Whenever people talk about the job search, I get the distinct impression that no one feels like they are in control. Candidates have no clue what they’re doing. I don’t care what college you went to or how good your career center is. Most don’t offer a LinkedIn writing service or the connections you need on day 1. The second you walk out of those doors, you hit a wall. Reality is a lot different from the one-off coaching session you got in a classroom.
I don’t think most colleges prepare you any better than real life would if you started looking for jobs when you were 16 and learned a little bit about how hiring works. Or at least what you thought. We all know that our 16-year-old selves had a whole different perception of the world than reality.
On the other side are many recruiters who feel powerless to get the right people in the door. They desperately search for butts in seats and new tactics. Unlike many parts of the business, there’s not one education pipeline that leads you to recruit. You can study anything at school, do anything for the first few years of your career and still get a recruiting job. There’s not one baseline of things you have to know. You have to do a little bit of everything, and unfortunately, that puts us at a disadvantage. Who is good at everything?
What Do Recruiters Look For In A LinkedIn Profile?
You can pick any topic in hiring and find an area where candidates and recruiters haven’t communicated about what they want. LinkedIn profiles are no exception. While there are millions of articles about what makes a good LinkedIn profile or LinkedIn profile writing services, there aren’t many written from the perspective of the people who decide at that crucial moment: the recruiter who sends that link to the hiring manager.
So I just asked.
No lie, I posted on Twitter and asked recruiters, “what are you looking for in a LinkedIn profile?” They told me. As I said, I’m not a career expert, but I do know who to ask. Here are a few of the highlights:
- @OddGeoBlue said, “I search by job title/keyword on LinkedIn, so I’m looking to see 1. If you’ve got descriptions for each of your experiences so I can get an idea of your duties, 2. If you have a summary, I want to see if the job/company would resonate with you based on what you share.”
- @Lizbconsult, “Like with resumes, I want to know their career story- where they’ve been, where they’re going, what “tangible” contributions they’ve made. I’m also looking at how well they write/tell their story (3rd person = UGH), and I’m a sucker for “interests.”
- @CJHampton3, “I look at a job title, education (sorry), activity, and connections. In that order. No real deal-breakers – I give a lot of leeway on this site.”
- @HRWhale, “job history & details (hopefully), education if relevant, maybe about me to see if they list target roles (which may help or hurt) The summary is more about keywords search opt than reading IMO.”
- @coffeeandtejal, “A summary, what do they say about themselves? Is it more about the company or them? I want to know who they are, not what their company does. Skills – do they have the skills I am looking for. Recommendation – this is the modern-day equivalent of reference checks.”
- @doublempeacock, “I like to read their recommendations. Also, have they posted links to unique aspects of their work, such as videos or published writing? I like using #LinkedIn to supplement C.V. information and view candidates through another lens or perspective.”
How do you create all this in your profile?
What is a LinkedIn Writing Service?
I think you should leave it to the professionals. It’s tough to understand what makes your profile attractive to a recruiter without third-party help. Honestly, if you’re not feeling confident in your writing, that will come across in whatever you create. Confidence is the critical hiring criteria, don’t post content that doesn’t come across as confident.
I’ve heard about many different approaches to a LinkedIn writing service, but here’s mine.
We get it done in one hour. For 30 minutes, we will talk about your career and where you want to go. I’ll ask a bunch of weird questions, but I promise it’s all for a purpose.
In the last 30 minutes, I’ll rewrite the headline and about section of your profile. I’ll tell a story that creates intrigue for recruiters while answering their questions. I’ll make sure recruiters know you can do the job and they feel confident forwarding your information to a hiring manager.
Yes, I said writing it live. Done in 1 hour. It’s my weird circus trick.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.