Did you know that 70 percent of the global workforce is comprised of passive candidates — people who aren’t actively looking for a new position? Moreover, employers find passive candidates desirable because they’ve already proven their value to other organizations. This means that executive recruiters for some of the top organizations are actively screening LinkedIn executive profiles looking for candidates. That’s why so it’s critical that your LinkedIn profile not only contain the basic career information, but also reflect who you are as a professional and a leader. Keep the following points in mind:
- Include a professional headshot. Avoid casual photos taken at the office or on vacation, as they simply don’t convey the level of professionalism recruiters are looking for.
- Make sure your contact details are current and complete. At the very least, you should provide an email address. It’s even better if you share your phone number.
- A well-written summary. After your profile picture, the first thing a recruiter will look at is your executive summary. It should be concise and written in a voice that corresponds with your personal brand. It should highlight the main value you bring to your current role; plus, it’s advisable to add some personal details. For example, you could mention your passion for traveling or how much you enjoy spending time with your family. Review your summary every six months to see if anything needs adjusting or updating.
- A description of your current employer and role. An executive recruiter will not only want to know what industry you work in, but also what type of company you work at. Give a brief description of your employer, mentioning things like the company’s mission, its history, number of employees and locations. You should also provide information about your current role, including your full job title and most important responsibilities.
- Your employment history since graduation. Typically, recruiters focus on senior-level positions. However, if you’ve made a lateral career move at some point in time, you can provide a brief reason why, for example to gain international experience or to learn more about a new technology. Keep in mind, though, that if you prefer to explain a lateral move in person, it’s perfectly acceptable, too.
- Evidence of your value to your employers. As an executive, you have to be able to quantify your value. If you spearheaded a project that resulted in $175,000 of savings from avoided cost overruns in the first six months alone, say so. Similarly, if you were responsible for the development of IP that generated significant revenue for the company, list that on your profile.
- Honors and awards. Make note of any honors and awards you’ve received, such as industry or innovation-related awards.
- Your academic history. You should list all of your degrees, as well as the educational institutions you attended; top-tier universities are highly regarded.
- Any extracurricular leadership positions. Ideally, this would include roles both during your academic career — such as president of the honors society — and afterwards, for example as board member of a local cultural institution.
- Solid recommendations. When it comes to recommendations, it’s more about quality than quantity. It’s best if they’re written by former supervisors, as well as people with significant influence in your field who possess the authority to speak to your abilities.
- Frequently updated content. To demonstrate that you’re an active thought leader, you should highlight your own papers, presentations, videos, interviews, articles, and blog posts.
Knowing what recruiters expect from your LinkedIn executive profile can be an important first step in landing your next position. But more than that, it can also be the beginning of a career-defining relationship with an executive recruiter who knows what you’re looking for and who’ll do his or her best to help you get it.
By Bryan Kirby, Vice President and Executive Recruiter with Kirby Partners Healthcare and Cybersecurity Executive Search. Get in touch with Bryan.