progression (or pivot)
  • Humanize yourself
    Summarize your current job
  • Review your accomplishments and achievements

Beyond the text, your tone and message will go a long way in resonating with profile visitors. Don’t just use it to simply list off all your skills. Instead, think of it like you are telling people a story about who you are. 

4 Choose Your Skills

On LinkedIn, you can add up to 50 skills on your LinkedIn profile. It is easy to add, edit or remove skills from your LinkedIn profile.

Strategically choose the skills that best fit your career and job title. Make sure to update the skill section regularly to accurately reflect your professional skill set.

Then, you’ll want other people in your professional network to endorse your skills. You can do this simply by asking friends or colleagues to go to your profile and endorse you. In turn, you can also endorse other people in your network. 

LinkedIn also allows you to take a skills test. If you pass, your profile will display your Verified Skills.

linkedin skills

Go to your LinkedIn profile and scroll down until you find the Skills section. Here you can add new skills, edit your skills, and take tests to verify your skills. You will also be able to select jobs and courses where you learned and used those skills.

5 Custom Your Profile URL

Customizing your LinkedIn profile URL allows employers and recruiters to find you more easily. It can also increase credibility and shows that you are technologically-savvy and detail oriented. 

By default, LinkedIn creates a URL for you, which is usually your name followed by a series of numbers. Having a URL with just your name looks much cleaner, and it’s great for putting on business cards.

To change your URL, navigate to “Edit your custom URL”. In the right rail, click the “Edit” icon next to your public profile URL. 

edit linkedin url

Edit your URL by going to the visibility settings on your profile and selecting “Edit your public profile”.

6 Optimize Your Profile for Search

Like Google, LinkedIn is a search engine. To make sure your profile comes up higher in LinkedIn searches, you will want to optimize your profile. That way, you’ll appear first when a recruiter or employer searches before other potential job candidates.

Use keywords in your profile. Specially, use search terms that connections, recruiters and employers would be searching for to find you. Add keywords to your:

  • Headline 
  • Summary
  • Work experiences
  • Shared content

The keywords you use will depend on the field that you work in. Just be careful about overstuffing your profile with keywords and overused buzzwords.

linkedin personal branding tips

Networking on LinkedIn

Here are some tips to connect on LinkedIn and expand the reach of your personal brand.

search on linkedin

To search for people on LinkedIn, go to your homepage and tap the search bar at the top.

7 Send Personal Connections

Expanding your network through personal connections increases the visibility of your LinkedIn profile. Having more than 500 connections on LinkedIn makes your profile more trustworthy. This is simply because more first connections means more second and third connections. People are also more likely to see your content on LinkedIn when others share it, which positions you as an authority. 

To grow your connections, use LinkedIn search function to find people by name, job title, location, industry and more. 

Personalize your message when sending a connection request. Don’t send the templated LinkedIn messages. Instead, send a personal message on why you would like to connect. 

8 Join Groups

Joining LinkedIn groups is a great way to meet like-minded professionals in your industry. Groups focus on a specific topic or industry. This makes them a great place to discuss industry news and build relationships with others. Plus, joining a group can introduce you to connections you might not otherwise have. 

9 Engage With Others’ Posts

No matter what field you’re in, there are definitely people in your existing network who are creating content. 

LinkedIn makes it easy to share other posts and articles, so it’s easy to take an active role in your LinkedIn network. When you see an inspiring post on LinkedIn, you can chime in with your own opinions as a comment or repost.

linkedin engagement

You can like, comment, repost, and share any LinkedIn blog using the buttons at the bottom of the post.

10 Publish Thought Leadership Articles 

LinkedIn is a platform where connections and followers are ready to learn from industry experts and thought leaders. The type of content you share should be relevant to your field and your personal brand. You can also answer questions that people ask you about the industry in a long-form blog post. 

You may not be able to execute your best and biggest ideas in one post. LinkedIn users can also publish long-form articles to fully elaborate on your thoughts. 

11 Post Short-Form Videos

In addition to writing articles, another way to share your thoughts is by recording videos. Videos are a great way for you to show off your personal brand in a more personal way. Plus, people generally engage with videos more than written content, so having a mix of both is a good idea. Make sure your videos are professional and optimized for mobile devices. 

Closing Out: Use Personal Branding on LinkedIn to Your Advantage

LinkedIn is a great place to build your personal brand, promote yourself, and advance your career. Follow these tips to leverage your LinkedIn profile, boost your reputation, and advance your career.

free reputation consultation If you need help looking professional online, our team at Reputation911 provides a range of personal reputation management services. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

About The Author

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William DiAntonio is the Founder & CEO of Reputation911, a reputation management firm he founded in 2010 that has earned the trust of its clients for over a decade by helping individuals, businesses and brands control their online search results.

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