It’s not enough to throw together a LinkedIn profile, paste in some resume info, then leave it alone to somehow work its magic. You have to think about an important group of people using LinkedIn on a daily basis: Recruiters.
94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to screen job candidates. This is what they expect when reading your LinkedIn profile during your next job search.
Complete your profile
An incomplete LinkedIn profile may have missing dates, skills, education, and accomplishments. Having an incomplete profile will make it look as if you rarely use LinkedIn, causing your profile to be passed up by those who stumble upon it.
Additionally, LinkedIn measures profile completeness and level of activity as two of the many relevancy factors for their People Search algorithm. Recruiters may never find you if your profile is incomplete or you never use the platform.
Add media if possible
Social media is still a form of media. Therefore, professional appearances matter. If you have worked at a professional company, add media to make your profile more visually attractive.
Two easy forms of media that just about every company will have available is a website and a logo. Start by adding your company website as media, then go to Google Images to download the company logo. Your profile will look more polished and show you that put thought into what people see.
With the new LinkedIn profile design, media shows up even more prominently on your profile.
Professional looking headshots
Put the duck lips away. Quit with the selfies. LinkedIn is not the place for it.
Professional looking headshots are the way to go on LinkedIn. According to a series of studies done by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov, it only takes .10 seconds to form an impression of a person. Professional LinkedIn profile pics convey the message to companies that you take your career seriously.
Having information on your resume that is either missing or different from your LinkedIn profile does not work in your favor. Recruiters are trying to read your thought process and having conflicting information leaves them thinking you are either not telling the truth, or do not pay attention to detail.
Both assumptions make you look like a person who should not be trusted. Yes, LinkedIn profiles and resumes are different, but the content of both should never conflict with the other.
Long LinkedIn summaries are not ideal when trying to appeal to recruiters, especially if they ramble on without getting to the point. What makes you great at your job, your passion, and keywords related to your industry are all things that should appear in a LinkedIn summary.
Headlines indicating your job title and company (at a minimum)
If you look around LinkedIn you will find many different styles of headlines. However, it is important to remember that your LinkedIn headline could show up in a Google search, too. If a recruiter Googles your name it will often be the first result they see.
Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is always up to date with the most recent and relevant information. It will lead the recruiter to click on the search result and go through your profile.
Strong, concise LinkedIn recommendations complimenting your strengths
Recruiters will not always take the content in your profile at face value. They need to see LinkedIn recommendations from people within your industry who can attest to the strengths you have mentioned.
Ideal LinkedIn recommendations will come from previous supervisors, managers, or colleagues you have worked with. The relationship between you and the recommending profile is visible to everyone.
It is additionally helpful to have a fair number of recommendations in your profile. A good rule of thumb is 2 to 4 recommendations per career listed in your profile.
Profiles with a strong network
Anyone can see the number of connections you have, up to 500, on LinkedIn. Recruiters are expecting that you have a strong network within your industry that includes people you have worked with at previous companies and other professionals in your industry.
Everyone on LinkedIn is aware of the many people around the world spamming connection requests to just about anyone. The profile with a strong network is one that appears to only connect with people within your industry. The fact you have so many connections shows you are using LinkedIn as a professional and doing your best to advance your career!
Recruiters expect you to answer
A feature LinkedIn added in the last year is the ability to show Active Status if you are currently on LinkedIn or available via mobile. You can tell the difference by looking at the green circle next to the person’s profile picture
Obviously, recruiters do not expect the urgent response of a firefighter on duty, but recruiters will expect you to respond quickly if they see the green circle.
At the end of the day
Recruiters play an important role in the hiring process. Be proactive by providing what they expect and communicating that you are ready to work!
Mike Podesto is the CEO & Founder of Find My Profession – the career finder service for $100,000+ earners. Mike serves as a contributing author for Find My Profession, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Thrive Global, and Recruiter. As a LinkedIn Influencer and a member of the YEC (Young Entrepreneurs Council), Mike is recognized nationally as an industry leader, offering a premium solution for job seekers looking to outsource their job search.