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What Recruiters Look for on LinkedIn

recruiters looking on linkedin

A whopping 97% of HR and staffing professionals use LinkedIn to find candidates to fill their positions, many of which aren’t advertised on traditional job boards. On the flip side, only 50.5% of LinkedIn users have complete profiles and just 36% are active on the site, which is a huge discrepancy—and also an opportunity.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for networking and advancing your career, but it can also take a lot of the grind out of searching for a job. While it’s always a good idea to keep up your more traditional job hunting, there are a lot of very simple things you can do with your LinkedIn profile to make it so that the jobs come to you. Why not sit back and let recruiters and hiring managers knock on your door instead?

While we’ve gone over optimizing your LinkedIn profile in the past, this time we want to focus on the easy little tweaks you can make that will make you much more searchable and attractive to recruiters.

These are the 9 things we’re looking for:

A Complete Profile

  • This is a basic rule of thumb, but still worth repeating: complete your profile down to every last detail. If it’s related to your career in any way (and sometimes even if it’s not), then it’s worth putting on your profile.
  • Include the details that others often look over, such as your certifications, organizations you support, associations you’re a member of, and volunteer work, all of which present you as a better-rounded person that companies want to hire.

A Complete Resume

  • Just like your profile, fill out your experience section so that it looks exactly like the resume you’ve already written, including job titles, responsibilities, achievements, and skills.
  • As human beings, recruiters want to simplify their process as much as possible, so saving the step of asking for a resume to match against a job description makes everyone’s lives easier. It also insures that recruiters are more likely to bring you jobs that actually match your experience and skills.

A Well-Written Summary

  • This section can put you head and shoulders above the rest. Companies aren’t just looking for a skills and experience fit; they’re also looking for a cultural fit.
  • Use your summary to showcase your personality with a story: explain why you love what you do, how you got into your current field, or why you want to do something new. Share your career philosophy. Try to sound warm and personable, instead of formal and stilted.

A Professional Picture

  • People still mess this one up. Whether we like it or not, appearances are what make or break a first impression, so choose a professional profile photo, with an emphasis on professional.

Relevant Keywords

  • Recruiters use Boolean searches to find candidates on LinkedIn, so keywords are just that: key.
  • Make sure you take your job title and a couple of your best skills and sprinkle those words throughout your headline, summary, job titles, job descriptions, education, and skills. The more keywords you include in these sections, the more searchable you become.

front end developer keywords wordcloud

Lots of Connections

  • This runs parallel to keywords, as the more connections you have, the higher and more frequently you show up in searches. A good rule of thumb is to multiply your age by ten, and the resulting number should be the approximate number of connections you have.

Recommendations & Endorsements

  • Recommendations and endorsements are invaluable for validating your expertise and experience.
  • Like resumes, the best LinkedIn recommendations are ones that provide specific results or tell a story of transformation (or both) and come from people you’ve actually worked with, like managers or colleagues.
  • Just keep in mind that it’s important to value quality over quantity when it comes to recommendations and even endorsements—for the latter, rearrange your endorsed skills so that the ones most relevant to your job search show up first.

Activity & Engagement

  • Keep your profile up-to-date and accurate, join LinkedIn groups and engage in discussions, post links and updates to your feed, or even write your own articles and publish them through LinkedIn.
  • All of these show that you are passionate about your field and working constantly to learn, improve, and impart your expertise—all traits that are extremely desirable to recruiters and hiring managers.

Projects & Media

  • LinkedIn has a cool feature that lets you upload and showcase projects and content you’ve worked on, which are tangible proof of your accomplishments. Pictures and videos are extremely powerful, but you can also show off your articles, studies, and presentations right from your profile.

linkedin projects section

The reason why recruiters love seeing all of these elements on a LinkedIn profile is because it gives us complete insight into the candidate and their career right up front, so that we can quickly determine whether they’re the right fit on all levels: experience, skills, and cultural.

Taking the time to really make your LinkedIn profile shine will bring those 97% of staffing professionals right to you, taking a lot of the work out of your job hunt.

For more help with your job search, connect with us on LinkedIn at Pinpoint Resource Group.