Though not difficult as a whole, there are some small but significant steps to take when building your LinkedIn profile to help you stand out and set yourself up for success.

  •  Choose the right profile picture

No, not your senior photo from high school or your photo from your sorority composite. A professional dress photo. Your profile picture is your calling card on LinkedIn – it’s how people are introduced to you and dictates their impressions from the start. Some things to keep in mind when choosing, or taking, a photo: make sure the picture is recent and looks like you, make sure your face takes up around 60% of it (long-distance shots don’t stand out), wear what you would like to wear to work, and smile with your eyes!
Pro Tip: Make sure your photo and profile are set to public, so it’s visible to people outside your circle.


  • Add a background photo

Your background or banner photo is the second visual element at the top of your profile page. It grabs people’s attention, sets the context and shows a little more about what matters to you. More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention and stay memorable. Your personal brand image, a photo of your at work, or a wide shot of Longwood’s campus are all easy-to-find suggestions.

  • Make your headline more than just a job title

No rule says the description at the top of your profile page has to be just a job title. Use the headline field to tell more about how you see your role, why you do what you do, and what makes you tick. Search for your ideal position, select a few professionals in the field and look at their headlines for inspiration.


  • Turn your summary into your story

Your summary is your chance to tell your own story; think of it as a micro cover letter. Try to bring to life why your skills matter – and the difference they can make to the people you work with. Don’t be afraid to invest some time, try a few drafts, and run your summary past people you know.

Still unsure if you’ve set yourself up for success?  with us or take our .

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