9 Things Employers Look For In A LinkedIn Profile     linkedin

I am often asked how important Linkedin is when looking for a change of career or a new job. In this item, Ian Wilkinson from Graduate Talent Solutions

provides some top tips on how students can best optimize their LinkedIn pages to get more job offers from recruiters.

1. Build an All-Star LinkedIn profile

The top way to optimize your LinkedIn is to make sure you hit the all-star status on your LinkedIn profile.  LinkedIn has five levels of status, which indicates how complete your LinkedIn profile is. These levels are Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert and All-Star.

According to LinkedIn, users with All-Star profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn, including job offers and new connections. 

To get to this status and to attract employers to your LinkedIn profile, there are several things you’ll need make sure your profile has.


2. A professional headshot 

Uploading a professional picture can help draw recruiters and employers to your profile. Do's and don’ts for a good LinkedIn picture:


  • Look relaxed and approachable and make sure to smile. Employers will be more likely to click on your profile if you have an inviting presence.
  • Dress smartly. Whether you choose to wear a full suit or simply a smart shirt is really up to you, but no employer will look down on you for dressing smartly. 


  • Use a cropped group picture as your profile picture. This will often be obvious to employers and recruiters and will make you look unprofessional.
  • Have a distracting background. While this may be appropriate for other social media websites, LinkedIn is a site for networking professionally so a plain background is preferable. 

Wilkinson suggestst that the best type of image to use will be a headshot where you face occupies roughly 60% of the screen.

3. Descriptions of professional accomplishments

Filling out your professional history is much like writing a CV and, like a CV, it is rarely good enough to simply add the company names and the dates of employment.

When writing this section, you should include both information about the positions you’ve held and accomplishments in these positions if they’re relevant to the types of roles you’re applying for.

Focus more on the value that you added to the company, instead of just describing the everyday tasks of the role.

Where you’re talking about specific roles where you may have held responsibilities, try to use strong verbs and action words like ‘managed’, ‘led’ and ‘grew.  These types of action words are much more attractive to recruiters than passive raises like ‘responsible for’, or even just ‘duties included.

These positions don’t necessarily have to be professional work related roles,  but may be positions in a particular society or association at university where the responsibilities held are similar to those in the role you’re now applying for.

Putting industry keywords into your profile can also help you stand out even if you don’t have a great deal of experience as it willl ensure that your profile shows up in many more search results. 

4.A friendly, to-the-point summary

Your summary has a prominent spot on your profile so it’s vital to get it right. The point of the summary is to explain to recruiters and employers a little bit about who you are and what you do. It  should encapsulate your experience, your strengths, your skills and your vision for your career.

Your summary can be as many as 2000 words, but most people use less than half of this. The summary should just sum up your profile and should be straightforward and easy to read. 

5. Five or more skills – even better if they’re endorsed! 

To gain an All-Star LinkedIn status, you’ll need to add a minimum of five skills to the skills section of your LinkedIn profile. These should be relevant skills that you believe you possess. By doing this, you’ll increase your visibility on LinkedIn, appearing in many more searches.

Be quite strategic when you're listing skills and list the ones that are important in your industry or profession over other things and try to keep them relevant to your current career goals.

You can then get endorsements on these skills. This is done by your contacts on the site, which may be your work colleagues, managers, friends and peers from university or other professional contacts. 

6. Detailed descriptions of your education 

It sounds obvious but filling in the details of your education is a vital part of building your LinkedIn profile and, as a fresh graduate, may be one of the first parts of your profile that an employer will look at. 

On top of the basic details of your degree you should include any honors or awards you received, any relevant extracurricular activities, as well as any relevant modules.

7. A compelling headline

You’re allocated a maximum of 120 characters for this section and it’s a great way to stand out from other university graduates. 

Use the headline as an opportunity to highlight your expertise and your individuality instead of just listing your university or your job title and the company you’re currently working for. 

8. Plenty of connections

To earn the all-important All-Star status on LinkedIn, you’ll need to have at least 50 connections.

Where can you find these connections? They could be former co-workers, lecturers, people you volunteered with, managers, colleagues, university friends or school friends.

Find some useful connections who will endorse your skills and background.  Look at organizations that frequently recruit graduates and look at well-known industry influences. Keep track of what they're posting and connect with them when posting insightful comments about their content.

9. An active LinkedIn profile

There are 20 million companies on LinkedIn, with 14 million jobs posted at any given time. This makes LinkedIn an excellent tool to help you find a graduate job, but you have to make sure you use it!

A good way to get the attention of these companies is to actively use the website. “Post updates, articles, share news, comment on other people’s content, join industry groups and give and receive recommendations frequently,” said Wilkinson.

LinkedIn is not meant to be used like a CV, updated infrequently and forgotten about it most of the time.

This article was first published in June 2020 and was updated in September 2021 for www.topuniversities.com