Why Your LinkedIn Profile is (Still) Important
Even though LinkedIn turns 20 years old in 2023, its influence and number of users continue to grow. The platform had more than 850 million members worldwide in December 2021 and a growth rate of around four percent in May 2022.
Some might claim LinkedIn is no longer as effective in landing a job, but more than 97,000 companies use it for recruitment. Over 67 percent of employers look at job applicants’ social media profiles before extending a job offer.
Hence, using LinkedIn to seek and vet candidates is alive and well. Creating an informative and concise profile that attracts potential employers and job offers and connects you with your colleagues and your industry is wise.
While recruiters should not judge a person by their LinkedIn only, it’s still essential to give your profile time and attention that could help you advance your career. Here’s why human resources and hiring managers care about your profile and why you should keep it updated.
1. Insights into Your Professional Background and Achievements
Most HR professionals and potential hiring managers visit candidates’ LinkedIn profiles to discover more information about their professional skills, experiences, and expertise. It helps them understand whether the resumes align with real-world experience and if they have relevant education.
But recruiters also leverage LinkedIn profiles to see job applicants’ career accomplishments and milestones, volunteer experience, endorsements, and more. That gives them more insights into whether someone would be a suitable fit for the job role and if they worked or collaborated with similar companies and businesses.
2. Information About Your Industry-Related Engagement Level
Despite what many candidates (want to) believe, HR professionals care about LinkedIn social media engagement. Employers often discard the job applications of people with inactive accounts or inaccurate information.
No online presence or lack of up-to-date content indicates a candidate might be hiding something or, even worse, they have nothing to show. Hiring managers care about seeing posts highlighting a person’s expertise and industry-related knowledge and skills.
Industry knowledge makes you competitive and allows you to stand out from other applicants. It is also a plus if they see a candidate participates in the community and engages with industry professionals, as that shows they can communicate efficiently and be a good brand ambassador. And this can only benefit you, too – there is so much valuable information, advice, and insight on the platform, and the more you utilize and tailor your feed, the more you can learn about your industry.
3. Insights into Your Values and Goals
Candidates’ LinkedIn profiles can often show whether they share values and professional objectives that match those of employers. That gives insight into whether they would be a good culture fit and if they would integrate into the workplace swiftly.
But job applicants’ profiles can also share their manners, language skills, and behaviors. For instance, some recruiters would decline a candidate whose online profile contains multiple typos and inadequate content for LinkedIn.
LinkedIn profiles are digital extensions of our professional personas and must match our values, goals, and impression we want to leave on the world. A polished and professional LinkedIn profile demonstrates your ability to be professional in the working world – with clients, in meetings, and in digital correspondences to a prospective employer.
4. Comradery with your Colleagues
If you do not have your current job on your LinkedIn profile, why? Colleagues tend to celebrate one another, so if you are not showing that you currently work with the company, you are missing out on a chance to connect with and recognize your coworkers virtually. You can also use LinkedIn to highlight different initiatives you are working on at your current company and share your colleagues’ accomplishments.
Your coworkers also have their own personal and professional networks that you can take advantage of and amplify once you are connected with them. Just as you might attend a networking event and leave with a stack of business cards, you should use LinkedIn as an opportunity to (digitally) connect yourself with new people through mutual circles. You never know how a new connection might help you down the road in your career!
Showcasing the Best Version of Yourself
Social media handles are a valuable information source for recruiters, and they will almost always use them as one of their candidate-vetting tools. Although some might skip the more personal networks such as Facebook and Instagram, almost everyone will check LinkedIn.
It is a platform that connects professionals and gives employers and candidates more information about each other. It helps both parties understand whether they share similar values, goals, and expectations.
Therefore, job seekers and candidates should focus more on their LinkedIn profiles and keep them polished and updated. That might help them get a dream job or prove why a hiring manager should interview them over another applicant.
And at the very least, it can help connect you with new people to add to your network. The more people you have at your disposal to help you in your job search – even if virtual – the better off you and your career will be.
About Ann Walsh
Ann P. Walsh, SPHR, is a start-up Human Resource Executive with over 25 years of expertise in architecting and implementing global human capital strategies in high-growth, employee-first organizations. Ann has received certificates in leadership, management, conflict resolution, and negotiation from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School; design thinking from Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and diversity and inclusion at Cornell University's ILR School. She is a certified Senior Human Resources Professional (SPHR) and has a B.S. in finance from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.