The Do’s and Don’ts of a LinkedIn Profile

Ever wondered what prospective employers value when looking at a LinkedIn profile? According to our new research it’s not a person’s number of connections, recommendations or their clever contributions to groups, but the description which really matters.

The independent study was conducted among 100 HR heads of some of the UK’s leading employers. Our report on the findings entitled, An Executive Recruitment Game Changer? lifts the lid on the role of LinkedIn in the recruitment process.

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When asked to score the various elements that  make up a candidate’s LinkedIn profile, the  description comes top, followed by skills and  expertise endorsements, which in turn are more  important than recommendations.

The number of connections – something many  pride themselves on – is barely valued; scoring  just 3.5 out of 10. Updates are also not  important.

HR heads are more likely to judge a candidate  based on the groups they join rather than their  photograph. However, those spending a lot of  time contributing to groups be warned, the  things you say in groups don’t appear to matter  as Norrie Johnston explains:

“Almost without exception, contributions to  groups come last in the list for the HR heads we  studied. So before contributing to groups,  executives, who are likely to apply for roles,  should first ensure their LinkedIn description is  top notch and truly reflects their experience  and skills.”

While HR heads place limited value on many of the elements that make up a profile and few (8%) believe all that they see, the research suggests having a LinkedIn presence – especially a good description – is valuable. 38% of recruiters more often than not look on LinkedIn at senior candidates who have applied for jobs. This rises to 64% among the biggest employers employing over 5,000 people.

The research highlights some interesting sector variations; HR heads of public sector organisations are least likely to find LinkedIn useful for assessing the backgrounds of candidates, giving it a usefulness score of 2.6 out of 10. They also place the lowest value on each element that makes up a profile.

In the leisure and catering sectors the photo is deemed by recruiters to be the second most important element of a profile, scoring 7 out of 10 for importance, compared to the average of 3.7.

In logistics and retail businesses, skills and expertise endorsements outperform the description and are the most important consideration (scoring 8.2 out of 10).

LinkedIn Profile – What Matters?
Skills & expertise endorsements
What recommendations say
Number of recommendations
Quality of candidate’s connections
Groups joined
Number of connections
Contributions to groups

This is just one of the many subjects covered in our new Report on LinkedIn – Recruitment Game Changer? Get your free copy here

Remember, we combine traditional, expert search with the very latest online recruitment techniques, including of course harnessing the power of LinkedIn. So if you want to ensure your executive recruitment is using LinkedIn to the maximum, or have a specific senior brief you’d like to  discuss, do get in touch, call 01962 828 792