If you work in any kind of business, LinkedIn is an absolute must. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, C-level executive or entry-level employee, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool. Here are five simple tips that will make your LinkedIn presence stand out from the rest!

1) Have a Killer Headline. Because your headline is front and center, it’s extremely important. Your headline provides an opportunity to tell the world who you are, what you do, and how you differ from others in your industry. However, many LinkedIn users simply use their current title as their headline (this is actually the default display setting). Instead, use this valuable real estate to catch people’s attention. Here are a few examples of killer LinkedIn headlines:

li titles

2) Have the Right Photo. The image you select to represent you on LinkedIn does just that, represents who you are. Be sure to use a photo that fits the message you’re trying to send throughout your profile. Don’t worry too much about how you look, but do focus on the message your photo portrays. Here a few simple tips to follow when deciding on the right photo:

  • Avoid distracting backgrounds. You want the focus to be on you!
  • Wear what you would if you were meeting a potential client, customer or future partner in person.
  • Don’t use images that are cropped or too photoshopped.

3) Utilize Publications Feature. If you have written any articles, it’s a good idea to mention them in your profile. This is an opportunity to showcase the extent of your knowledge. Don’t overlook publications from your own website or blog; these are just as powerful as those from nationally recognized sites.

4) Join Groups. Join and participate in groups that align with your business and personal goals. Use these groups to network, showcase your expertise and represent the types of topics you care about. Whether you’re starting discussions, contributing to them or just passively reading participation in the right groups will help light a fire under your LinkedIn presence.

5) Participate Often. It’s easy to become stagnant on LinkedIn. With this in mind, make the conscious choice to participate daily. Read LinkedIn news, endorse your connections, connect with new people, engage in groups and keep your profile updated.  If you’re finding it difficult to stay active, set yourself a reminder. The more you use your LinkedIn, the better you’ll get at it.

What steps have you taken to make your LinkedIn profile stand out? Tell us in the comments below.