Skip to content

How to spot the best Candidates, just from their LinkedIn profiles

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

Never judge a book by its cover.

Whoever said that likely never had to search through a long list of LinkedIn results for the right candidate to fill a vacancy. Had they been responsible for recruiting in the digital age, that well-known piece of advice may have come with a caveat: never judge a book by its cover - unless you know exactly what to look for.

Boasting 500 million users globally, LinkedIn has long been a key component of most Employer’s recruiting strategy for the best part of the last decade. It takes a novice to log in to the popular social media site and perform a search query. However, it takes skill to spot the very best Candidates from a profile alone.

Faced with a colossal database of professionals promoting their expertise, acquisition managers must keep a close eye out for the following:

1. It’s how they help, not what they do

The best Candidates often opt for a ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ approach with their LinkedIn profiles; they know that Employers are looking for individuals who have a proven understanding of the knowledge required for their role rather than an impressive title or a particular number of connections. Rather than simply listing their responsibilities in their previous roles, a strong Candidate will outline how they helped the business to achieve its objectives during their time in the job; they will illustrate with examples the value they added to the company.

2. They have proven interest in their specialism

While Recruiters and Candidates alike see LinkedIn as a tool to facilitate employment, it’s still a social media site at heart. There may be less memes than Facebook, but users from around the globe regularly come together to engage in conversations about challenges, developments and issues unique to their industry.

Does your Candidate regularly contribute to these discussions? Is the content they are sharing on their own profile valuable and insightful? You can tell straight away how active a Candidate is by clicking on their recent activity feed.

This will further allow you to learn more about the individual, the issues important to them and their personal brand – for example, if they only ever post spam or use LinkedIn to spark political or religious debates, they probably aren’t the perfect Candidate. If, on the other hand, the content they share is interesting, relevant and showcases either their own expertise or passion for learning more in this area, it’s worth getting in touch.

3. There are no red flags

Sometimes, you’ll know from first click whether the Candidate has potential. There are certain glaring red flags that will naturally lead you to click away from a profile, such as the use of inappropriate language or an unprofessional profile photo (if it’s a picture of their pet or their car, they’re out by default.)

However, there are also some less obvious warning signs that a LinkedIn profile could possess: ridiculously inflated job titles are a perfect example. Exaggerating about a job title is not only false and untrustworthy, it’s also quite cringeworthy. If you’re in the market for an HR assistant, you don’t expect to interview an Employee Experience Consultant who already thinks they’re too good for the job.

If there is not a single buzzword in sight and the Candidate has succeeded in selling their expertise clearly and concisely, you could well be on to a winner. If you’re still unsure on what makes for a strong Candidate, get in touch with us today.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.