What we look for in a professional LinkedIn profile
by Heat Recruitment
by Chris Birtle
LinkedIn has undoubtedly revolutionised the way in which we recruit. With over 500 million global users of the business-focused social network, using LinkedIn to find candidates provides a variable palette of talent. Over 95% of recruiters are now reportedly using LinkedIn for their hiring needs. The competition is fierce and the process of seeking candidates is becoming shorter and more concise than ever. So, what is it we are actually looking for in a LinkedIn profile?
- Profile picture
It goes without saying that a profile should have an image, even just to know who we are speaking to. You can also tell a lot from somebody’s profile picture. No matter what job and industry you are applying for, this is your professional platform and a smart, clear image is the front page of your book. Many recruiters can be put off scrolling further than the by-line of your profile because of a blurry or casual image, so don’t fall short in the war for the top positions.
- A bit of character
That being said, whilst LinkedIn is a professional platform and the suitability of images is important, your profile is there to tell your career story, so you can afford to be a little bit creative. Write a snappy by-line that will grab the attention of the hiring professional and ensure they want to read on. This is a small snippet of your personality.
LinkedIn also offers many additional features now to personalise your profile. The article posting option is a great way to share insights and thought-led content with your followers. We are always impressed to see candidates getting involved in industry conversations and having their say on current issues. Whether it’s a long-form blog or an opinion on a Bristol Bear’s match, candidates with something to say do stand out.
- An easily downloadable CV
The wonderful thing about LinkedIn… automatic access to CV’s. This really is a recruiter’s dream. However, you would be surprised how many people fail to upload a virtual copy to their profile. This can be done efficiently when editing the top section of your profile (under your picture). LinkedIn will provide you with the option to upload a document and this will be placed at the top of your profile.
Sure, you can list your achievements and work experience on your profile, but a virtual copy of your CV can be downloaded and saved to read, perhaps when we are out of office or attending a client meeting.
- Comprehensive list of experience
After downloading a CV from the profile, we do also enjoy going through the online profile. The beauty of LinkedIn compared to a paper CV is that you have the opportunity to list all of the work experience that you have ever had and are not confined to a two-page document. Whilst some of this experience would look out of place on a CV and may not be relevant for a job application, we as recruiters can find a comprehensive history useful to analyse your soft skills.
Let’s say you’re a Senior Financial Adviser and we are hiring for a client that is wanting a completely client-facing candidate. Social skills and experience are critical to this role. When looking into the plethora of experience you have had before you even started your financial career we can gain a further insight into you. Let’s say you had experience in your life in hospitality or charity work or working with children. This all goes a long way in building up those social soft skills that may boost you in front of a competing candidate. You wouldn’t know this from an up to date CV alone.
- Contact information
It goes without saying, whilst LinkedIn does offer an efficient messaging service of its own, sometimes a lot more progress can be made with a phone call or a direct email. Candidates lead busy lives and may have a varying schedule, therefore the option to get in contact with you personally and directly can be preferred for a hiring professional.
However, if you’re uncomfortable putting your personal details online that’s completely understandable. We will be in touch, just ensure to check your messages. Having the LinkedIn app on your phone can be a great way to keep up to date with correspondence.