What we look at first on your LinkedIn profile?

  • Post published:01/05/2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Woman eye in enlarge glassYou could be at the receiving end of an unfair and unpleasant judgement if your LinkedIn profile is outdated, old-fashioned, and no longer relevant.

Our brains are wired to automatically judge others’ looks, behaviours, social media profiles (including LinkedIn), and even resumes.

We do it to move through the world without spending much time or energy in understanding everything we see.

Like it or not, people are judgemental

Just because you think something is reality doesn’t make it reality.

The saying that perception is reality means we each interpret what we see. This becomes our individual reality and how we justify our own opinions.

It explains why you may not agree with your boss or colleagues even if you all were present at the same meeting.

  • It is also why you may love a certain LinkedIn profile but another person will not find it attractive.

So whether you like it or not, research shows that after scanning over the visual elements of your profile i.e. your photograph and background image, we check the few lines just below your name, and then jump straight to the Experience section. And back to About.

It’s how the human mind uses mental shortcuts to quickly reach reasonable conclusions.

Your LinkedIn “shopwindow” must be exeptional

IMG-0511I use the word “shopwindow” to make you think about shopwindows in a shopping mall.

The real shopping mall shopwindow and your LinkedIn profile are both meant to showcase the “products”. The purpose:

  • Get the shoppers into the shop to boost sales
  • Get recruiters’ attention and interest so they reach out to you

A LinkedIn shopwindow is the few elements of an entire LinkedIn profile that you see when opening a profile:

  • Background image
  • Your photograph
  • Your name
  • The headline (the text just below your name)

Background image: Go to Google Images and write “stock photo [insert]. The insert could be your functional area (accounting, HR, sales, etc) or your industry. Use a photo of at least 1584 x 396 pixels.

Photograph: Go for a headshot with a neutral background, look into the camera, smile, and wear the clothes you would normally wear to work. Use removebg.com to play with the background.

Headline: Use max two lines (even the space gives you four). Combine your functional area with the industry and something you wish to highlight.

Must-have in your LinkedIn Experience section

It’s a fine balance of having just enough information that will attract recruiters and hiring companies to reach out to you.

You know the phrase “anything you say can and will be used against you” that is commonly used by law enforcement when advising a suspect of their rights.

I could add that recruiters do the same when reviewing LinkedIn and resume profiles and even when interviewing candidates.

Sometimes, I see no additional information under each employment and experience. It’s empty or at other times, it’s packed with irrelevant information about the company.

For marketing purposes and to keep it brief, there is no need to add the Employment Type, the Location Type, or the Month Start Date.

Make it look like this for every employment you decide to show under Experience:

Managing Director
Best Service Co Ltd
2020 – Present

Every employment under Experience should be accompanied by a logo. Only companies with a LinkedIn company page will give you a logo in your Experience section.

The company pages only came as an option in 2018, so go back through your work history and link each role with the company’s LinkedIn page.

In the Description box, add a one-liner with what business and industry your employer was/is in. It should also highlight what you bring to the table, your skills, your value proposition, and how you can help companies if they hire you.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.