linkedin recruiters

Eye tracking study on how recruiters see your LinkedIn profile

June 5, 2014

linkedin recruiters

Your LinkedIn profile as a resume

How many times have you wished you knew what an interviewer was thinking? Of course, no one knows for sure, but a new study gives a pretty good idea of where a recruiter’s focus may be. TheLadders recently conducted a study on recruiters’ behavior when they view your LinkedIn profile.

The study involved a technique called “eye tracking;” a type of technology that assesses eye movement, then records and analyzes where and how long a person focuses when digesting information or completing activities. The study gauged “specific behaviors of actual recruiters as they performed online tasks, including resume and candidate profile reviews.”

The study looked at three things: did recruiters view professionally written resumes different than those generated by job seekers; how long did a recruiter spend reviewing a resume; and how did recruiters review online profiles. The results: professionally written (or revised) resumes faired better than those not. Also, organization is still important, including headings and subheadings. The average time spent reviewing a candidate’s paper resume was four to five minutes.

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Keeping a recruiter focused on what’s important to you

In reviewing an online candidate, ads and pictures, along with other irrelevant data including, age, gender, and race distracted the recruiter. The “gaze tracking” technology found that recruiters spent almost 80% of their time looking at the following information: name, current title/company, previous title/company, previous position start and end dates, current position start and end dates, and education.

Since the study found that on average, a recruiter only spent six seconds reviewing an individual resume, the only other information they scan for is keywords that match the position for which you are applying.

The study also found your profile photo to be extremely distracting, so the best way to keep a recruiter’s eyes moving is to insure your profile picture is professional, and quite frankly bland. If you do not stand out, a recruiter’s eye will not linger there and they will move on to your qualifications. Also, the use of a professional resume service can be helpful so your resume is clean, organized, and strong. Little changes can make a big difference in how your profile is viewed, especially since on average, recruiters spend such a short time viewing it.

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