First impressions are everything. In today’s technology-based world, first impressions are often online; this is especially true after this past year, as much business interaction converted to a virtual front. LinkedIn is the fastest growing network for professionals; therefore, despite whether you are active in a job search or not, a LinkedIn presence has become a vital factor in driving the growth of your career… odds are that a recruiter or a hiring manager will see your LinkedIn profile before your actual resume, so it is imperative to maintain a professional, engaging, and up-to-date LinkedIn profile. The following includes LinkedIn profile branding tips that will guide you to leverage yourself for career advancement.

WHY LinkedIn?

  • LinkedIn is the fastest growing professional network.

LinkedIn opens a wide array of opportunities that you may not otherwise have available…

    • Over 55 million companies are on LinkedIn1
    • 3 people are hired through LinkedIn every minute1
    • Many job postings are posted exclusively on LinkedIn
    • 90% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to source candidates
    • Remote jobs on LinkedIn increased 2.5x from March to October 20201
  • InMail has a 300% higher response rate than email.

Connect directly, securely, and confidentially with hiring managers and recruiters about the opportunities that you are interested in.

  • LinkedIn is mobile and easy to use.

Get notifications, apply, and reply in real-time…

    • Job notifications
    • Easy apply to jobs with your profile
    • Correspond instantly via InMail
  • Access to career advice, industry news, and articles

Follow companies and professionals for relevant feed updates.




Having a LinkedIn profile is the first step to branding yourself, however, a LinkedIn profile is useless unless it is complete. Review each of the following sections for LinkedIn profile branding tips, including guidelines on how to successfully complete your LinkedIn profile to brand yourself for career advancement!

Getting started …

Your LinkedIn Profile is like an online resume, so you will need the following details handy to complete your profile:

Must Haves:
    • Profile Photo
    • Background Photo
    • Name
    • Contact Information
    • Headline
    • Summary
    • Work History
    • Education
    • Licenses & Certificates
    • Skills
Helpful Additions:
    • Recommendations
    • Volunteer Experience
    • Publications
    • Patents
    • Courses
    • Projects
    • Honors & Awards
    • Test Scores
    • Languages
    • Organizations

* Only include ‘Helpful Additions’ if applicable and relevant.




Your LinkedIn profile photo is the first thing that people see – hiring managers, recruiters, peers, and any other professional that you network with. Therefore, your photo should be professional, current, approachable, and friendly.

According to LinkedIn statistics, profiles with an engaging photo get 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests.

Tips for a Strong Profile Photo

Your photo will be seen before anyone will read about your experience and qualifications, so it is imperative to make a positive impact.


Your profile photo should

    • Only yourself
    • A non-distracting background
    • Professional attire
    • A smile
    • Professional
    • Current within the last 2 years
    • Genuine
    • Friendly
    • In-focus
    • Cropped as a headshot
    • Color

Your profile photo should NOT

    • Other people
    • Pets
    • Alcohol/drugs
    • Hobbies
    • A selfie
    • Business logo
    • Avatar
    • Scenery
    • Blank
    • Outdated
    • Black/White




Your LinkedIn background photo is the second thing on your profile that will draw a viewer’s attention so it should follow a similar set of guidelines as a profile photo, however, there is more room to be creative, express your personality, or represent your company.


Your background photo should

    • Personality
    • Business branding
    • Coordinating colors
    • Professional
    • Current
    • Genuine
    • Friendly
    • In-focus

Your profile photo should NOT

    • Friends/Family
    • Pets
    • Recreational activities
    • A selfie
    • Distracting
    • Unprofessional




In order to ensure that your profile photos are set up to best highlight who you are, use this checklist! Do your LinkedIn profile photos meet the following criteria?

Profile Photo Checklist
    • Professional
    • Current
    • Cropped as a headshot
    • Genuine and friendly
    • High-resolution
    • In-focus
    • Color

Suggested dimensions for a profile photo are: 400 x 400 pixels

Background Photo Checklist
    • Professional
    • Current
    • Genuine and friendly
    • High-resolution
    • In-focus
    • Reflects your personality / industry / business

Suggested dimensions for a background photo are: 1584 x 396 pixels




After your profile photo and background photo, your name, headline, summary, and contact information are the next items that will be seen on your LinkedIn profile and all are equally important to improve your LinkedIn profile branding and make a great first impression!


