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Tips to Help Recruiters Find You on LinkedIn
By Steve Kalisher, EVP, Information Technology Search
In our 35+ years in business, we’ve given out a great deal of advice to candidates who are looking to make their next career move. As someone who sees first-hand what hiring authorities and executive recruiters alike are looking for, I feel compelled to share that insight. So, if you want to be found by agency or corporate in-house recruiters, read on as I have a couple of simple tips for you.
Please note that I am in no way compensated by LinkedIn. With that said, I can tell you with confidence that our recruiters here at StevenDouglas, and most likely a very large percentage of all recruiters, use LinkedIn regularly as a go-to sourcing tool. We’re out there looking for you, but the big question is whether we can find you.
Build the right profile and recruiters will call:
The vast majority of recruiters start their on-line searches with keywords. A common approach is to choose 5 or 6 keywords that best describe the type of candidate our client requires, input them into the search field, and start combing through the profiles looking for just the right match. If you’d like to be found on LinkedIn, here’s a short homework assignment to you get started. Try finding yourself on LinkedIn by doing a keyword search, (no names or companies please for this this exercise). Plug these words in and select your geographical region as well, (no ANDs, ORs, or NOTs needed for this search string). Remember, if you’re a Business Analyst or a Program Director, use quotation marks around the two word phrase. Now, see if your name comes up in the results. If there are too many results, try narrowing the search down by choosing your immediate geographical area.
What to do next:
1) If your name does not come up in the search, you’ll clearly need to add those appropriate keywords to the body of your LinkedIn profile. Think of what keywords you’d use to find someone with your exact background and make sure that they’re included in your profile. Remember that even the products and technologies that you use can be a differentiator. For example, if you’re in Marketing and use Salesforce, make certain that Salesforce is one of your keywords.
2) Go back to the search list and review the profiles at the top of the list. You’ll notice that some people have done a great job creating their LinkedIn profile. You can hopefully glean some great ideas from these other profiles and edit yours to improve the chances of your profile showing up often in results.
A picture is worth a thousand words:
Finally, we can’t overlook one of the most important aspects of your profile – your photo. People are naturally drawn to photos and not having a photo with your profile may leave some recruiters to question why. If you don’t have a photo, you should definitely add one. However, even more important is the photo you choose. Stay away from selfies or casual shots and keep it professional. Your profile is a first impression opportunity and it should improve, not hurt, your chances of being contacted by recruiters. Always keep your audience in mind and remember that LinkedIn is a professional networking site.
LinkedIn is an extremely powerful and highly utilized recruiting tool. Make great use of it, even if you’re a passive candidate who is not actively looking for a new job, but interested in hearing about exceptional opportunities. Also connect with your colleagues and ex-colleagues on LinkedIn as they can prove to be very helpful down the road. And you’ll never know when that In-mail pops into your LinkedIn mailbox one day – it may even be from me.