January 5


How can you make your LinkedIn profile stand out?

By Tracey Arial

January 5, 2021

It’s time to update our LinkedIn profiles again.  The social media site continues to improve. My favourite feature is the photo frame that identifies job seekers. I also really like the way the platform puts your headline everywhere.

Mine is “if you’re looking for your purpose story, I can help.” Check it out.

Here are the things you want to think about as you update your profile.


1) Indicate how you solve problems for others. This is a two-part process on LinkedIn because you want a pithy sentence of ten words or less for your headline and then a slightly-longer about section.

2) Look for ways to be unique, but stay professional. Ensure you have a clear head shot as your image. No one wants to work with a blank head, a pet or a wand.

3) Make it easy for people to find you. Indicate your location and specify if you work elsewhere or remotely.

4) Highlight examples of your work, choosing things that display you best work or more information about how you solve problems for others. Make sure that each element includes appropriate calls to action.

5) Inspire readers with a quote, a switch in mindset or a philosophical idea in your header photo, making sure it fits in with your specialty or something your audience wants.

To make these cohesive, I decided to choose a theme, in my case Canadian creative entrepreneur.

Then, I looked around for profiles that work well.

Three Canadians Who Get it Right

Despite holding credentials in a complicated field, Benoît Boucher, machine learning engineer, has a well-written easy-to-understand about section and a good image that says “I’m good with numbers.” He even includes an about section in French.

Yasmin Shakir’s profile works really well. The talent recruiter from Deloitte specializes in “matching top talent to amazing opportunities.” Her embedded image and quote make her personality stand out but in a way that remains professional and inspiring. She says what she does in only 56 words.

Project manager Anita Pawluk outlines a varied background in almost all construction-oriented sectors, including general contracting and accounting in her profile. She doesn’t bother with either an image or a quote but her black and white headshot screams style, so she doesn’t need to.

I don’t know anything about the three people above, beyond what’s in their profiles, but I feel like I know them after seeing what they wrote. More than anything, that’s the goal of a strong profile. You want people to feel like they met you somewhere and liked you. You can only make that happen if you express your personality along with your credentials.

Other Resources

LinkedIn describes how to update your profile from a technical standpoint here.

Carolina Ceniza-Levine wrote a story about 5 ways to update your LinkedIn profile.

Statista did a study showing the importance of a comprehensive LinkedIn profile.

Randstad has a good story about updating your LinkedIn profile here.

Lily Zhang has a good story about how to build a LinkedIn Profile that gets Results in the Muse.

William Aruda described four changes we all need to make last autumn.


Make LinkedIn Work Well

I made a checklist to help you make LinkedIn Work Well. Join my creative entrepreneur community to get a copy. 

Tracey Arial

About the author

Tracey Arial helps Canadians create meaningful lives with true stories about ancestors, businesses, communities and ecology.

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