Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What Recruiters Want to See on Your LinkedIn Profile

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I recently suggested to a client that if you’re a professional and you’re not on LinkedIn, you very nearly don’t exist.

Don’t shoot the messenger. And, please, allow me to clarify:
You very nearly don’t exist through the eyes of recruiters who use LinkedIn as a primary resource for finding outstanding candidates or checking out people who’ve applied to their open positions—every single day.

OK, so you know you’ve got to be on LinkedIn. But now, we’re going to take it one step further. Recruiters don’t just want to see that you’ve thrown up a profile, they want to see some very specific signs that you’re worth their effort in tracking you down.

Here are six things they’re looking for—so you can update your profile accordingly.

1. Completeness

Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the odds that the recruiter will find you in the first place. So completeness is important from that standpoint.
It’s also important after the recruiter has found you and decided to click on your profile. That recruiter is looking for details: She wants to know what you know how to do, where you’ve worked, and what people think of you, so don’t laze out and skip these steps. The good news? LinkedIn will actually measure the “completeness” of your profile as you work and offer suggestions on how to make it stronger.

3. A Network

Having 50 or fewer connections on LinkedIn tells recruiters one of three things: 1) You are a recluse who knows very few people, 2) You’re paranoid about connecting with others, or 3) Technology and social media are scary to you. None of these are good. I’m certainly not suggesting you need to be one of those weirdos who wears your “abnormally large number of connections” like a badge of honor, but you really should have at least 50-100 people with whom you’re connected as a starting point.

4. Details That Indicate “High Performer”

Recruiters spend countless hours scouring LinkedIn in search of the high performers. And when they find them, they contact said high performers. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a high performer, through your verbiage (think action words, accomplishments—you know, the same stuff that stands out on resumes) and by having multiple endorsements. (Want some? Start endorsing others—they’re bound to return the favor.)

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