Come on, admit it: you spend dozens of hours each week on Facebook and Twitter posting, sharing, and updating your profile. But how much time do you spend on your LinkedIn profile?
Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey of 1,855 recruiters found that 93 percent are using LinkedIn to scout out potential candidates. Which means, while you’re checking out Instagram photos of your best friend’s new haircut, your next big job opportunity could be perusing your LinkedIn feed. But what exactly are they looking for? Here are four things hiring managers and recruiters are searching for on your LinkedIn profile:
A complete profile
A 2015 survey of 400 HR professionals conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found that the number one piece of advice participants had for job seekers was to have a completed profile. We’re not just talking about a professional photo and your resume here. All those other sections LinkedIn suggests to make your profile stronger, add them.
Past job experience isn’t enough anymore. Social media offers hiring managers an opportunity to dig deeper into who a candidate actually is. And boy are they digging.
They’re looking for cultural fit (list organizations and interests), attention to detail (customize your URL), and connections (spend the time to add all your email contacts).
Correct spelling and grammar
No, hiring managers aren’t typically grammar Nazis searching for split infinitives and incorrect usage of they’re/their/there. But, they do want to know that you’ve taken time to go over what you’ve written on your profile.
Spelling and grammar mistakes are red flags that you haven’t paid attention to details or checked your work. If you don’t do those things before the job, how will the hiring managers know you will once you have it?
When creating or updating your profile, be sure to step away from the screen for a moment before hitting saved. That way you can review everything again with fresh eyes.
Proof of your experience and skills
Give evidence supporting any past job or skill you list.“Developed a strategic social media campaign to promote product awareness” isn’t enough. Share by what percentage product awareness increased. Include as many of your professional accomplishments as you can.
Also make sure your contacts are giving you endorsements. Endorsing is contagious. If you confirm your contacts’ skills, they’ll return the favor.
Involvement in industry groups and posts
The aforementioned Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey found that 88 percent of recruiters are checking to see that your posts are industry related. Why? Being actively involved gets you noticed. Recruiters are reading relevant posts, and your contributions put you on their radar.
Trying to catch the eye of a tech startup? Join different technology groups on LinkedIn, then comment and share away — just like you would on Facebook. Follow different startups and tech companies — just like you would on Twitter. This will not only prove you’re truly interested in an industry, but could also lead to connections and opportunities you never considered.
What other aspects of your LinkedIn profile do you think interest hiring managers? Share in the comments below!
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution that gives job seekers complete control over their job search. It's available for individual users, university and military career services centers, libraries, and corporations seeking to offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Connect with Val and CareerShift on