Include your full name (first and last). Also, if applicable, include former name(s) and notable credentials (ex: CPA, MBA, etc.).


Your headline is the most important 120 characters on your LinkedIn profile and should include your most important keywords and a short version of your branding story or elevator pitch. Make it catchy but not cheesy or boastful and include keywords to boost search engine optimization. Keywords can include areas of expertise, key experience, and designations. For example:

Consider including the following:

      1. Target position/job title
      2. Primary industry or job function
      3. Areas of expertise
      4. Signature achievements

Helpful Tip: If your current title is unusual, include the industry-standard title for what you do in your headline.


Your summary is the text box at the top of your LinkedIn profile, just below your photo. This 2,000-character limit space is an opportunity to give an overview of your professional path; thus, use the summary to share what you do, your accomplishments, and/or the opportunities you are looking for.

Contact Information

Include your email and any relevant social links, such as your website. However, remember to keep it professional and leave off personal social media links.




With your profile photo, background photo, and introduction complete, the most important (and most daunting) pieces of your LinkedIn profile are complete! Now onto the easy part!

Above all, consistency is key when it comes to your LinkedIn profile background! Therefore, the background information portion of your LinkedIn profile should replicate your resume. In fact, if you are a job seeker, it is vital that your background information listed on your LinkedIn profile and the information on your resume align – if they do not, it will raise caution flags to potential employers/recruiters.

Work History

List your work history, including accurate dates for each position and any contracts or internships. Ensure to include your current position.

WHY? Over 2 million people search by current position on LinkedIn every week.

Helpful Tip: If your current title is unusual, include the industry-standard title for what you do in your headline.


List the schools that you have attended on your profile and note your credentials.

Licenses & Certifications

Showcase your expertise with your credentials, if applicable.

Volunteer Experience

Highlight your passions and how you like to give back.


You have spent a lot of energy on honing your skills and it is time to let them shine! Showcase your strengths as a professional by tagging all applicable skills to your profile. In order to accurately highlight your skills, ensure that the top three skills that are displayed on your profile are the most relevant.

WHY? Members with more than 5 skills are 27x more likely to be discovered in searches by recruiters.




Including applicable details in the following profile sections will help to boost your searchability, opening more opportunities for career advancement. Further improve your LinkedIn profile branding by including your accomplishments!


List your published work.


Showcase your innovation and expertise.


List coursework from your prior or continuing education.


Add compelling projects to demonstrate your experience.

Honors & Awards

List any mentionable honors or awards you have received throughout your professional career.

Test Scores

If you excelled in a relevant exam, you could list your score here.


Show how you can be a fit for a job or overseas opportunity.


Show your involvement with communities that are important to you.


Ask your connections to write you a recommendation.




Having your profile correctly set is a key factor to getting noticed! After all, you cannot be seen if you are hiding! Check your settings.

Career Interests

In order to let recruiters know you are open to opportunities, toggle this setting ON/OFF.

Custom URL

Personalize the URL for your profile, however, remember to keep it professional. Consider using your name (first/last); if your name is common and that URL is already taken, add “-“ or “_” or “.” to space your first/last name.


You control your profile’s appearance for people who are not signed in to LinkedIn. Therefore, the limits you set here affect how your profile appears on search engines, profile badges, and permitted services, like Outlook.

Public Profile Badge

To further promote your profile, add a badge to your blog, online resume, website, or email signature. After all, you have done all this work, why not share it?!




Now that your LinkedIn profile is set up, it is important to get connected! This is a professional network – in order to increase your new LinkedIn profile branding exposure and leverage yourself for career advancement, you need to be connected! In other words, connect with the folks you work with, with the folks you used to work with, recruiters that you partner with, and anyone you meet at networking events. Also, follow the companies that you are interested in and connect with the leaders there! The options are limitless! Start by connecting with ConnectPoint Search Group!

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1 – LinkedIn Statistics