How do you evaluate a candidate’s LinkedIn Profile?
We know that external recruiters live on LinkedIn. But how do in-house recruiters, HR folks and hiring managers use it?
I recommend evaluating the LinkedIn profile for each candidate alongside his or her resume.
Do they seem like the same person?
Have they given you the same information or does the Profile add greater depth to your understanding?
Since a resume is a piece of marketing collateral showing you how they can solve your problem and the Profile is more general and can (if done properly) show you more about what they are like, what they are passionate about and what they think of their experiences and skills. It also shows you what their first degree connections think of their skills (endorsements) The recommendations are gold as well.
What is the headline? If it is simply their last title, it shows a lack of imagination or a lack of knowing how to use the platform. If their name includes their contact info, it shows a defiance of the rules.
Does the industry they chose match the industry of your company? Or at least of the industry of the department you are considering them for?
Does the list of current and previous companies match what is on the resume? It may not, especially if they have tailored the resume to highlight the companies where they got the experience you need.
Does where they received their education matter for this position?
How many connections do they have? Having fewer than 500 means that they are not as well-connected as they could be. It may mean that they are thinking of LinkedIn as a professional Facebook and only link with personal friends. Since that is not the purpose of LinkedIn, you need to wonder about their understanding of this platform and of business networking in general.
Do they have a www.linkedin.com/in/theirname URL? They use the platform to its maximum.
What do you think of their Summary? Does it tell you a good story about their passions, ambitions, skills? Or is it a dense list of keywords that makes you want to skip it? The platform allows 2000 characters. How well are they used?
Are the top ten skills and endorsements the ones you need for this position?
Are their experiences relevant to the position? Do they use the 1000 characters for each one to tell you what they did there or not?
Do they have added documents, links, slides, etc. attached? What do they tell you about the candidate?
Did they include their volunteer experience and causes? Will this fit in with the company culture?
Did they list projects or courses? Is it relevant for your position?
The Interests section also allows 1000 characters. How did they use it?
Did they include personal details? Remember that these are protected by law and cannot be used to screen candidates.
Did they show “Advice for Contacting”?
Are the organizations relevant?
What do the recommendations say about the candidate?
Do you have any connections in common? Would they be good for checking references?
What LinkedIn groups do they belong to? Will these be of help in your open position?
Who, what companies and schools are they following? How does that relate to your position?
Would you like to have this in a checklist form? If so, click here