Having a potential employer view your LinkedIn profile can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. On one hand, it likely means they are interested in learning more about you as a candidate.
On the other hand, it can feel like you’re being examined under a microscope. While having your profile viewed doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll move forward in the hiring process, it is a positive sign that you’ve caught the employer’s attention.
There are a few key things you should know about what it likely means when an employer views your LinkedIn profile and how you can make the most of the opportunity.
It Means They Are Evaluating You as a Potential Candidate
First and foremost, having an employer look at your LinkedIn profile means they are interested in evaluating you as a potential candidate for an open position at their company. In most cases, they’ve likely already reviewed your resume and application. Viewing your LinkedIn profile allows them to gather more information as they determine who to bring in for interviews.
Your LinkedIn profile provides details and insight about you that go far beyond what can be included on a one or two page resume. The employer can look over your full work history, endorsements, recommendations, skills, interests, groups, honors and awards, and more. Everything you choose to include on your profile gives them additional context in assessing whether you may be a good fit for the role.
An employer looking over your LinkedIn is doing their due diligence in researching you before moving to the next steps in the hiring process. It’s a sign they want to learn as much as possible to make an informed decision about whether to interview and potentially hire you.
They Are Evaluating Your Credentials and Qualifications
A key reason employers review candidate LinkedIn profiles is to evaluate their credentials, qualifications, and hard skills for the job opening. Your LinkedIn profile should act as an enhanced resume, highlighting your background, experience, and abilities related to the position.
The employer will especially focus on details most relevant to the role that go beyond what’s on your resume, including:
– Work experience – What companies have you worked for and what were your responsibilities and achievements in each position? Does your work history align with the target role?
– Skills – What skills are you proficient in that match up with the position requirements? Can any endorsements from connections verify these skills?
– Education – What degrees, certifications, or training do you have that are applicable?
– Licenses & certifications – Do you have any required licenses or certifications for the role noted on your profile?
– Projects – What projects have you worked on that demonstrate expertise the employer is seeking?
– Honors & awards – Have you received any notable honors or awards related to your work?
– Sample work – Do you display any sample work an employer can review?
Evaluating these credentials indicates the employer wants to verify you actually have the experience and abilities your resume claims. Your LinkedIn profile provides further evidence.
They Want to Evaluate Your Professionalism
In addition to your hard skills and qualifications, an employer viewing your LinkedIn wants to assess your professionalism and soft skills. Since LinkedIn profiles contain more personality and voice than a traditional resume, they provide clues about these important traits.
Some of the things an employer may evaluate related to your professionalism include:
– Profile completeness – Having a profile that is 100% complete with all sections filled out shows professionalism and attention to detail. Incomplete profiles raise questions.
– Quality of writing – Your writing style, grammar, and tone in your profile content demonstrates communication abilities. A poorly written profile can be a red flag.
– Recommendations – Glowing recommendations from previous managers and coworkers can indicate your strengths and abilities in the workplace.
– Connections – Do you have connections and followers related to your industry or the employer? This expands your professional network.
– Groups – Active engagement in industry groups demonstrates involvement and leadership.
– Background photo – A professional looking headshot creates a strong first impression unlike resumes.
– Posts & activity – Are your posts and comments reflective of your professionalism? Do you share meaningful content?
Carefully curating all the elements of your profile to convey professionalism gives the employer confidence in your workplace abilities.
They Want to Verify Your Background
Before potentially hiring a candidate, a thorough employer will want to look into their background and verify information provided during the application process. Reviewing your LinkedIn profile is one way hiring managers and recruiters can fact check details about your employment history, education, and qualifications.
Some of the key things an employer may want to verify include:
– Companies worked for – Do the dates of employment listed on your resume line up with your LinkedIn work history?
– Job titles – Do job titles match or are there discrepancies?
– Responsibilities – Do your role descriptions align across profiles?
– Timelines – Are there any employment or education timeline gaps that raise questions?
– Degrees – Does your listed education, including specific degrees, match up on both?
– Recommenders – Are your recommenders actual people you worked with based on your work history?
– Honors & awards – Can honors and awards be corroborated?
– Licenses & certifications – Do you actually hold the licenses or certifications listed?
Looking into these details allows an employer to fact check information and look for any red flags or inaccuracies before moving forward. It protects them from false credentials or misleading candidate profiles.
They Want to Evaluate Your Fit With the Company Culture
Employers know it takes more than just skills and experience to be successful on the job – it also requires being a good culture fit. Reviewing your LinkedIn profile provides clues about your personality and work style that can indicate your fit with the company culture.
Aspects of your profile that may provide insight into your company culture fit include:
– Personality coming through in your writing – Do you seem like someone who would vibe with the company personality?
– Groups joined – Are you a member of groups relevant to the company’s industry or interests?
– Causes supported – Are you passionate about causes important to the employer brand?
– Work style keywords – Do you describe yourself with words matching their work style (i.e. collaborative, innovative, detail-oriented)?
– Background photo – Does your photo present you as approachable and engaging?
– Connections – Are you connected with any current employees of the company?
– Interests – Are your hobbies and interests outside of work a fit with their culture?
– Posts & engagement – Does your shared content demonstrate company values?
