5 min read

How to attract recruiters to your LinkedIn profile in 2020

Oct 27, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Think of it as a lead magnet. The better your Linkedin profile is, the more likely the it will attract recruiters and impress hiring managers who look you up when you reach out to them. Research has shown [2018 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Study] that vast the majority of recruiters look at LinkedIn profiles to assess a candidate’s worth. So if you’re not using the opportunity to showcase your value, you are almost certainly doing yourself damage, at least being disregarded without even realising it.

I’ve found that a lot of people feel overwhelmed by what they see as the “technicalities” of getting their information discoverable, so that they can attract recruiters to their LinkedIn profile in the first place. You shouldn’t worry about this - there are tried and tested steps that will improve the likelihood of attracting recruiters in the first place, and then impressing them when they land.

LinkedIn is all about branding. With the right messaging, both visual and text, you can create and optimise the best overall impression.


  1.  Make sure you have a good picture of yourself. It doesn’t need to be professionally shot, but it does need to be professional looking. Most smartphones have more than decent cameras on them, so enlist a friend to take a few shots of you looking relaxed and smiling. You’ll need to be a little careful about the lighting (avoid weird shadows) and the backdrop, but take a few, then crop the image for a clean head and shoulders shot. You can check out what your profile shot is saying about you using Photofeeler [https://www.photofeeler.com] a photo testing service which will tell you whether you look likeable, influential and competent.
  2. Behind the image of you, there’s a background image. “Your background image is a perfect place to highlight social proof or achievements, and yet it’s not something all users even consider adjusting. Some users simply use the default image of the shades of grey/blue shapes, perhaps because they don’t realize a custom image can be uploaded, don’t get around to it or just don’t know what image would be good to use. Your LinkedIn background banner photo should reinforce who you are and visually support the written portions of your profile. This image should communicate your value, skills and professional identity. Have a look at this selection of free images from Unsplash Recommended dimensions are 1584 pixels wide by 396 pixels tall.
  3. Customize your headline so that it’s absolutely clear how you add value. You’re wasting an opportunity if you leave it to publish the default, which will be the title of your current, or most recent job. As it’s this headline that shows up against your name in every LinkedIn search, it’s really worth spending some time creating something great.  There are a number of ways to bring out the best statement to showcase your value, but I find the following formula works a treat:   [who you add value to], [the way in which you add value], [how you add value] Example: I inspire [people with small gardens] to [make the most of them], by [creating stunning outdoor rooms]
  4. Write a compelling summary. If the rest of your profile is more or less a chronological resume, then think of this as important as acing a cover letter. Put the punchline at the top, because LinkedIn will only display the first 3 lines before giving the option to “see more”.
  5. Use the ‘featured’ section if you possibly can. Think of your profile as a portfolio, and this is where you can drop and logos, written pieces, videos of you speaking, interviews in the staff magazine etc.
  6. Improve your profile URL. If at all possible use your name, but if that’s been taken, or is very common, there are a number of ways of rectifying this. You could, for example use a symbol or even add in your industry or alma mater to address this challenge.
  7. Recommendations: give to receive. You’d be surprised how helpful having complimentary recommendations from colleagues or ex-colleagues, associates and suppliers can be. Be generous, particularly in these hard times, and your efforts will be repaid. Often, people will ask what you’d like them to focus on - so be prepared with some suggestions, just because some people find it more difficult to create from scratch than others.
  8. Be active on your profile. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a living thing and nurture it by updating regularly. Comment on other’s posts because not only it supportive of people in your network, but it is also a great visibility tool. Did you get recognised for anything at work recently? Add it to your profile!
  9. Keywords! I can hear the anxiety rising already, but there are some simple things you can do without being an SEO expert. For example, if you look at job ads for your target roles, you’ll see that some phrases that come up time and time again and these are the key words and phrases you’d be wise to integrate into your profile from your headline to the about section, work experience, and skills. Don’t go overboard though, because looking and reading naturally is more important than volume.

LinkedIn has literally revolutionized recruiting, so make sure you don’t underestimate its importance in being sought after, found and valued. These simple steps will ensure your LinkedIn profile attract recruiters and impresses them when they arrive.

Philip Browne accelerates successful executives by coaching them to find and pitch for top roles.

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Philip Browne

Written by Philip Browne