5 Things Recruiters Want to See on Your LinkedIn Profile
By: Grace Mitchell | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma
Looking to land your next job? Your LinkedIn profile may be a key to your success, especially when four people are hired every minute via LinkedIn. That’s 240 new hires per hour, or 5,760 new hires per day!
Over 20,000 U.S. companies use LinkedIn in their recruiting efforts.
A well-crafted LinkedIn profile can grab a recruiter’s attention and help you become part of those statistics, but how do you know your profile has what recruiters are looking for?
No need to fear, job seeker. Grandma’s got you.
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The Purpose of Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a networking tool used for making meaningful connections with your network through engagement on others’ posts and recommendations/endorsements (read more on this in #4 and #5). It’s also useful for meeting new career contacts.
Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t look exactly like your resume. While the two should complement each other, the online format of your LinkedIn profile allows you to fill it to the brim with supplemental information, which you absolutely should do. And as a social networking platform, it’s less formal than your resume. So don’t be afraid to write in first person and show some personality.
With that in mind, here are five things recruiters want to see in your LinkedIn profile.
5 Things Recruiters Want to See on Your LinkedIn Profile
1. A professional-looking headshot
A picture says a thousand words, but your LinkedIn headshot only needs to say one: employable.
Your headshot is the first thing recruiters see, but you don’t necessarily need to hire a photographer to leave a strong impression (though if you have the means it’s a good option to consider).
To take your own professional headshot, find a plain background with good lighting. Don your best business attire and a friendly face, and crop the image so your face is near the center and not close to the edges. Otherwise, LinkedIn’s “crop circle” could cut off the top of your head (a less scary fate than it sounds, but still not ideal for a strong impression).
2. A strong headline
Your headline appears alongside your headshot before recruiters even look at your profile, so a strong headline is a great way to pique recruiters’ interest. Therefore, it’s a missed opportunity if you just leave your headline as the default option with your position title and company.
Instead, use keywords in your headline to ensure you’ll come up when recruiters search for people in your field.
You can include your job title and company, especially if you work for a well-known organization. But opting for a combination of keywords relevant to your industry, or a powerful mission statement that shares your vision with recruiters, is a great way to stand out in the crowd.
3. An About section that tells a story
While your Summary of Qualifications is only a small (but mighty) section of your resume, your LinkedIn profile allows for up to 2,600 characters in the About section. We recommend you use as many of them as you need.
Your About section is your opportunity to regale recruiters with the saga of your career: Where did you start? What motivated you along the way? Where do you intend to go? What career achievements are you most proud of?
Here is where you can really expand on your personal brand from your own first-person perspective.
4. Plenty of recommendations and endorsements for relevant skills
These two functions give key insights to recruiters about where your strengths lie and how effectively you work with others.
Recommendations are paragraph-long positive reviews of what it’s like to work with you. A well-written recommendation highlights not only your technical prowess but your soft skills as well.
Recruiters want to see both recommendations about you and ones you’ve given to others. Recommendations about you serve as important social proof of the skills you’re claiming throughout your profile; giving them proves you’re professionally active and generous.
Try to get a variety of recommendations from your connections. And don’t forget to return the favor – remember, the best way to get a recommendation is to give one.
Similarly, anyone can add all 50 skills LinkedIn allows for in their Skills section (and you should). However, getting endorsements from colleagues proves you have the skills to (literally) pay the bills.
You can ask anyone in your network for endorsements, as they’re super easy to give – you just click a plus button! But you may want to include with your request a gentle reminder of projects you tackled together (especially if you work for a larger company or some time has passed).
5. Activity and engagement
Finally, recruiters love to see evidence that you’re engaging with the site and not just letting your profile sit dormant. If you’re active on LinkedIn, recruiters have reason to believe your profile is up to date. They see you have ideas to contribute and you care about your work and your professional network.
This doesn’t mean you need to eat, breathe, and sleep LinkedIn from this moment forward. If you’re not much of a social media person, try scheduling some quality LinkedIn engagement once or twice per week. It doesn’t have to be often, but it should be consistent.
Update your profile with recent achievements, make a post and engage with your connections’ posts, and then repeat a few days later. Just make sure your email notifications are on if you plan to step away from time to time.
“With Their Powers Combined…” Craft a LinkedIn Profile Recruiters Will Love
If your LinkedIn profile features a professional-looking headshot, a strong headline, an About section that tells a story, plenty of recommendations and endorsements, and some activity and engagement, you’re well on your way to impressing some recruiters.
Now get out there and get that job!
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