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What Recruiters Look For In Your Linkedin Profile

20th July 2021

Linkedin is a crowded place. With over 750 million users this network has become an invaluable resource for recruiters. But how is it working out for you as a job seeker?

From your dashboard, you know how many people are looking at your profile but how many of those are choosing to connect in, message, or engage with you on a career prospect?

If the number is lower than you hoped then it's time for a revamp.


Your profile is far more clickable if you are smart about what you put in the headline.

Make it clear what you DO, avoiding jargon-filled internal job titles. Head of Fun at ABZ Co. sounds like a blast, but no recruiter is going to search for you that way. Head of Employee Engagement – now we have a much better idea of WHAT you do.

As well as your job title, including your location, current employer or industry will differentiate you too. For instance, Marketing Manager is pretty generic, but Digital Retail Marketer conveys much more about you.

Chris Carr from our HR team has great advice, "You're on no-one's radar if you're "seeking employment". Change your headline from "looking for new opportunities" to something more informative such as "CA-qualified accountant with immediate availability" or "15yrs+ HR experience, seeking new opportunities within renewables".

The headline also appears in Google search results – so recruiters can find you even when they are not on Linkedin, reinforcing the importance of using relevant keywords in this part of your profile.

Consider Karey Roberts headline. She has been really clear about her role title, but then she goes on to provide more information that explains WHO she helps and HOW she does it.

Photo And Cover Story Video

Always include a professional photo. Selfies, family shots, and wedding pictures don't create the right impression. Smile. Dress professionally. Photos are even more important if you hope to secure a people-centric or customer-facing role. And make sure your photo doesn't obscure any text that you've placed in your header image.

If you'd like to make your professional photo "pop" with a colour background try this free, easy-to-use tool Profile Pic Maker.

You may have access to a relatively new Linkedin feature called Cover Story Video. You can only add this 30-second video via the Linkedin mobile app, check if you have this functionality by viewing your profile page on mobile and if there's a small + sign on your photo you can upload video.

It's an opportunity to add personality to your profile and if you are job searching it's a chance to talk about what you're looking for next, your skills, strengths, and why recruiters should get in touch.

If you've been wondering how to add pronouns to your profile you'll find this option in the Edit Profile section.


Across your profile it's important that you don't use jargon. Your summary should be written in the first person and be personable.

The first 3 rows appear by default on your profile – make these punchy enough for the recruiter to want to read on.

Show off how accomplished you are by providing 2 or 3 specifics on what you have achieved, or what you do or, how your job helps people. For example, anyone could say they are "a motivated sales executive focused on exceeding targets by delivery exceptional customer service". What a snoooozzzzzzze.

This gets our attention though, "I sell Smart TechTM software to small business owners by demonstrating how this technology can reduce their energy costs."

Long paragraphs of text are a turn-off, but try using bullet points as these "bite-size" chunks of information are much easier to speed read.

We like how Karey has used her summary to reinforce her specialties (which are jam-packed with keywords) and provide easy visibility of her contact details.

If you really find it hard to write about yourself a cute hack is checking out the skills requirements on relevant job adverts. They will be full of keywords, providing inspiration when you write your summary, skills, and work experience sections. Or try taking a psychometric assessment, the results will clearly define your personal strengths using language that will give you ideas about how you can describe yourself without falling back on tired buzzwords or phrases.

Targeting the freelance market, Linkedin has also introduced an option where you can showcase the services you provide. The list is quite limited but is sure to grow and if you adopt this feature you'll also be able to request reviews and ratings based on a 5-star system, much like a Google or Facebook review.

Career History and Experience

This is the section where you can detail the accomplishments in each role you've held during your career.

Lauren Murray, Accountancy and Finance recruiter explains "Job seekers really do themselves a disservice by not completing their career history section. Aim to include around half a dozen bullet points on responsibilities and achievements. Talk about your skills, otherwise, a recruiter can't determine if you could be a good match for the role."

"Another tip from me is that temping and contracting are really effective ways to increase your skills and experience but remember to detail the company you worked at, rather than the agency you worked through. This information gives the recruiter a much better idea about your industry experience."


Completing your Education status will increase the number of searches your profile appears in (so will completing your Location field by the way). Keep your qualifications and professional credentials up to date – this is particularly important for certificates or memberships that are renewed annually.


Adding examples of your work is a really effective way to showcase your skills and lends itself particularly well to people working in creative disciplines. But presentations, white papers, press cuttings, and pictures can all contribute to your online portfolio.

Featured Content


Let's face it, no one is going to show a bad recommendation (pardon the oxymoron) so the value in them is debatable, but for a recruiter, recommendations can be useful if they mention specific skills, accomplishments, and attributes.

Giving recommendations is a great way of receiving them – people tend to reciprocate.

Network Size

Try to extend your first-degree connections as your profile will be found more easily the more connections you have. We're not talking many thousands, but above 500 is a great start. Then, set yourself a target to reach 1,000 then 1,500 - you get the idea!

Tell Us You Are Looking

We know, unsolicited communications from recruiters can be annoying. Equally, you might have a great profile, but never receive connection requests from recruiters. Maybe that's because of the signals you are giving out. Check your privacy settings, have you let recruiters know you're open to opportunities?

And if you want to be really clear that you're an active job seeker try placing the #OpenToWork frame by editing your profile picture.

What a recruiter looks for in your Linkedin profile
Posting On Linkedin

What you post and how you comment on Linkedin contribute significantly to the type of impression you make. Bear in mind your tone when updating your profile and commenting on other people's posts. When it comes to your own posts a handy rule of thumb for creating the right impression is to consider whether your content educates, entertains, or inspires - you can't go far wrong if you stick to a combination of one or all three.

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