#15 Build a powerful LinkedIn profile that stands out
Before you start, think about what matters to you: your goal, purpose, value, and passion.
Read time: under 4 minutes
How do you stand out as a UX Designer on LinkedIn?
Let’s break down my framework I use.
Over the years, with an estimated 830 million users, LinkedIn has grown to be one of the largest platforms for professionals to get hired, build strong networks, find new talents, and to even reach out to investors.
But guess what? Many people still underestimate its true potential, which can help you advance your career to the next level.
And here’s the truth: most LinkedIn profiles are poorly written. At best, they are boring and cliché. At worst? Irrelevant, outdated, confusing, and poorly constructed.
Remember: Your profile is a place for you to build your professional brand, showcase your skills and achievements, share thought-provoking content with other professionals in the industry, and connect with colleagues, peers, employers, and business partners — so make it count.
If you don't use LinkedIn effectively, your efforts and other activity on the site can eat up hours, wasting your precious time.
Use this platform as a way to differentiate yourself from your peers for who you are and what you do.
Time to get crafty with LinkedIn
Before you start, think about what matters to you: your goal, purpose, value, and passion. Understand what you have in common with your peers and competitors and what makes you unique; use this to craft a personalized LinkedIn profile.
1. Use a great profile picture
The #1 thing that helps you look professional is a great headshot.
When you first look at someone's profile, you assume what type of person they are just by looking at their headshot.
Above is an example of my headshot, ask yourself:
What does your headshot say about you?
What feeling should it provoke?
Is it on brand?
2. Don’t ignore your banner
Make people understand exactly what you do by looking at your banner.
Unfortunately, so many people use it to share a picture of their city skyline, their logo, or some picture they downloaded off of Unsplash. None of those things is actionable.
Above is an example of my LinkedIn banner. Focusing on drive folks to this newsletter. You’ll notice I’m wearing the same outfit as my headshot.
3. Tell your story
Utilize the About and Headline sections.
You've got a story to tell. Get noticed by being clear about what you do, what got you into the industry, and what you're looking for next.
Refine your personal brand statement (steal my personal brand canvas Figma template) by writing it for a specific audience. Each sentence should be concise, concrete, and impactful.
For my LinkedIn my headline is “Teaching UX designers what Bootcamps DON’T.“ — Powerful, targeted, and easy to understand.
4. Show off your expertise
Do this through the Featured Section of your profile.
You could feature several things: Your portfolio, articles you’ve written, videos you’ve made, photos of you at a workshop, podcast you’ve done, and more.
For example, I journeyed to finding UX in 2013. It gives people a deep sense of who I am, and what I'm doing. And because it has tons of engagements, it also has an element of social proof to it.
5. Stay connected
Don’t just abandon LinkedIn once your profile is up and running. That’ll defeat the purpose of… well everything.
On a lighter note, avoid putting slogans, mantras — or quotes taken from Pinterest 😁 such as “everything happens for a reason” or "when there's a will, there's a way" in your profile.
When you use it correctly and with panache, LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for not only job searching, but for personal brand building and networking with professionals within the industry.
I’ve been referred to numerous jobs through LinkedIn throughout the years. In 2021, I closed a lucrative deal being a Design Sprint facilitator with Vietnam’s 4th Unicorn, Momo, the leading e-wallet which raised a round of funding of $200MM USD — these are all from a LinkedIn referral.
Don't forget to use your profile to network and interact with experts and other professionals. This can help you stay up to date with the latest news, industry trends & reports, and you can use the space to share information with the other folks in your field.
If your LinkedIn profile has clarity and your connections are in order, the platform will place you at the top of the search results for hiring managers.
Want to learn more?
If you're interested in building a kickass portfolio & personal brand, join designers from 40+ countries using UX Portfolio Playbook. Get detailed step-by-step guides and templates to supercharge your UX portfolio.
I hope you found this helpful.
See ya next week