By: Miranda Leo, Recruiting Manager
Nowadays, it’s common knowledge that LinkedIn profiles play a major role in job searching and hiring, but just having a profile is no longer enough to ensure you stand out amongst other candidates. With recruiters and hiring managers doing most of their candidate sourcing and recruiting through the platform, it’s important to have your best foot forward to amplify your experience and interests.
Luckily, enhancing your LinkedIn profile doesn’t require major changes or time-consuming updates. A few simple tweaks and following some best practices can make all the difference the next time a hiring professional lands on your page.
What Are the Most Important Features to Update on Your LinkedIn Profile?
The most important features to keep updated are the sections that tell the profile visitor who you are, exactly what you do, and the value that you bring to your current job and future ones. This includes keeping your job title up to date and associated with the company profile that you currently work at and including at least 1-2 bullet points outlining your duties in that role. Recruiters often see profiles with just the company and job titles listed under the experience section, which makes it difficult to identify that person as a strong candidate for specialized company needs. Be specific or you will likely be passed over.
Additionally, including a professional headshot can give those in your network and potential recruiters a sense of who you are. While no recruiter with integrity would ever make a hiring decision based on appearance, a headshot can indicate a lot about how the candidate presents themselves professionally. Having no headshot, or a poor quality one, can indicate that the candidate hasn’t put effort into properly completing their profile.
Lastly, leverage the skills and endorsements section to showcase your technical and professional skills. For example, I would expect finance professionals to have skills like “analytics” and “financial reporting” on their profiles to reinforce their experience.
How Should You be Using Your LinkedIn to Stand Out?
The answer to this question depends on what you’re hoping to get out of it. If you’re actively looking for new opportunities, it’s a good idea to be on the platform at least once a day. If you have companies in mind that you would like to work for, check out the list of current employees and identify a contact that is in a similar role to connect with on advice or to hear about the company’s opportunities. Share and post content related to your job field and start conversations with others to present as a thought leader.
You should also be constantly monitoring the Jobs tab for updates and new opportunities, as jobs are added there daily. You can search by interests, city, management level, and more, so you can really pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for. Better yet, you can set up alerts to send to your email when a new job is posted that aligns with your interests.
Also, don’t be afraid to utilize messenger to make connections with leaders of companies you admire or to build your network. You can also like and comment on their posts if you want to be extra visible. LinkedIn should be viewed as Professional Facebook. Don’t be afraid to be friendly, but formal.
What Should You NOT Share on LinkedIn?
It’s important to understand that LinkedIn is a professional platform, not a personal one. While it’s okay to reference personal attributes like being a “people-loving person,” anything beyond what would be relevant in a job search should be omitted.
Additionally, keep posts about politics or controversial topics off your timeline. You don’t want recruiters and hiring managers to develop preconceived notions about your character by what you post online. You are allowed to have a personal life, but Instagram and Facebook are better suited for that content. That being said, we recommend putting appropriate privacy settings on all personal social media channels should you not want recruiters looking at them.
More than 95% of hiring professionals use LinkedIn to search for talent. It’s imperative that professionals invest some time into the platform as an advancement tool because, when properly set up and utilized, it can be critical in propelling a candidate to the next round of interviews.