Seven things a recruiter looks for on LinkedIn

Students can use the professional network to carefully craft their profiles so that they catch the attention of hiring managers

April 22, 2023 09:29 pm | Updated April 23, 2023 04:47 pm IST

Make yourself stand out.

Make yourself stand out. | Photo Credit: Freepik

With 900 million users, LinkedIn is currently the largest professional network in the world. India is the second most represented country in the world with 101 million users. Only the U.S. with 199 million users is ahead.

Although it is difficult to give a precise estimate, a recent study showed that this social media platform is used to select candidates by at least 82% of hiring professionals from diverse industries across 25 countries and that recruiters use professional social media more often than personal social media to find details about various aspects.

What do they look for and how can you maximise the opportunity? Here are some tips:

Prior work experiences: Candidates should not only indicate where and how long they worked but also indicate their main activities/ accomplishments, and the skills acquired while performing this job. The more they reveal about themselves and the more unique they seem to be, the more likely a hiring manager may be interested in contacting them.

Education: Recruiters not only like to know where the candidate studied, but also details about the courses followed or significant achievements. Descriptions of important projects (team or individual) on which they worked and academic performance are also crucial.

Technical skills and expertise: While listing their skills, it is not only important to indicate those that one possesses but also list the ones that make them different from their competitors. Never forget, that uniqueness provides a competitive advantage.

Professionalism: Professionalism can be conveyed in several ways: the portrait, the background picture, the recommendations received, and the about section. A casual photo as a portrait (at a party, on the beach, or with friends) might trigger a negative reaction. Candidates can ask anyone in their network to write short recommendations on LinkedIn but many seek these from friends or colleagues. These do not indicate professionalism. It is better to have recommendations written by supervisors or former teachers.

Writing ability: Candidates have many occasions to showcase their writing ability on LinkedIn such as in the About section, or describing their jobs and work experience. Ensure that there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. One can also list writing as a skill in the Skills section.

Cognitive ability: Many hiring managers consider cognitive ability as the main ingredient for success. Past academic achievements, the About section, and descriptions of previous work experiences are all indicators of cognitive ability. Studies have shown that candidates with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to have a portrait on LinkedIn.

Interpersonal skills: Candidates can demonstrate interpersonal skills such as leadership, teamwork, organisation, creativity, analytical thinking, presentation and others in several ways. First is a description in the profile; the second is a listing in the Skills section, and finally, these can be implicitly stated through their extracurricular activities.

Thus students must carefully craft their profiles to convey that they they possess the right attributes for a position.

The writer is Professor of Organisational Behavior at EHL Hospitality Business School

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