Seeing cultural compatibility gives the employer more confidence in your overall match beyond just skillset. It improves your chances if you appear to be a great culture addition.
They Want to Evaluate Your Digital Professional Brand
Your LinkedIn profile serves as your digital professional brand – the image you convey as a professional online. Employers will evaluate what your brand communicates about you.
Factors of your professional brand the employer will notice include:
– Overall profile polish – A thoughtful, compelling profile conveys your brand positively. Typos or sparse profiles detract from it.
– Personality displayed – Your brand personality shines through based on tone, descriptions, interests, and engagement.
– How you present your qualifications – Do you effectively sell your value in your profile highlighting?
– Quality of recommendations – Glowing recommendations boost your brand while a lack of them can raise doubts.
– Professional photo – A polished, trustworthy headshot makes a strong brand statement.
– Content sharing – Do you share content that builds up your expertise and thought leadership?
– Follower count – More followers conveys you have an influential brand in your field.
– Engagement with others – Positive engagement contributes to your likability and approachability.
Your digital brand reflects on you as a potential employee. A strong, thoughtful LinkedIn presence makes a positive impression compared to a barebones profile.
They Want to See How You Present Yourself
LinkedIn profiles provide far more visibility into how you present and market yourself professionally compared to traditional resumes. Employers can evaluate your self-presentation brand as they determine cultural and role fit.
Some presentation factors your LinkedIn profile conveys include:
– How you describe yourself – Do your headline, summary, and work descriptions use compelling language?
– Communication style – Your writing style and tone showcase your communication abilities.
– Personality displayed – Your profile gives a window into personality aspects like sense of humor, interests, values, and optimism.
– Digital savviness – A robust, optimized profile conveys tech-savviness and attention to detail.
– Confidence – Strong, confident language instills confidence in your abilities. Weak, tentative language raises doubts.
– Message – What does your profile say about you? Does your message align with the role?
– First impression – Your photo, headline, and summary make critical first impressions on visitors.
– Consistency – Do you present a consistent personal brand across online networks? Significant inconsistencies are red flags.
Your LinkedIn profile should strengthen your personal brand and convey confidence that you would represent the company well. It’s your first chance to make an impression.
They Want to See Your Communication Abilities
Communication abilities are critical to succeed in most jobs. Your written communication comes across in your LinkedIn profile through your content, style, and tone. The employer can evaluate your communication skills and professionalism based on:
– Quality of writing – Do you communicate clearly and effectively? Strong writing instills confidence.
– Tone – What is the tone of your profile? Formal, conversational, academic, humorous? The tone should align with your industry and the role.
– Personality – Does your communication style and personality come through or sound overly stiff or corporate?
– Word choice – Are you using industry-specific terminology accurately? Do you avoid slang or inappropriate language?
– Attention to detail – Typos, grammar issues, formatting problems, and incomplete sections convey carelessness.
– Storytelling – Can you paint a compelling picture of your background and qualifications? Good storytelling engages visitors.
The content, style, and tone of your profile provide the first impression of how you communicate as a professional. This reflects strongly on you during the evaluation process.
They Are Looking for Red Flags or Deal Breakers
Unfortunately, some employers also use LinkedIn as a screening tool to look for any red flags that might disqualify you as a candidate. They may look for anything from lies about qualifications to inappropriate or unprofessional behavior.
Some potential red flags an employer could come across include:
– Discrepancies in job titles, companies, education, or timeline from your resume
– Negative recommendations that raise concerns
– Poor writing or communication skills
– Discriminatory, offensive, or inappropriate comments and activity
– Inflated or doubtful qualifications
– Lack of coherence or completeness in your profile
– Avoiding connections with former employers or coworkers
– False credentials like degrees from “diploma mills”
– Untrustworthy profile picture
– Little activity or few connections in your industry
– Negative or combative engagement with others
A single red flag may not eliminate you outright but could raise doubts or lead to additional screening. Problematic issues could definitely influence the employer to look at other candidates instead.
What You Should Do When an Employer Views Your Profile
Knowing that a potential employer has looked at your LinkedIn profile is valuable information. Be sure to take the following actions:
– Update your profile – Make any last minute improvements to optimize your profile before your next interaction.
– Review their company page – Learn more about their company culture, values, and teams.
– Thank the recruiter – If contacted by a recruiter, thank them for their interest after they’ve viewed your profile.
– Follow up on your application – Follow up to reiterate your interest and fit for the role. Reference profile viewing if needed.
– Prepare for possible interview – Use the profile viewing as a sign to get ready to interview. Review typical questions for the role and company.
– Stay active on LinkedIn – Continue engaging on LinkedIn to nurture your professional brand after the profile viewing.
Following up with the employer keeps you on their radar. Make the most of the opportunity and let the profile viewing motivate you as you potentially move forward.
Having a potential employer view your LinkedIn profile is a signal that you’re on their radar for an open position. It provides them the chance to evaluate you as a professional, your credentials, work history, communications abilities, cultural fit, personal brand, qualifications, and more as they determine next steps.
While it can feel stressful knowing your profile is being examined, it’s an opportunity to make a positive impression. The more compelling your profile, the better chance you have of moving to the next stage of the hiring process. Use profile viewing notifications to your advantage as you interact with potential employers.