Improve your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is a key tool in your arsenal when you’re looking for a job. It’s an easy, convenient, and readily available information resource that recruiters can use to find out more about you and what you bring to the table.
But, what exactly catches a recruiter’s eye as they scroll through your profile? Several of our recruitment consultants weighed in on what profiles make them reach out—as well as those that make them recoil.
1. Complete Your Profile
You wouldn’t submit a half-finished resume, would you? That same rule holds true for your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you take the time to adequately complete each section.
“Incomplete profiles make it more difficult to determine whether you’re the best match for the job, because we can’t get the whole picture. It’s a bad first impression,” says Jeffrey Horowitz, Partner with The Mason Group.
2. Choose a Professional Photo
Your profile photo is one of the first things viewers look at, so you need to have one. You also want it to be professional—meaning no selfies or vacation photos.
“A professional looking headshot is a must,” shares Katherine Marr, Director of The Mason Group’s Accounting and Finance Permanent Recruitment Division in downtown Toronto. “It doesn’t need to be something you pay for, but you should be dressed in a full corporate suit. No cutting someone out, no wedding boutonniere, and no odd poses or props.”
3. Optimize Your Headline
Your headline is how recruiters will find you when they search on LinkedIn. So, the more obvious you can make it, the more likely you are to be found by recruiters who are seeking your expertise. Rather than getting extravagant, make your headline your current or desired job title—such as Chartered Public Accountant or Financial Analyst.
4. Write a Brief Summary
Your summary is a place where you should highlight your accomplishments, awards, and most notable professional experiences, as well as any relevant keywords about your field or position. However, your summary doesn’t need to be overly lengthy. In fact, the more concise you can be, the better.
“Don’t include high school or more than the last 10 years, and be mindful of including co-op and summer terms once you have relevant permanent experience,” Marr adds.
5. Stay Away From Jargon
It can be tempting to pepper plenty of industry jargon into your profile to make you sound more informed and educated. But, those vague terms ultimately only confuse everybody—including recruiters.
Instead, be as clear as possible—particularly in your job title. What should you list if you’re currently unemployed? “You should just leave your last job title until you get a new one,” recommends Marr.
6. Keep Information Consistent
Whenever you update your resume, you should also make it a point to refresh your LinkedIn profile at the same time. You want the information (including job titles, responsibilities, and employment dates) between the two to match up. Otherwise, you run the risk of recruiters either questioning your honesty or doubting your attention to detail.
7. Build a Network
You want to show recruiters that you have an established web of professional contacts—both online and off. So, put in the work to bolster your LinkedIn network. No, you don’t need thousands of connections. However, most experts state that at least 300 is a solid number to aim for.
8. Post Regularly
When recruiters find their way to your LinkedIn profile, you want to show that you’re actively engaged there. Do so by liking relevant updates in your newsfeed, sharing industry related content, and commenting on thoughtful posts. All of this will show up under the “Activity” portion of your profile.
But, as with anything, make sure that you keep things strictly professional. “Be mindful of liking or sharing things that are not business related and are more suited for Facebook, rather than LinkedIn,” warns Horowitz. Remember, recruiters will see that.
9. Don’t Rely on Recommendations
Recommendations from your connections can be a nice complement to your profile—especially if they’re brief and highlight a specific skill or accomplishment. But, these recommendations won’t be the first thing recruiters look for. So, don’t feel like you need to invest a ton of elbow grease into collecting those commendations.
10. Open Yourself to Opportunities
When you’re actively searching for a new position, you should let recruiters know that you’re receptive to new opportunities. Do this by enabling LinkedIn’s “Open Candidates” feature under your preferences.
By turning this on, you’ll privately signal to recruiters that you’re open to hearing from them. You can even specify the types of companies and roles that you are interested in.