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LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site used in the US, and, considering there are more than 450 million LinkedIn members worldwide, it is more important than ever to get away from the stale resume rehash and find ways to make your profile stand out from the rest. Forbes maintains that an effective LinkedIn summary does three things. It shows relevance. It attracts the right people who are important to your career success, letting them know what you’re about so they can determine if you are relevant to their goals. It differentiates you from your peers. With so many people delivering the same services as you, standing out is essential. It makes people want to know more about you and ultimately connect with you one-on-one.  How do you make that happen? Follow these important steps to creating a stellar Linkedin profile.

Start with a professional photo

If you don’t have a professional headshot, add that to your to-do list, and go with the cleanest, most professional looking snapshot you have. And smile! Remember, that photo may be your first impression with a potential employer.  Linkedin has new feature where you can select a banner or header image. There doesn’t seem to be any best practices on this image yet, simply make sure you have the rights to all the images you use.

Customize Your URL

LinkedIn automatically assigns profiles a URL that consists of a series of random numbers and letters. To make your profile more personalized, take advantage of the feature that allows you to create your own URL. To change your LinkedIn URL, select “Edit Profile,” then underneath your profile picture, click the “settings” icon next to your current URL. You’ll then be taken to your public profile. On the top right of the page, click the “edit” icon next to your URL, then customize the last part of your URL (after so that it contains your name.

Once you’ve created your personalized URL, consider including it on your resume.

Ask for Recommendations

Recommendations demonstrate your credibility. The Street suggests that rather than limiting yourself to only those who have worked with you in a job or internship, consider your volunteer experiences, co-curricular activities and projects. Like a testimonials page on a company site, recommendations can instantly prove your worth to a prospective employer or business partner.


Instead of creating a running list of previous titles and responsibilities, use your experience section to highlight key achievements from previous roles. As a pro-tip, place emphasis on what you were able to achieve for your clients, rather than for your personal gain.

Check back for the second part of this mini blog series on How to Build a Stellar LinkedIn.