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LinkedIn Profile Guidelines

LinkedIn Profile Guidelines

Guidelines to setting up your Linkedin profile to successfully recruit on Paraform.

Jeffrey Li

By Jeffrey Li

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is very important when sourcing candidates and it could significantly improve your response rates.

Candidates will always visit your LinkedIn profile before responding and you want to look like a recruiter who can help them find the best opportunities.

In-house recruiters have it somewhat easier. If you’re a recruiter at Tesla and you send a simple message to a top engineer saying ‘Hey I’m a recruiter at Tesla, your background stood out for a role we’re looking to fill, let’s chat’, they will probably respond.

Whereas if you’re an agency, freelance, or contract recruiter, it’s vital to optimize your LinkedIn profile and outreach message to make sure candidates trust you.

Below are some guidelines on setting up your LinkedIn Profile to maximize candidate response rates, mostly based on feedback from candidates and what we observed from successful recruiters on Paraform.

Your Profile and Cover Photo

Surprisingly, a lot of folks get this part wrong. We consistently get feedback from candidates that they notice small details on their recruiters’ LinkedIn profile. One of the most commonly brought up details were the profile and cover photo.

The main message of this section is ‘de-risking’, i.e. you should do everything to lower the probability of a candidate going on your LinkedIn and being immediately not interested due to trivial factors.

There is no absolute right & wrong, but please note this section is about avoiding certain outcomes. We’re not trying to discourage creativity and your profile the way it is now is probably fine.

However, when sourcing the best candidates is such a competitive endeavor in this market where even 1% higher response rate makes all the difference, we recommend doing any and every optimizations you can make.

Okay so, with LinkedIn profiles, we see that classic professional headshots and smart casual photos work best. They don’t always have to be from an official photoshoot either! Here are some examples:

Example profile #1
Example profile #1
Example profile #2
Example profile #2
Example profile #3
Example profile #3

We’re not saying you shouldn’t have personality, but there are definitely better ways to show it. Our data shows that there is a strong correlation between lack of trust/credibility and unprofessional, vague, ambiguous, goofy, elusive, and sometimes frightening photos. To our surprise, this has been most common feedback among candidates that are on the more junior side in their career (< 5-10 years).

This photo is great for instagram, but maybe not LinkedIn
This photo is great for instagram, but maybe not LinkedIn

Another negative signal that we commonly see is if you have cartoon characters, avatars or NFT as a profile photo. Maybe if you’re in the web3/crypto space, you could have a case for having a NFT as your profile, but most builders in this space are in Twitter anyway. Might be a good idea to avoid these:

Probably not a good idea to have this as your profile photo
Probably not a good idea to have this as your profile photo

Your profile photo also probably shouldn’t be a butterfly
Your profile photo also probably shouldn’t be a butterfly

It’s also probably better to have a cover photo than not. Just put something simple. A skyline of the city you’re in or a photo you took on your weekend Tahoe trip should do:

After writing this, I thought: am I just stating the obvious? But with the amount of times we got feedback from candidates on this topic, it seemed reasonable to include in this article.

Your 1-liner & Bio

This is an important hook that will catch the candidate’s attention and make them want to learn more about what you do and how you can help them find the best opportunities.

You don’t want your 1-liner to be something like:

    • No one uses the word ‘IT’ for technical recruiting anymore, at least not tech companies that were founded post 2010.

Instead your 1-liner should describe in a few words max exactly what you do and who you are. Some good examples we’ve seen:

  • Product Leader / Recruiting Agency Founder | ⛺️ Outdoor enthusiast
  • Founder @ (your agency)
  • Senior Recruiter at HireIgnite | Tech Start-up Recruiting
  • Talent Partner at Palm Recruiting (ex-Tesla & Retool (YC W17))
  • Helping fast growing fintech startups scale
  • People First

Your Agency

If you have your own agency (or you’re part of one), candidates will most likely want to learn more once they are on your LinkedIn.

We recommend you have a LinkedIn company page or professional website that clearly communicates your value prop, niche, and track record.

Example LinkedIn Profiles

I also thought it would be helpful to include sample LinkedIn profiles for your reference to tie everything together in this guide.

This is Jaycie, she’s been recruiting on Paraform since June and she specializes in GTM recruiting for tech startups. On Paraform, she worked on roles such as Founding Account Executive, Director of Partnerships, and Head of Social Content Strategy.

We really like what she did with her Linkedin profile, and we’re sharing it here with her permission (thank you Jaycie!).

  • Her profile page is professional and well branded around her agency, Monarch Search.
  • She describes clearly what she does through her agency and picks a good niche = startups and gtm talent
  • Her experience section is concise and her bio outlines her experience well so candidates know that she knows what she’s doing.

This is Paul, he’s been recruiting on Paraform since May. He was previously at Riot Games and he specializes in engineering/technical recruiting. On Paraform, he worked on roles such as Senior Software Engineer, ML Infra Engineer, VP of Engineering, and Engineering Manager.

  • His profile page is professional and simple. His cover image is a photo of Santa Monica Pier he took himself.
  • He highlights how his experience as an engineer and hiring manager made him an impactful recruiter that can help candidates find great opportunities.
  • His 1-liner communicates who he is and also tells you a little more. Maybe him being into gaming is a good conversation start with canddiates!

This is optional, but you can also add ‘Technical Recruiter’ at Paraform on your LinkedIn if you don’t have your own agency or you just want to let your potential candidates know your relation with the companies that you are helping.

Here’s an example from one of the recruiters on Paraform
Here’s an example from one of the recruiters on Paraform