Be Strategic When You Feature Interests on Your LinkedIn Profile

A recent study of recruiters (by I/O Psychologist Julie Zide and co-authors) found that they look at the interests shown on your LinkedIn profile to find ways to connect with you.

For example, one recruiter noted their love of skiing and said they would be “pretty excited” to find a candidate who had anything skiing-related on their profile.

Is That Legal?

Of course not, a recruiter giving a candidate an interview because they love skiing isn’t legal – unless they can tie skiing to job performance.

It’s Real

However, it is real. Being relatable will draw recruiters and hiring managers to you and make them more likely to want to meet you.

I’ve also seen clients get interviews because of their job-related side-gigs and interests. Who knows? Your interests CAN tie to job performance if they indicate creative ability (that food blog you write), project management skills (that short film you produced), showmanship skills (that band you front), etc. If that’s the case, then be sure to feature them!

Research Decision Makers’ Interests on LinkedIn & Other Sites

If you have found a company you want to work for, or a job that excites you, research the recruiter(s) and hiring manager(s) who will be reading your LinkedIn profile:

  • Check their LI profiles for Group memberships. Join some of the same groups.
  • View their LI updates to see what they post about and what they have recently “liked.” To do this, go to their profile, click “Send a Message,” and then click “View Recent Activity” on the drop down menu.
  • Look for them on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. What do they post about?

List Shared Interests on Your LinkedIn Profile

If you find that you share interests with your target recruiters and hiring managers, then list that information in the Interests section of your LinkedIn profile. This will help you build rapport when they look at your profile. Legal or not, that connection might tip an interviewing decision to your benefit.

Be Strategic AND Authentic

Don’t abuse this. The same article noted that other research has found that candidates lie about their interests more than any other topic. If you can’t talk about your interest with knowledge and enthusiasm in an interview, then don’t put it on your profile.

When Should You Update Your Profile?

For this to work, you have to make it part of your application process. Do your research and update your profile before you hit “Send” on your application.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here. My email address is The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at for more information.

Featured by SmartBrief.

Image: Canva.


Comments 1

  1. Building profiles in LinkedIn just be please brutally honest with the experiences and connections must be real! It’s a professional profile site not like Facebook, and Twitter.

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