What Recruiters Look For In Your Linkedin Profile
by Thorpe Molloy Recruitment
Linkedin is a crowded place. With over 562 million users this professional network has become an invaluable resource for recruiters since it launched in 2003.
But how is it working out for you as a job seeker? From your dashboard, you know how many people are looking at your profile but how many of those are choosing to connect in, message or engage with you on a career prospect?
If the number is lower than you hoped then it's time for a revamp. Here's a compilation of what our recruiters look for in a Linkedin profile.
Your profile is far more clickable if you are smart about what you put in the headline.
Make it clear what you DO, avoiding jargon filled internal job titles. Head of Fun at ABZ Co. sounds like a blast, but no recruiter is going to search for you that way. Head of Employee Engagement – now we have a much better idea what you do.
As well as your job title, including your location, current employer or industry will differentiate you too. For instance, Marketing Manager is pretty generic, but Digital Retail Marketer conveys much more about you.
Chris Carr from our HR team has great advice, "You're on no-one's radar if you're "seeking employment" as you're one of many! Change your headline from "looking for new opportunities" to something more informative such as "CA-qualified Accountant with immediate availability" or "15yrs+ HR experience, seeking new opportunities".
The headline also appears in Google search results – so recruiters can find you even when they are not on Linkedin, reinforcing the importance of using relevant key words in this part of your profile.
Consider Karey Roberts headline:
Always include a professional photo. Selfies, family shots and wedding pictures don't create the right impression. Smile. Dress professionally. Photos are even more important if you hope to secure a people-centric or customer facing role. And make sure your photo doesn't obscure any text that you've placed in your header image.
Across your profile it's important that you don't use jargon. Your summary should be written in the first person and be personable.
The first 3 rows appear by default on your profile – make these punchy enough for the recruiter to want to read on.
Show off how accomplished you are by providing 2 or 3 specifics on what you have ACHIEVED or WHAT YOU DO or HOW YOUR JOB HELPS PEOPLE. For example, anyone could say they are "a motivated sales executive focused on exceeding targets by delivery exceptional customer service". What a snoooozzzzzzze.
This gets our attention though, "I sell Smart TechTM software to small business owners by demonstrating how this technology can reduce their energy costs."
Long paragraphs of text are a turn-off, but try using bullet points as these "bite size" chunks of information are much easier to speed read.
If you really find it hard to write about yourself a cute hack is to check out the skills requirements on relevant job adverts. They will be full of key words, providing inspiration when you write your summary, skills and work experience sections.
We like how Karey has used her summary to reinforce her specialties (which are jam packed with key words) and provide easy visibility of her contact details.
Career History and Experience
This is the section where you can detail the accomplishments in each role you've held during your career.
Gemma Stuart, QHSE recruitment specialist explains "Job seekers really do themselves a dis-service by not completing their career history section. Aim to include around half a dozen bullet points on responsibilities and achievements. Talk about your skills, otherwise it is impossible for a recruiter to determine if you could be a good match for the role."
A top tip from Lauren Murray, who reviews Linkedin for Office Personnel profiles is "Temping and contracting is a really effective way to increase your skills and experience but remember to detail the company you worked at, rather than the agency you worked through. This information gives the recruiter a much better idea about your industry experience."
Completing your Education status will increase the number of searches your profile appears in (so will completing your Location field by the way). Keep you qualifications and professional credentials up to date – this is particularly important for certificates or memberships that are renewed annually.
Adding examples of your work is a really effective way to showcase your skills and lends itself particularly well to people working in creative disciplines. But presentations, white papers, press cuttings and pictures can all contribute to your online portfolio.
Here's how Daniel Dunne of Worldpay has used media on his profile:
Let's face it, no-one is going to show a bad recommendation (pardon the oxymoron) so the value in them is debatable, but for a recruiter they can be useful if they mention specific skills, accomplishments and attributes.
Giving recommendations is a great way of receiving them – people tend to reciprocate.
Try to extend your first degree connections as your profile will be found more easily the more connections you have. We're not talking many thousands, but above 500 is a great start. Then, set yourself a target to reach 1,000 then 1,500 - you get the idea!
Tell Us You Are Looking
We know, unsolicited communications from recruiters can be annoying. Equally, you might have a great profile, but never receive connection requests from recruiters. Maybe that's because of the signals you are giving out. Check your privacy settings, have you let recruiters know you're open to opportunities?
How You Work It
Just like social media, what you post and how you comment on Linkedin contributes significantly to the type of impression you make. Your connections may know you and your personality, but chances are the recruiter viewing your profile doesn't, so bear in mind your tone. You can't go far wrong by always keeping it professional.