A 2016 Jobvite report found that 87 percent of recruiters find LinkedIn the most effective network for vetting candidates during the hiring process. We all know that building and maintaining a personal brand on sites such as LinkedIn can help you stay active in your industry and find a job. But when recruiters look at your LinkedIn profile, what are they looking for? What are the most important elements of an online presence?
The Jack Welch Management Institute hosts a Leadership Live webinar series for students and alumni that address practical business skills and pressing questions just like this one. In a recent Jack Welch Management Institute webinar, Michael Levine—the senior enterprise account executive for the education industry at LinkedIn — shared these thoughts on maintaining your online presence and making yourself hirable.
- Fine-tune your profile information. Put some serious thought into your headline and make sure it accurately reflects the work you do and your potential. It should include more than just your job title. If you’re a recent graduate with little job experience, you can actually move the education section to the top, so that recruiters see it first. Yes, LinkedIn allows you not only to fill in as much or as little as you prefer on the profile but also to move sections around. And the more you can fill in, the better. Profiles with details about past work experience, for instance, receive 12 times the views of those profiles lacking that section.
- Present yourself visually. Profiles with a photo receive 14 times more views than those without, so be sure to include an image you want people to see and remember. But also present your work visually, with examples in photo presentations, videos, or even SlideShare to present an image that will be hard for connections to forget. Like putting a name to a face, representations of your work will stick in the minds of your connections or interested persons and help you stand out.
- Make the best use of LinkedIn’s tools. LinkedIn now has a feature called Open Candidates that allows members to privately indicate to recruiters that they’re interested in new work without their current employer knowing. Even those not actively looking can include industry-specific keywords (not jargon) in their profiles, allowing interested employers to find them in a search.
- Actively participate. LinkedIn is great for staying informed on professional topics. But it’s not enough just to read, like, or comment on others’ posts—you should be sharing insights yourself. This sharing could be as simple as posting a photo of a brainstorming session with a couple takeaways, it could be a full-on blog post, or it could be sharing relevant content from around the web. Add value to the community and show recruiters your level of professional engagement.
Your online presence must be dynamic. Continually refresh your information and be sure to interact with your community online. And make sure everything you present on the platform represents the quality of work you do every day so that it accurately and honestly reflects who you are and how you work. You never know where your efforts could take you.