How to build your personal brand to stand out on LinkedIn
Do I need a 'personal brand' anyway?
Your ‘personal brand’ describes the way you promote yourself and the impression you make on others in a professional context. It combines your personality, work experience and skills, and reflects your conduct, attitudes and behaviour.
Building your personal brand is essential if you want to get personal recognition for your accomplishments at work and stand out to potential future employers.
One way to effectively build your personal brand is to utilize LinkedIn. As you’ll no doubt be aware, LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your skills and experience to recruiters and potential employers.
On top of that, the social aspects of the platform make it the perfect showcase for your values, ideas and unique insights, too.
Read on to find out how to use LinkedIn personal branding to your advantage.
Think of LinkedIn as your online resume
Firstly, when building a personal brand on LinkedIn, it’s important to get the basics right. That means making sure your profile ticks all the right boxes.
Your LinkedIn profile should read in a very similar way to your resume. This means including your contact information and location (so that recruiters and potential employers can get in touch with you) and list the following:
Including these details will paint a picture of your professional profile and help to set the scene when creating a personal brand.
To find out more about what you should include in your profile, read our blog about creating a standout LinkedIn profile.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile ensures you make a good impression on potential employers and recruiters. It also helps to make sure your profile appears in LinkedIn search results as well as in search engines.
This will increase your chances of being spotted by those hiring for positions in your industry.
There are several ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile and boost your personal brand.
Fill in each section of your profile and ensure you include
Your current/latest position
At least two previous job roles
At least three skills and your educational background
Set a profile photo.
Use a custom URL. You can edit this in your LinkedIn settings
Keywords that recruiters and hiring managers may be using to search for job seekers with your experience
LinkedIn is heavily focused around making connections. These can be formed with your colleagues, other professionals, industry leaders, influencers or even companies you’re interested in working for. The more people you connect with, the better.
Other professionals generally think highly of those who have strong industry connections. Therefore, building up your LinkedIn network helps to build up your personal brand, too.
It’s also helpful to make a personal impression on your connections. People relate to other people rather than brands, so be authentic.
When you send connection requests to people you don’t know, it can be helpful to include a personal message. This allows you to introduce yourself and explain why you’d like to connect. This helps to make a lasting impression and might make that person more likely to accept your connection request.
Give recommendations, and don’t be afraid to ask for them
A recommendation is a statement written by LinkedIn users to commend one of their connections, similar to an employee reference. For example, you could write one for your colleague so that other professionals can see the recommendation on their profile.
Leaving a recommendation for a colleague or business connection helps to get them noticed by potential employers. It might also prompt them to write one for you too.
That said, don’t be shy about asking for a recommendation from colleagues who know you well enough to leave one. A polite way to do this is to suggest writing a recommendation for that colleague in return.
Recommendations help to build your personal brand by working almost like a testimonial. They help recruiters and hiring managers get an idea about what you’re like as an employee. They also paint a picture of what others have enjoyed most about working with you.
Share relevant content (and publish your own!)
Sharing industry-relevant content with your LinkedIn connections is a great way to present your personal brand. It provides insight into what you do and what interests you as a professional.
Sharing content is also a good way to initiate conversations with other professionals. The more people who react to, comment on or share your posts, the more likely they’ll be seen by a wider audience. This gets your name out there and opens up more possibilities for conversations with potential employers.
Another way to build your personal branding strategy through content sharing is to publish your own.
Creating content, i.e. long-form blog posts, about relevant industry topics will position you as a thought leader and help to build credibility. It will also encourage more engagement. The more people who react to, or comment on your posts, the more views your profile is likely to get.
You could also post the content you create on your other social media channels. This can expand your LinkedIn profile reach and could lead to you being seen by more recruiters and potential employers.
Participate in groups
Joining groups on LinkedIn is a great way to meet other professionals whose interests are aligned with your own. Building relationships in this way can lead to opportunities further down the line.
Actively participating in groups also builds knowledge and establishes your enthusiasm for the industry you work in.
Participation includes starting conversations, commenting on existing threads, posing questions and offering advice. The more you participate, the stronger your personal brand will come across.