Clark Howard

5 Secret Ways Hiring Managers Screen You On LinkedIn

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are popular ways to communicate with the many networks you establish. On LinkedIn, the nature of the site dictates that you approach things differently, especially if you're looking for a job.

The reason is because LinkedIn is centered around jobs, professionalism and your career. In other words, recruiters and hiring managers are watching! But what are they looking for?

What Hiring Managers Look for on LinkedIn

To answer that question, we talked to Christine Brown, talent acquisition manager for Synovus in Atlanta, Georgia.

Not only did she share some secrets on how hiring managers screen you on LinkedIn, but she explains what you need to do to get noticed on the site.

If you’re looking for a job, use this article as a resource when you’re on LinkedIn. Ready to get started? Here are five things she says hiring managers look for on LinkedIn.

1. A Professional, Complete LinkedIn Profile

You may be wondering if you should even create a LinkedIn profile. You can get a job without one, but if you decide to sign up for an account, go all in.

“My advice is to create an account and always keep it up to date,” Christine says. “This way, your current employer won’t think it is strange if you suddenly create a profile.”

“Also, to increase your chances of landing a job it is better to complete your profile,” she says. “At a minimum, your profile should include your name, summary section, work history, and skills section.”

Here’s a secret you may not know: Christine says adding relevant keywords to your profile can make the difference between being employed or not.

"To filter through all the profiles, recruiters conduct keyword searches so having these sections filled in will help your profile stand out."

2. Location, Location, Location

When filling out your profile, location matters.

“Make sure your location is accurate,” Christine says. “That is usually the first filter a recruiter will use to find candidates. LinkedIn also allows you to list your current location and where you are open to relocating.”

3. An Active, Engaging Account

Lack of activity on LinkedIn, not having a picture on your profile or having a low number of connections can all have a negative affect on your account, she says.

“This will cause a recruiter to infer that you may not check your LinkedIn profile much, and in turn, may not respond if they reach out.”

Before you’re even put in touch with a hiring manager, Christine says a recruiter may not be inclined to reach out to you due to your lack of activity on the site.

“The goal for recruiters is to connect with candidates and therefore they will focus their efforts on candidates that seem more likely to respond,” she says.

4. Skills That Showcase Your Best

“In the skills section, make sure to include certifications, software, system knowledge and other specific skills,” Christine says.

When you fill out these sections on LinkedIn, it’s also a good idea to steer clear of using professional jargon.

“Stay away from generic or vague statements and buzz words such as self-starter, strategic player, detailed oriented, etc.” she says. “Instead, provide an overview and what makes you professionally awesome. Highlight key skills, what gets you excited about work, and industries you have worked in.”

5. Connections That Matter

Do connections matter? Absolutely, but the right kind of connections are even more important, Christine says.

Too many people focus on growing their network for the sake of numbers: There needs to be some substance behind your engagement, she adds.

“I am less worried about how many are in your network. But the more people you are connected with, the more searches you will come up in.”

Final Thought

As you well know, it can be hard work finding work, but that’s the point: The effort you put into it will eventually pay off.

All of the things listed above may get you into an employer’s door, but you still have to close the deal. Here are some parting words from Christine once you get your interview:

“Not being prepared is the biggest issue,” she says. “Candidates should research the company and also utilize the recruiter to do research on the company and position. By the time they meet with a hiring manager they should be able to explain why they are interested in the role and how it fits into their career plan.”

LinkedIn may seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Here are 25 tips and tricks to help you improve your LinkedIn profile.

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