What Employers Think When They See Your LinkedIn Profile

Published: Apr 02, 2015

What Employers Think When They See Your LinkedIn Profile
April 2, 2015
By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com

If you think social media is purely for posting cat pics and vacation photos or keeping up with friends from your high school and college days, you’re wrong. Social media has become an increasingly important tool used by life science employers when recruiting new talent. In fact, according to a 2014 survey conducted by Jobvite, a recruiting intelligence company, 93 percent of recruiters currently use or plan to use social media to enhance their recruiting efforts.

LinkedIn is perhaps the most important: 94 percent of recruiters responding to the Jobvite survey use it. They regularly search for and contact candidates as well as keep tabs on professionals they’d like to recruit in the future. Ensure your profile is effective for these purposes by reviewing it from an employer’s perspective. If you think that recruiters are likely to have any of the following thoughts, revise your content accordingly.

1. This person isn’t looking for work.
Nothing turns an employer off faster than an outdated or incomplete LinkedIn profile. According to Jobvite, 93 percent of them look for details on your “professional experience,” while 96 examine your “length of professional tenure.” Specific hard skills are also important to 95 percent of the recruiters reviewing you. Make sure they all find what they seek. Write an engaging summary, include all of your employment experience, and list skills relevant to your position.

No photo—or an unprofessional one—may also hurt you. One study by TheLadders found recruiters spend 19 percent of their time on your profile just looking at your picture. Your best bet is a well-lit headshot in business attire with a neutral, non-distracting background. And, don’t forget to smile!

2. This person doesn’t want to work for my biotech/pharma company.
Just as in face-to-face networking, virtual connections are often a foot in the door. Take the time to forge LinkedIn connections with employees at your company of interest. You may be able to do this through industry groups or directly through InMail. If you have a connection in common, don’t hesitate to ask for an introduction. According to Jobvite, 93 percent of recruiters look for “mutual connections” when reviewing your profile. If they don’t find any, they may decide you probably don’t want that research associate job badly enough.

3. This person isn’t involved in the industry.
Employers want to hire professionals who breathe, eat and sleep biotech and pharma. Your LinkedIn profile should show your immersion in the industry. Whether you’re a senior automation engineer or a project manager, join relevant groups and make the effort to connect with important professionals in the life science space. Follow industry thought leaders, share their posts and make thoughtful contributions of your own. This will capture the recruiter's attention. According to Jobvite, 88 percent of employers look for “industry-related posts” when reviewing candidate LinkedIn profiles.

4. This person hasn’t impressed anyone.
If your LinkedIn profile lacks professional recommendations, it’s not doing as much for you as it could. Without these badges of honor, recruiters are likely to think your past work hasn’t been that impressive. Fortunately, it’s easy to remedy the situation. Just reach out to past and current colleagues and ask for recommendations. Experts suggest soliciting reviews from a mix of connections including executives, supervisors and coworkers. Aim for a minimum of three, though more is better. Just avoid the generic; ask your colleagues to be specific and to the point in their assessments.

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