What makes a winning LinkedIn profile: A Recruiter’s perspective

By Derek Walters, Talent Director at Three Whiskey on

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to job search where the offers come to you? Where all you’d have to do would be to sit back and watch them roll in?

LinkedIn is the world’s number one professional network and the best place to job search in 2021. Because of that, it’s filled with recruiters who spend their days scouring profiles to find the best candidates for jobs.

They’re looking at your experiences and preferences and matching them against their job vacancies. If you want the best offers (and the best opportunity to be noticed) optimising your LinkedIn profile is the single most important thing you can do.

Three Whiskey’s Talent Director, Derek Walters, shares how.

Complete your profile

It may seem obvious, but so many people only have a semi-completed profile. It feels low-effort, and wastes an opportunity to fully showcase your skills and experience. On the other hand, having a comprehensive profile will make it more discoverable to recruiters or potential employers who are looking for someone with your precise skillset.

Have a great profile photo

Your profile photo is the first impression someone has of you so make it count. It doesn’t need to be a professional headshot, but it does need show you clearly, in a friendly and professional light.

Optimise your profile with keywords

Don’t be fooled into thinking that SEO is just for Google. Optimising your LinkedIn profile with the right keywords will give you a greater chance of being found, so make sure you include industry terms that are factual and specific. Being a ‘word nerd’ or ‘Marketing wizard’ might give you points for quirkiness, but it isn’t an effective way to get found.

Let recruiters know you’re looking for work

LinkedIn’s Open To Work feature puts the message out that you’re on the market for work, giving you greater exposure to recruiters and hiring managers. It lets you get specific about the opportunities you’re open to and the locations you’re willing to travel to. As an added bonus, it won’t alert anyone who works for the same organisation as you.

Build your network

LinkedIn is great for network-building. It can take a little time if you’re starting from nothing, but simply begin with your past and current colleagues and watch it snowball. Suddenly, you’ll be opening doors with 2nd and 3rd degree connections that might just lead to something good. As well as colleagues, connect with recruiters, relevant companies and aspirational employers. Who knows what opportunities you might stumble across.

Get recommendations and endorsements

In the same way that businesses seek out testimonials for their brand, personal recommendations and endorsements will help to champion you as a professional. Someone to be trusted. Reach out to colleagues, past and present, and ask them to act as referees. Sweeten the request by offering to repay the favour.

Be active

Be an active member of the LinkedIn community by commenting, replying and sharing wherever you can. The more active you are, the more visible you’ll be and, in turn, the more opportunities you’ll have for connection.

Add some interests

Stand out and show the world that you’re a fully-rounded individual by filling in LinkedIn’s ‘Interests’ section. For example, if you’re an Engineer with an interest in space travel, don’t be afraid to talk about that a little bit. It might make a recruiter more inclined to contact you. However, if your main interest is ‘beer pong with the boys’, it might be best to leave that out. Keep it professional and at least semi-relevant to the position you’re hoping to find.

Is your LinkedIn profile looking fly? Find out how to use social media to research potential employers and position yourself for work.

Three Whiskey are members of the CMA. Find out more about their work on their member page.

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