LinkedInNetoworlProfileEmerging research is showing just how valuable a strong LinkedIn profile can be. Learn how to optimize your profile for sales jobs with these LinkedIn tips.

With more than 259 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. LinkedIn profiles tend to more publicly accessible as well as contain more job-related information compared to other social network profiles. It’s no surprise then, that it’s the first choice for social recruitment: According to Jobvite’s 2013 Social Recruiting Survey, 93% of recruiters who used social media used LinkedIn compared to 65% who used Facebook and 55% who used Twitter.

While LinkedIn has proven to be an invaluable tool for sourcing job candidates, how accurately can a person’s personality be assessed based on their LinkedIn profile? A recent Master’s thesis by Verschuren (2012) aimed to find out.


This research examined 116 employees at multiple organizations who completed psychometric assessments measuring personality traits previously found to be related to job performance, including the Big Five personality traits, core self-evaluations, and Machiavellianism. Independent raters – who had no prior relationship with the employees – then assessed those same traits based on the employees’ LinkedIn profiles.


The results revealed that raters were in fact able to accurately assess employees’ personality from their LinkedIn profiles: There were significant correlations between the employees’ self-ratings and those of the raters for all the personality traits measured.

Practical Tips:

The accuracy of the personality assessments depended on the extensiveness of the LinkedIn profile. For job candidates, this means having a profile containing plenty of relevant information that provides potential employers with usable insights into your personality, knowledge, and skills is a smart strategy.

Verschuren concludes, “an extensive LinkedIn profile can be used as a pre-selection tool…to achieve efficiency gains in the process.” She suggests that LinkedIn isn’t a replacement for personality assessments but rather a useful supplementary tool.

The use of social media in hiring is inescapable these days, but it’s not enough to limit its use to sourcing candidates. Today, it’s about how employers can leverage this social data to accurately assess the quality of candidates too.

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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices and data-based HR. She writes about trends and research in talent acquisition, people analytics, and workplace diversity.
Ji-A Min