One survey found that 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates. More than just recruiters, hiring managers, and other decision-makers are using LinkedIn.
In fact, there’s this new world of virtual recruiting that is replacing the traditional job application process—the one where a person actually applies and then gets hired.
Taken from a 2015 Quartz article,
“Most new hires don’t come through the traditional application process, according to a new San Francisco Fed paper highlighted at The Wall Street Journal (paywall). The researchers found that about three quarters of people that get new jobs haven’t actively looked or applied for a job in the previous three months, meaning they were probably poached or referred.”
What this means is that if you want to land the best opportunities, you either need to have a connection at the company or be recruited. This article is going to focus on the latter by sharing 10 tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out to recruiters.
1. Be passionate and enthusiastic
People want to work with people who are passionate about what they do.
Technical recruiter Nicole Tucker explains, “We definitely look for passion and enthusiasm. These qualities are innate to personality and therefore, very hard to teach. You can learn and be taught hard skills but soft skills are a little bit harder. That said, we hire 90 percent for culture and 10 percent for hard skills.”
2. Show, don’t tell
Don’t just say that you are passionate and enthusiastic; show that you are.
The words “motivated”, “creative” and “passionate” are some of the most overused on LinkedIn. Instead, show that you’re these things by sharing real examples of your passion as well as times you went above and beyond in your responsibilities.
3. Have a portfolio/Github with samples of your work
One great way to show what you can do on your LinkedIn is by including links to your work samples from your portfolio and project repositories from Github.
This also gives recruiters the chance to leave your LinkedIn profile to find out more about you.
4. Don’t include “everything AND the kitchen sink”
According to Jenny Foss, career strategist and the voice of the popular career blog jobjenny.com,
“One big mistake I see people (not just job seekers) make is that they have this ‘everything AND the kitchen sink’ mentality about what to put in their LinkedIn profiles. This is a mistake if you're a job seeker because, assuming you want to have recruiters find and review your profile, realize that the last thing they want is to have to scroll until the end of time to get to the bottom of your LinkedIn profile. Your goal with LinkedIn is to include enough so that you turn up in the kinds of searches you wish to turn up in (think: use keywords that are relevant and common to your target role) and so that you whet the appetite of the reviewer and make them want to know more. Your goal is to not include so much that it's painful to get through the darned thing and/or weed out the most relevant info.”
5. Have a complete profile
The more complete your profile is, the higher the odds that a recruiter will find you on LinkedIn.
Moreover, recruiters are looking for details. They want to know what you do, where you have worked, and more. A complete profile helps them do this.
Fortunately, LinkedIn makes it easy for you to achieve a complete profile by offering suggestions on where you can improve it.
6. A network (or connections)
You don’t need a massive network of hundreds of connections. However, having less than 50 make you look like a hermit or that you’re scared of social media. (Neither are good.)
LinkedIn makes it convenient to connect with others by allowing you to import email contacts, find people from your alma mater, and even suggests who you may know.
7. Recommendations or testimonials
Having managers and colleagues sing your praises publicly goes a long way. It shows recruiters that people enjoy working with you.
For more on the best ways to get client/colleague testimonials, check out this article.
8. The longer you’ve been at a position, the better.
Bouncing around from job to job every month is not a good sign. Staying shows dedication.
Even if it’s a contractor/consulting job, consider adding it to your experience section if you’ve been there for a year or more.
9. Transferable skills
Make sure to highlight any transferable skills you picked up from previous positions.
Especially any kinds of software/tools you used, such Salesforce, Quickbooks, Microsoft Excel, etc. You’ll be surprised to see how some of these can transfer over or be relevant in other roles.
10. Education, courses and/or certificates
Listing your education can help you score 10 times more profile views than those who leave it blank, and make you 15 times more likely to be contacted (source).
While education is a great performance indicator, it alone does not say much. (Even if you attended a competitive coding bootcamp.)
Furthermore, taking courses (after college) shows that you value learning and self-improvement. Hiring those that want to keep learning is desirable.
Ultimately, LinkedIn is just one piece of the job search puzzle. (But a very important piece at that!)
If you need help with your LinkedIn profile, make sure to download my free LinkedIn profile completion checklist (specifically for techies)!