How to impress recruiters and employers with your LinkedIn profile

Posted on May 17, 2021

By Jaime Burke

LinkedIn Profile

Are paper resumes dead? Maybe when you have a site like LinkedIn that is like a digital resume. Like a paper resume, a well-done LinkedIn profile will better catch the eye of recruiters and hiring managers and position you as an “all-star” candidate.

Today I wanted to share a few of the things we look for in your LinkedIn profile when we’re looking for a candidate for our posted positions:

1. Have a professional profile photo

This is not the place to post a picture of you at the beach in your bikini or riding your Harley up the coast with dark sunglasses on. A clear, high-resolution photo that shows your face (shoulders and up) is best. It doesn’t have to be done by a professional photographer, as long as it’s not blurry, shows your face, and is not a selfie!

Be sure your profile picture is:

  • Not of a group of people or you and your significant other (it should just be you in the picture)
  • Was taken within the past 5 years
  • Crisp and non-blurry (blurry photos scream unprofessionalism and lack of attention to detail.

Your ideal profile size for LinkedIn should be 400 x 400 pixels.

2. Have a cover photo

Your LinkedIn cover photo is prime real estate. You could use it to display samples of your work, as a secondary location for profile photos, or a picture of something related to your industry or specialty. If you’re creatively minded, use a free graphic design program like Canva to create an image for this space.

Ideally, your cover photo should be 1128 (w) x 191 (h) pixels.

3. Have a complete profile

It surprises me to find so many LinkedIn profiles that are incomplete. LinkedIn provides so much real estate for content that it’s to your benefit to use it:

  • Use the summary section to summarize your career or personal brand
  • Include all relevant jobs (including notes about any gaps in employment)
  • Add licences, certifications, courses, and any extra training you’ve completed (even if it’s unrelated to your field)

Bonus tip: Don’t be embarrassed to show gaps in your resume. If you were a caregiver for a year, travelling the world, or just taking a break, write that on your resume and be proud of it. Most recruiters don’t see resume gaps as a red flag unless you try to hide them.

4. Use your Headline

When recruiters are browsing through LinkedIn search results, the first thing we see, aside from your profile and cover image, is your headline. Use this space to highlight your specialty, credentials, or any other short-form information to give us a quick snapshot of who you are. Keep it short and concise and use keywords related to your niche. Try to avoid:

  • lengthy headlines
  • emojis
  • too much unnecessary punctuation
  • overselling yourself

5. Get (and give) recommendations

There is a testimonials and recommendations feature built into LinkedIn. Ask people who know you professionally to write a quick recommendation on your profile. Provide testimonials for others and they’ll show up on your profile page too. Third-party perspectives provide a more well-rounded perspective on what you are like as an employee and what you’re like to work with.


Don’t forget that LinkedIn is not like Facebook, Tik Tok, or Twitter. Colleagues, potential employers and recruiters don’t need to see what you ate for dinner or that you went biking with your family today (unless these relate to your job, of course). Keep it professional and share tips and resources related to your career expertise.

And the more complete you can make your LinkedIn resume, the more attractive you’ll be to potential employers and recruiters who are looking for you. LinkedIn will give you a small “All-Star” icon when you have a completed profile. Recruiters will be looking for this to aim to complete as much as possible to get it.

If you have any questions about boosting your LinkedIn profile, chat with your MSG rep who can give you tips to enhance your profile to make it specific to your experience and industry.