5 Things Every Young Professional Should Be Doing on LinkedIn to Stand Out

5 Things Every Young Professional Should Be Doing on LinkedIn to Stand Out

Not every young professional is scrolling Instagram all day! According to recent data published by Statista, as of December 2022, 31 percent of LinkedIn users in the United States were between 30 and 39 years old, while 23 percent were between 40 and 49 years old. Additionally, almost one in five U.S. users belonged to the 18 to 29-year age group.  

The question is, are young professionals using LinkedIn to their advantage establishing their personal/professional brand, to build a network, and position their experience and expertise for attracting career opportunities and growth?

Here are five things every young professional should be doing on LinkedIn to stand out and position themselves long-term.

1. Think long-term! 

You may still be in your twenties with that first full-time job since your graduation, but this is when you want to be thinking and acting long-term. You want to be documenting what you are accomplishing in your role, what skills you are gaining that would make you marketable and promotable in the future.
Keeping a career document where you gather this data as you go along will help you not forget and be ready to add these skills and accomplishments to a future resume and more importantly, add bullet points to the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile as they happen.  Add new skills you actually use in the Skills section of your profile.

2. Optimize your LinkedIn profile

A well-crafted LinkedIn profile is crucial for young professionals’ growth. Remember, in business employers, colleagues and hiring managers will always access your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you, if it says nothing – meaning you have no details, you can be skipped over for a promotion or new job opportunity.

Now is the time to invest in building YOU as a brand. People do business with and hire people who have both soft skills and hard skills for the job. How you position your skills, experience and achievements matters.

Use a great headshot, use a title that is common to your industry followed by a compelling headline that says in a few words that can include what you do and who you work with. This can be compelling and fun.

To enhance your visibility using the relevant keywords makes a difference in your About and Experience sections.
By optimizing your profile, you make it easier for potential employers, recruiters, and industry peers to find and connect with you. This increases your chances of being considered for promotions, new opportunities while expanding your professional network.

Learn more about our professional profile update service

3. Network Strategically

Actively engage in networking on LinkedIn by connecting with professional in your industry, colleagues in your current company, people you meet virtually or in-person events and mentors. Again, think long-term because there will come a day when you want or need to make a career move and asking your network for help gives you a better chance. 90% of new jobs are gained through someone you already know, so starting to build a strong network early in your career will make all the difference for opening doors. You can also gain collaborative partners for projects, mentorship, job referrals.

Networking strategically also means being proactive by inviting people to your network. Always send them a personalized invitation versus the auto-message from LinkedIn.

When you let people know why you want to connect you can start to build a relationship with the very first message.

Example to add a person of authority to your network:

Hi {firstname}.

I attended the XYZ conference and heard you speak. I really liked your message [mention something they talked about that you most appreciated] and I would like to learn more from you. Please accept my invitation to connect.

Thanks in advance,
{your full name}

Don’t be afraid to ask questions to those people you invite to connect (never try to sell them something). Perhaps you notice something interesting in their profile such as where they volunteer or an award they received, get curious and ask that person a question that would start a conversation.

Conversations lead to opportunities!

4. Ask for recommendations

Request recommendations from colleagues, supervisors, or clients who can vouch for your skills, work ethic, and achievements. Positive recommendations act as testimonials that validate your professional abilities and character. Recommendations provide social proof of your capabilities, enhance your professional reputation, and can influence hiring decisions or partnerships.

Don’t WAIT until you need them, practice this at a minimum of 2-3 times per year – every year. Others will see the progression of your career as time goes on. This is one of the best investments you can make for yourself long-term.

When you request your recommendations, always as a person of authority and be specific when you ask for what you want them to include in the recommendation. For example, if you were on a team that completed a project and your manager said what a great job you did, immediately send a recommendation request to that manager and ask if they would write you a recommendation based on the performance, they just indicated you excelled at.

5. Get active – be consistent

Logging into your LinkedIn account daily is optimal, weekly is better than nothing. LinkedIn rewards activity meaning your profile will show up to more people making you more visible, your comments and posts will be seen by more people.

If you don’t know what to post, then start by commenting on other people’s posts. Strategically, look at what people in your industry are posting and talking about. You can do a quick search of #hashtags from the top search bar and see posts on topics that are relevant to your industry. I encourage you to leave a comment of at least 5 words which has more significance than a ‘Like’ or thumbs up.

Getting active is like getting in the game! You will start to see more people wanting to connect with you, follow you and get to know you.


These actions can significantly impact your career long-term and create new opportunities by establishing your professional brand, expanding your network, and demonstrating your expertise. They position you as a desirable candidate or partner, increasing your visibility and attracting opportunities that align with your goals. Additionally, they help you stay connected with industry trends and developments, ensuring you remain competitive and adaptable in a rapidly evolving professional landscape. Taking action now to be active on LinkedIn will give you a distinct competitive advantage throughout your career!

To receive the latest LinkedIn updates and to learn more tips to grow your network, download my free guide:
7 Ways to Transform Your LinkedIn Network from a Database to a Valuable Business Connections

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JoAnne Funch

Helping business owners and corporate leaders use LinkedIn and relationship building strategies to gain more exposure for their brand so they have more impact, credibility & income.

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