Linkedin Profiles & Recruiters

An article on ERE last month was targeting recruiters with an article entitled “10 Steps for Navigating Linkedin Profiles.” The article provides some guidance to recruiters on filtering through the massive number of potential candidates on Linkedin. While I don’t agree with everything the author stated, he made some good points that can help you, the CFO candidate, understand how to “recruiterize” your profile.

“‘Red flags’ are things like: no photo, no companies listed, no contacts, vague titles, no work history, background missing, etc. Skip these profiles.”

I am constantly amazed at how many CFOs who wish to join my Linkedin CFO Careers group have some, if not many, of these items missing.

You can’t build visibility online while wearing a brown paper bag over your head. You can’t sell credibility if there is nothing credible in your profile. The non-message is actually a message and you can see the advice … “skip these profiles.”

Also, look at the groups to which they belong. Most users who have taken time to research and join groups also put the most amount of detail into their resumes. This tells you something about their character and habits in that they are both specific and thorough.”

Linkedin allows members to join up to 50 groups. I always recommend my clients join 50. They don’t have to be active in 50 groups, but they sure do need a presence in 50 in order to significantly raise their visibility.

And then there is the whole “character and habits” comment from the author.  That speaks, in part, to culture fit … which is the most challenging part of the hiring process.

Make it easy(ier) for companies and recruiters to understand how you would be a good fit with their organization by revealing a bit of who you are … a 360-degree view rather than a 40-degree view. That advice doesn’t stop at joining groups, by the way.

“See what people are saying. Read recommendations and find out what are others have to say about the potential recruit. Specifically look for recommendations that are detailed (citing specific successes, achievements, and goals achieved from the peer’s perspective) and personal.


Third party recommendations are that important! To not have them is to run the risk of being skipped over in favor of those CFO candidates who do have solid recommendations.

It’s not quantity, but it is quality. Detailed, compelling quality.

“One trend to be aware of in LinkedIn profiles is that the poster will often portray themselves as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none,’ even when they may have a tremendous amount of experience in one specific area. It is a common mistake for job applicants to try and come across as ‘multi-talented,’ thinking that this makes them look like a more desirable job candidate. What they don’t realize is that this only proves to be distracting, causing many strong applicants to be passed over for great positions.”

Those “jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none” candidates are no longer in vogue, and haven’t been for many years. And yet, I still see many resumes and Linkedin profiles that lean towards “inclusion,” rather than “exclusion.”

The mindset that it is better to be all things to all people can seem to allow a candidate to cast a wider net. But the reality is, unique, differentiated, niched experts are much more marketable.

Your Linkedin profile is your professional billboard. Don’t whitewash it.

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