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What Employers See When You Apply on LinkedIn

See the perfect position pop up in your LinkedIn newsfeed or down the sidebar on the right of your profile? Before you click to apply you need to know exactly what the employer sees on the other side of your application; it may change how What Employers See When You Apply on LinkedInyou go about job searching on LinkedIn.

Recently I posted two positions on LinkedIn searching for additional Certified Professional Resume Writers to add to my growing team. The experience was very eye-opening for me from an employer’s perspective—but I also stumbled upon some great information for job seekers as well. So I thought I’d shed some light on what the employer really sees when you apply to that position on LinkedIn.

Each time someone applies to a position posted on LinkedIn the employer receives an e-mail notification. I received one e-mail for each person that applied. In each e-mail was a snapshot of that candidate. Here’s what employers see when you apply on LinkedIn:

The Candidate’s Name

The Headline beneath their Name

Current Employment Job Title(s) – Titles only—no employment details

Past Employment Job Titles – Titles only—no employment details

Education – Interestingly enough, only the names of the colleges or Universities

Recommendations (It specifically states how many people have recommended you but does not include recommendation details)

Connections – Exactly how many connections you have.

Contact information – E-mail address and phone number

It also included the candidate’s resume if they chose to apply with one or upload it.

To me, what seemed the most revealing about these e-mails were the brief details and exactly which information was provided—headlines, job titles, number of recommendations, and number of connections. It shows the brevity of the hiring manager’s attention—and validates the “scanning” of information when one is initially deciding whether to investigate a candidate further. I can see employers weeding potential candidates out based on their headline and whether they’ve held similar positions (have relevant experience), if they have any recommendations or not, and whether they chose to upload a resume with their application.

Given this information, here are my recommendations for improving your visibility and chances for consideration when applying for a position via LinkedIn:


1. Ensure your headline is optimized to the position you want. Use keywords and position titles in your headline. This is the FIRST thing the employer sees immediately beneath your name—and you want to make sure it shows an immediate match.


2. Consider how you present your current employment. Position titles will weigh heavily in a decision maker’s choice to view your profile and consider you as a candidate. Make sure you’re using the most appropriate position titles.


3. The same is true for past employment. If multiple position titles apply, be sure to include them all—and consider separating them with a / or a |


4. You NEED TO HAVE recommendations. Start asking colleagues, previous employers, or current clients to leave you a recommendation. Applying for a position, and it showing 0 recommendations is essentially the same as saying, “My work isn’t good enough to secure any positive feedback whatsoever.” Some people are generous and give recommendations freely, but the majority of people only provide one when requested. REQUEST one.


Some important information you need to consider:

–          90% of the people who applied had ZERO RECOMMENDATIONS. Having profile recommendations is an immediate and valuable way to stand out from your competition. It shows what real people have to say about your work, and that they validate it.


–          Craft your headline carefully, and with a specific target position in mind. This will immediately identify whether you’re a fit and should be more seriously considered.


–          Read the position announcement CAREFULLY. If they request that a resume be uploaded with the application, do it. Less than 1% of the people who applied for my openings included their resume with their application, and only one person reached out when she had trouble uploading and sending the three samples I requested. No one else made contact to see how they could submit their three resume samples as requested in the position announcement. Reading—and following through with—the requests in the job ad will EXPONENTIALLY INCREASE your chances for consideration.


–          If you don’t have any relevant experience, no past or current titles that align to the position, and no recommendations for your work in the area, consider not applying at all. In most cases the employer will just toss your application. IF this is a dream job that you’ve always wanted and you feel as though you’re qualified but lack the appropriate position titles on your profile, consider an alternative means of applying. Use LinkedIn for information and sourcing, but find alternatives for reaching the hiring manager.


–          Employers are getting only an abbreviated look at you. Name, headline, titles, education. Make the most of the space you’re given.


–          Make contact. Don’t just click apply and see what happens; go a step further and reach out to the employer and share your interest in the role and why you think you’re a good fit. Those that took the initiative and reached out to me were my top candidates for consideration.


Linked is a valuable tool for your job search; I encourage you to take the time to understand exactly what employers see when you apply on LinkedIn and consider making adjustments to how you apply and follow up and those positions you apply to.

Want more great information about LinkedIn and job searching? Check out my blog here or read my article: 5 People You Should Ask for LinkedIn Recommendations over at Careerealism.

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. […] For more great information on LinkedIn job searching check out this article on what employers see when you apply on LinkedIn.  […]

  2. Williamson Ndipmong on December 3, 2022 at 8:32 am

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