LinkedIn has become the go-to for recruitment agencies and employers to scout the best talent on the market. Is your profile ready to make that crucial first impression?

According to MarketWatch, a staggering 93% of hiring managers use LinkedIn to search for potential hires.

It doesn’t matter if you’re comfortably employed – your LinkedIn profile (and social online prescence in general) is probably even more important than your pitch.

Sharing new updates

In the same way that Facebook and Twitter are great to share status updates to tell your friends and family what you’re up to, the same applies to LinkedIn.

Many people overlook this, but sharing LinkedIn updates shows recruiters and potential bosses you’re staying up to date, keeping track of your craft and moving your career forward.

It’s important to also post comments on other peoples’ LinkedIn statuses too, as a way of encouraging potential bosses to spot you!

Highlighting your volunteer work

One in five hiring managers have recruited someone because of their volunteering experience, according to this 2011 article by LinkedIn.

Volunteering highlights your commitments to accomplishing something outside of your chosen career path, and that you’re willing to do something that doesn’t directly benefit you, but the greater good. That says more than a thousand emphatic “I’ll go above and beyond” pronouncements.

Many employers count it as a form of employment, so don’t just say you’re volunteering, but specify the organisation, the cause you’ve worked for and especially the role (team manager, helper etc).

Getting recommendations

There’s a big difference between ‘endorsements’ and ‘recommendations.

Endorsements are easier to collect as they can be given by virtually anybody such as a friend or work colleague. Recommendations, on the other hand, are far more difficult to earn. They carry more weight with companies as a form of reference, especially if it comes from a current or former employer such as a supervisor, manager or head of department.

In the eyes of recruiters, it’s a rock-solid way of showing approval from your previous employers, which will in turn gain approval from your future bosses. Think of them as ‘customer reviews’, which peers trust.

Always ask for recommendations from your peers in every work opportunity.

Listing your languages

We live in a global market of recruitment, so it comes as no surprise that the demand to speak another language is on the rise.

French, Spanish and Chinese are some of the most in-demand languages; if you’re looking to learn a second language, start here.

Fortunately you don’t have to speak fluently in a second language, as just simply showing on your Linkedin that you have learned it in education could be enough to get you through the interview door.

Showing off your certificates

Certificates on your LinkedIn profile shows recruiters that you value your career and take it seriously to learn new skills and opportunities to be better at your profession.

Even if they aren’t directly related to your career, it’s important to include them as employers value well-rounded candidates, and certificates outside of your career shows that you will fit the profile of what they are looking for.

Striking a pose

A clear profile picture of yourself on LinkedIn can help recruiters and potential bosses identify you as a person, and more importantly, show that you’re an authentic and honest candidate.

You’re also more likely to have your profile viewed by a potential employer if you have a profile picture than if you don’t. Make sure it’s a clean, professional-looking headshot. We don’t mean a posed studio shot – a selfie or cropped event shot will do.

By the same token, avoid showing your pets, children or family or a lairy ‘night out with friends-type picture. Don’t misrepresent your appearance – it’ll become apparent whether you’re 30 years younger. Authenticity is key, so avoid anything that will bring it into question.