I always encourage all of my clients, when I re-draft their LinkedIn profiles, to fill out the ‘Interests’ section.

Don’t just put the usual blurb – Reading, Going to the Gym, Going for Walks, Cooking…

You may well do all of the above but what kind of books do you like reading? Biographies and on whom? Romance Novels? Historical Novels?

What in particular do you like cooking? Indian food, roast dinners, puddings or can’t cook at all.. Be detailed about your Interests.

To get continual success on LinkedIn for generating new business, you have to build relationships and rapport with your prospects. An ice-breaker can be looking at someone’s Interests and mentioning a common hobby or something about them in their Interests Section after you have connected with them. It shows that you have put real thought into developing that relationship.

Example –

I connected recently with a new prospect that I wanted to gain business from. I mentioned that I could see they had a love of musicals and in my connection message I told them what musicals I had been to see and my favourite one and asking them their opinions on various musicals. This section was a small part of my message whereas the rest of the message was focused on business and inviting them to a meeting with me. The new prospect agreed to a meeting with me and we met and I am pleased to say they are now a good client of mine.

However, I was shocked recently to learn that apparently some recruitment companies are taking out of candidates CV’s, the Interests Section. A client I was working with then took the stance that they did not want to mention their Interests, as it was not deemed professional. They did not want their contacts to know anything about them other than their work and education history. But, surely we do not want to employ a robot but a real person who fits well into our work environment? Can we not have a snapshot of that person?

I would be interested to hear your viewpoint on whether or not Interests should be included in a LinkedIn profile.

By the way, my Interests on my Profile are;

“Being a mum to two children takes up a lot of my time but in my very spare time, I like to work out to my T25 videos, read historical novels and read my weekly fashion magazine Look”

Are you interested or not?