Insider LinkedIn best practices

Over 470 million users are registered on LinkedIn, so what makes one profile stand out above the rest? Follow these LinkedIn best practices to ensure yours is optimized for recruiters!

Best Practice #1 – Include a profile photo!

This may seem obvious, but this is important. Profiles with a photo are statistically 14 TIMES MORE likely to be clicked on as compared to a profile without one. Making this one small change could already increase your visibility significantly.

Best Practice #2 – Create a strong profile with both relevant keywords AND skills/endorsements

Why are these equally important to consider? Think of them together as a complete, two-step process.

Skills/endorsements are actually one of the key items recruiters use to establish a candidate pool and is a way for your community to validate the skills you say you have. An example initial recruiter search could look like this: all candidates with the job title “Project Manager” in the “Greater area of Seattle” with an endorsement in “Project Estimation”.

  • Side tip – To get an idea of what endorsements you can include in your profile, search for prominent industry leaders with similar job titles and take a peek at their endorsements!

After recruiters have established their initial candidate pool, they must filter by additional keywords to narrow that list to a number that is more manageable and to locate candidates with profiles that support substantial experience in the specific industry requested.

This keyword search is the last thing that determines whether or not you’ll be identified within that pared down list! In other words, both steps are critical components to assist the recruiter in finding YOU, so make sure your profile is complete with both.

Best Practice #3 Follow target companies and join relevant professional groups

Showing an interest in a company (by following it) and joining relevant professional groups makes a candidate:

1) easier to identify/target by recruiters, and

2) more appealing to reach out to, as a potential candidate with a history of applying to a particular company or a history of following that company shows a greater interest in potentially working at that company.

Consider keeping the following in mind when establishing your LinkedIn account, as recruiters can search for candidates by: Veteran status/military history (for veteran hiring initiatives), individuals following their company, individuals with a prior application history (through LinkedIn), individuals with 1st connections to company employees, and individuals subscribed to relevant professional groups (among many more). Bottom line: active participation on LinkedIn promotes greater visibility when recruiters filter candidates!

Best Practice #4 – Utilize the ‘Open to New Opportunities’ feature

Last but certainly not least, if you are actively looking for or open to new opportunities, you MUST turn this feature on! Toggling this feature on within your account will alert recruiters that you are more likely to respond and therefore a potentially greater return on investment for their time. This feature is ALSO something that recruiters can search by to narrow their candidate list. Best of all, LinkedIn keeps this feature hidden from any recruiting accounts associated with your current employer so that your privacy is assured.

To turn this feature on within your account, simply follow the below listed steps:

  1. Login to your LinkedIn account
  2. Click on the “Jobs” tab within the header bar:

3. On the subsequent page, select the “Preferences” tab:

4. Toggle the ‘Let recruiters know you’re open’ feature at the top of the screen to ‘On’:

Voila! This feature is now set and you’ve heightened your visibility as a potential candidate to recruiters.

In short, there are ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile for the opportunities you’re interested in and the opportunities you seek! Proactively utilize your unique skill set, connections, and experience as leverage to attract the opportunities you want and the perfect job might just find you.

By Kristen Decker
Kristen Decker Handshake Manager Kristen Decker