LinkedIn Advice to Differentiate Yourself in the Marketplace

Written by Adam Grossman 

An ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development, he is a cofounder and the Chief Development Officer at The Selling Factory, which supports companies with an outsourced sales team to perform On Demand SDR work at an affordable cost.

Too many college students are neglecting their LinkedIn profile. While having a strong resume and interview skills is important, employers look at LinkedIn profiles. And, bad profiles damage your chances to land your dream role. 

Providing a more well-rounded view of you, which a resume or interview is unable to capture, is what LinkedIn is used for. It offers a meaningful way to build a valuable network to increase your marketability. The lack of understanding of this tool’s importance to you and to employers limits your opportunities in the job market. 

As individuals prepare for graduation and look for internships, now is the time to focus on and enhance your LinkedIn profile. It does not have to be scary. Here is some basic and advanced advice on LinkedIn profiles and how to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

Basic LinKedin enhancements to Immediately Update Your Profile

#1 Change your URL to LinkedIn profile

Remove the numbers at the end of a generic URL to LinkedIn profile to be your “first and last name”, “first initial and last name,” etc. This is the easiest thing to do and will separate you from your peers. To quickly make this update go directly to LinkedIn.

#2 Update your professional headshot for business

LinkedIn is a reflection of who you are as a professional. Make sure your picture reflects this. While tempting, do not use pictures from high school, hanging out with friends, or vacation. These non-professional pictures detract a potential employer from picturing you on their team. Wear something that you would wear to work. Ensure that your professional headshot for business has good lighting and background. And, make sure your head takes up 60% of the frame. Here are some additional to follow.

#3 Pick a banner image that represents you

Your banner is the first thing someone notices when landing on your profile. Rather being a random image, this picture should connect with your professional goals and to you personally. For more insights into meaningful banners, check this out

#4 Strengthen your headline

Visible under your name, you have 220 characters to capture a visitor. Use this space to define yourself and your value proposition to potential employers. It is a chance to highlight what differentiates you – your purpose, goals, etc. Avoid cliches and wasting space time with being a student or recent graduate. Here are some examples to get the creative juices flowing. 

Advanced Tips to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile

#1 Create a compelling bio 

Each of us has a unique story. Your bio offers you the ability to showcase this roller coaster, which can be exhilarating, can make you sick, and can make you impatient (especially the lines). However, your journey makes you – you. And, it is what makes others inspired by you. Tell it in your bio. More than telling people what you do or are studying or your hope for a position, your bio offers you the ability to explain why you are doing what you are doing and how it can be a benefit to others. 

#2 Fill up your profile

A resume is static. One page is not enough to provide a full picture of your work, experience, accolades, and interests. Similar to a resume, it is important to thoughtfully add experiences that connect with your goals, however, LinkedIn offers you the ability to expand upon your work. Adding interests, volunteer activities, and awards gives you the ability to show what inspires you, offers others an immediate way to connect with you, and highlights how you have worked to your purpose laid out in your bio. 

#3 Comment and like interesting posts

Like 30 posts and comment on 15 posts a week. The comments should express what the article, video, or statistic made an impact on your thought process. Rather than simply commenting and liking friends posts, go beyond your network to find interesting people in industries that you are interested in learning more about. Rather than focusing on top executives or the most popular profiles, find individuals that currently or most recently had a role that you would like to pursue. As you find LinkedIn profiles that provide meaningful content for you to comment and like, save those individuals’ LinkedIn url in a spreadsheet to refer to later. 

# 4 Increase your connections to 500

Use the LinkedIn search features to find people with/in specific roles, locations, or industries. Type in the search for example, jobs like “marketing coordinator,” “business analyst,” or “sales representative,” locations “Columbus, Ohio” “Memphis, Tennessee” or “Tampa Bay, Florida” or industries “financial services,” “marketing firms,” or “medical technology.” Spend 30 minutes each day reaching out to professionals that you are interested in learning more from and about. Instead of trying to connect with C-Suite, look for individuals that are in roles you want to pursue in the short-term including coordinators, managers, directors. Note: LinkedIn has limits to how many profiles you can look at and connections that you can make daily (even with paid accounts). With a free account, you can ask to connect with 10 to 15 professionals a day. 

#5 Add a connection note to requests

Some of the best LinkedIn advice is to always send a connection note with your request. You have 300 characters to explain what makes you a worthwhile connection. State who you are and that you are a student, mention how you found them, and explain what from them you seek to learn. While there can be shared language in your reach outs, make sure it is not generic. Personalize each note to the person by adding an interesting tidbit from their profile or their feed. Here are some templates to help you get started. 

Expand Your Marketability 

As hiring for internships and full time opportunities starts to ramp up with the end of the year, it can be a scary and overwhelming time. However, dedicating yourself to updating and using your LinkedIn profile to your advantage can expand your marketability and open many more options.

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.