Even before a hiring manager sets eyes on your resume, they could be finding out everything they need, and want, to know from your LinkedIn profile. There are benefits for anyone on LinkedIn to have an optimized profile, but even more so for both active and passive job seekers when it comes to attracting the right eyes on your information.
So what exactly are hiring managers and recruiters looking for on your LinkedIn profile?
Summary and Experience
Treat these areas as a CliffNotes version of your resume. It should include where you’ve worked, how long you’ve worked in each position, and what your role was at each. Make sure the About section is eye-catching. As the first bit of copy someone sees when they land on your profile, this is what can keep a person scrolling or clicking an X. Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t just communicate your professional story, but your personal branding. Keep that in mind as you are building your profile.
More Than Basic Setup – Checking all the boxes on each section doesn’t mean your LinkedIn profile is hiring manager-friendly just yet. Think of your profile as your own personal website and incorporate SEO strategy into it. Choose a quality profile picture that encourages a positive first impression. Include keywords that hiring managers are using in their searches. In the same breath, don’t overstuff the copy with them because it can make reading your profile clunky and unappealing. It’s important that you make your LinkedIn profile searchable, but you need to write for the human eye too.
Solid Network & Engaging Presence – Create a network of well-rounded individuals who you can not only learn from but can help support your online credibility. Reach out to those you’ve worked for, or with, in the past, and ask for recommendations and endorsements. That backing will give your LinkedIn profile an extra boost. Optically, the number of connections you have can be just as substantial as the quality. And it isn’t just about your network, you need to be engaging on the platform too. Interact with posts that are industry-specific or align with your personal branding. Also, be open to creating or posting your own thought-leadership content. This can be something as simple as an industry-related quote or as in-depth as a longer-form insight or thought you have regarding your career.
Remove Red Flags – If you have been a job hopper previously, you need to do your best to tie the strings together and remove any positions that don’t, or least, positively impact your job history. Don’t inflate job titles. Think of how hiring managers are searching for positions. They aren’t necessarily searching for a Selling Rockstar, but more likely a Sales Manager. Keep that in mind. This might seem obvious but remove any inappropriate language. Your LinkedIn profile is a professional view of your personal branding and should be appropriate.
Talk Yourself Up – Include specific achievements you’ve earned or awards you’ve garnered in each of the roles you’ve had. This information won’t be readily available to hiring managers anywhere else, so don’t undersell yourself here. Your LinkedIn profile is really one of the only digital platforms you have from a professional standpoint where you can full-on market yourself without coming across as egotistic.
If you are a hiring manager, what is it that catches your eye about someone’s LinkedIn profile? On the other side, what about your LinkedIn profile has caught the eye of a hiring manager? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out What Working from Home has Taught Us.