Wondering how your LinkedIn profile factors into hiring decisions?
In a 2020 survey, 67 percent of recruiters said they used the professional social media platform to recruit candidates. Another 67 percent noted they perused candidates’ LinkedIn profiles before extending hiring offers.
LinkedIn itself ups the ante even further, suggesting that 90 percent of recruiters use the platform at some stage of the hiring process.
“The profile headline and recent job titles are weighted heavily in LinkedIn’s search algorithms and recruiter behavior. A recruiter is likely to begin their search with specific job titles. Candidates with a matching job title in their headline and experience title headings will appear higher in results,” explains Forbes contributor Robin Ryan.
Still, you might wonder how employers view your LinkedIn profile? Here, we’ll talk about how recruiters use the social network so you can organize your profile accordingly.
These are the key profile features you’ll need to get noticed
1️⃣ A professional photo.
If you don’t have a photo on your profile, you are missing out on an important recruitment tool. Specifically, Harvard has found that profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed than those without them.
Ideally, post a professional headshot that displays you in a similar pose and attire to others in your field. In other words, if you’re in a profession where most people display only shots of themselves from the neck up, you should do the same. Business suits and crossed arms? That’s what you want, too.
2️⃣ A headline that conveys a clear sense of who you are.
By default, LinkedIn lists your current job title and Company as your headline if you don’t modify it. But the headline is the most searched part of LinkedIn, so letting it default this way wastes key real estate on your page.
Think about the headline as the overview of who you are that you’ll then prove with the “evidence” throughout the rest of the profile. Not sure what to do with the 120 characters? Find words and phrases connected to the jobs you’re applying for.
Here’s where you can find 10 Eye-Catching LinkedIn Profile Headlines to Inspire Your Own.
3️⃣ Position titles that match the ones on your resume with clear “wins” in each role.
Recruiters and employers may turn to your LinkedIn profile to ensure your resume is accurate and consistent. So, make sure your job information and job titles match in both places. Don’t list your job title one way on your resume and another way in your profile. If you had an obscure “official” job title that you changed to make it easier for recruiters to find you, make sure you change it on both your LinkedIn and in your application materials.
Next, work on your position descriptions. We’ve seen many LinkedIn profiles that list job titles, but they either miss position descriptions entirely or include vague ones.
So, make sure to use action statements and list specific accomplishments that you achieved in your previous roles. Remember, you want to prove that you were a high achiever in your past position; you don’t just want to include your job responsibilities.
A bonus? You can use the same position descriptions on your resume.
4️⃣ Skills and endorsements.
Recruiters and hiring managers want to see that you have the skills they’re looking for. Though you can tell them that you can do something in your cover letter or interview, LinkedIn helps you provide proof.
The platform lets you request recommendations from coworkers or clients. First, list the skills you think are most relevant in your job search. Then, you can ask your contacts to say how you have demonstrated those qualities.
Be sure you’re paying it forward here. Endorse a contact without being asked, and they’re likely to return the favor.
5️⃣ A robust network.
If you don’t have any connections on your profile, it may be a little suspect to recruiters. It’s important to have connections on your profile in order to make connections and receive endorsements, says Dustin McKissen, founder of McKissen + Company.
“I’m often asked whether I request or accept connections from people I’ve never met. For me, it’s a yes — but only if I’m genuinely interested in developing a professional relationship with the person and their field of work is somehow related,” he said.
So, ask former coworkers, members of your professional community both at home and around the country, and others you find inspiring to connect on LinkedIn.
Potential employers will also find it appealing if you engage on the platform as well. You don’t have to write long think pieces if that’s not your thing. But you should share updates about your job hunt, articles or ideas from others in your field, and shoutouts to your network for their accomplishments.
Making a Strong Impression When Employers View Your Profile
It’s likely that recruiters or hiring managers are likely to view your LinkedIn page at some point in the hiring process. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your page is complete, professional, and consistent. Specifically, the social media platform should convey who you are as an employee and a person, and that sense should extend to your application materials and interview, as well.
The key here is thinking of LinkedIn as a tool you can use to simplify the hiring process. After all, the platform gives you an extra degree of control over the personal brand you’re conveying to the world.