A recent study of recruiters found they look at the interests you describe 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?
A recruiter giving a candidate an interview because they love skiing isn’t legal — unless they can tie skiing to job performance.
However, it is real. Being relatable will draw recruiters and hiring managers to you and make them more likely to want to meet you.
Feature Job-Related Interests and Side-Gigs
I’ve also seen clients get interviews because of their job-related side-gigs (more here) and interests.
Your interests tie to potential job performance when they demonstrate valuable skills and abilities. Some examples include:
Some examples include:
- Creative ability — that food blog you write.
- Project management skills — that short film you produced.
- Showmanship — that band you front.
If your interests demonstrate marketable skills, be sure to feature them.
Feature Job-Relevant Volunteer Work
Another study found it’s beneficial to feature volunteer work on your resume when you use job-relevant skills.
If you’re a marketing executive who developed a successful branding strategy for your favorite nonprofit, share the story on your profile.
Research Decision Makers’ Interests
If you have found a company or a job you like, research the recruiter and hiring manager who will be reading your resume and LinkedIn profile:
- Check their LinkedIn profiles for Group memberships.
- View their LinkedIn updates to see what they like.
- Look for them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. What do they post?
If you find you share interests, then include that information on your resume and profile. It will help you build rapport when they look at your materials.
Legal or not, that connection might tip an interviewing decision or job offer to you.
Don’t abuse this. The same article noted 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, don’t put it on your profile.
How to Add Interests on LinkedIn
LinkedIn used to have an Interests section on your profile. That went away with the new interface introduced in late 2016/early 2017.
Given that, these sections are your best bets:
- Summary — You can provide a brief paragraph that describes what interests you most.
- Volunteer Experience — If your volunteerism reflects your interests, the section provides a natural opportunity for sharing.
- Achievements — If you’ve earned a certificate, taken a course, received an award, completed a project, written an article, joined an organization, etc., this section gives you an opportunity to share your interests.
- Skills & Endorsements — If your interest makes you better at what you do for a living, you can list it here.
- Groups — Join LinkedIn groups that reflect your interests and display them on your profile.
Pick one or two of these options and enrich your profile.
Let’s Connect on LinkedIn
Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
LinkedIn and Recruitment: How Profiles Differ Across Occupations, Employee Relations V36/I5
Volunteer Experience May Not Bridge Gaps in Employment, Internation Journal of Selection & Assessment V23, I3
Featured by SmartBrief
Image: Canva/Pavel Losevky
Updated May 2017
© 2016 – 2017, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.