When I need to fill an open position, my first search is on LinkedIn. I look for one candidate who is the right match for the job, however with a growing network of professionals, I may have several matches.
So... how can you make your LinkedIn profile stand out to a recruiter? Below are a few items that I look for when searching for candidates on LinkedIn. Include these and you may increase your chances of being found!
First and foremost, I look for a similar job title. For example, if the opening is for a Senior Storage Engineer, I search for titles like Storage Engineer, Solution Architect, and Storage Architect.
- Make sure your title isn’t too specific. If you have a high-level job title, it may actually prevent your profile from showing up in the recruiter's initial search.
- Think of all the different job titles that are relevant to your skills and experience and include those words in your profile.
- Example: If you are a Storage Architect, include words like "engineering", "engineer" and "SAN" to make your profile easier for recruiters to find.
- If you are currently unemployed or nearing the end of a contract, include words like “seeking”, “looking”, “open to” or “currently” in your LinkedIn profile. Some recruiters use these key search terms when trying to find people who are ready to make a career move.
Location is the second most important part of your LinkedIn profile, however LinkedIn does not always allow for a specific location to be included.
- Make sure your desired locations of employment are clear.
- Example: If you live in Northern Virginia, LinkedIn includes you in the Washington DC Metro area. If you want to be contacted about positions in Virginia, include this in your profile summary and be sure to also mention it to your recruiter.
- Letting recruiters know exactly what you want, can help you get what you want out of a potential job opportunity.
Connecting on LinkedIn
Don’t be afraid of accepting connection invitations from people you don’t know. Facebook is for friends; LinkedIn is for building your professional network.
- If someone is within your network in a nearby location or similar field, accept their invitation.
- Remember, a 500+ professional network is much more impressive than one of 122.
- Be cautious when accepting connection requests, as some people SPAM for a living.
The more your profile looks like a resume, the less the recruiter may have to do to determine your qualifications.
- Upload your resume to LinkedIn. Providing recruiters with your specific experience will help them determine whether you may be a right match.
- If recruiters are frequently sending you messages about jobs that you are not a fit for, then you probably don’t have specific enough or accurate information on your LinkedIn profile.
Skills & Expertise
LinkedIn allows you to tag yourself with specific skills & expertise that are relevant to your experience and education. Recruiters can search using this terminology.
- Enter words that are applicable to your previous positions, certifications, etc... LinkedIn will populate matching skill sets to choose from.
- Boast a little, you can add up to 50 skill sets.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, do not make your profile private. There shouldn’t be anything on your LinkedIn profile that you wouldn’t want the general public to see.
- Your home address should not be given on LinkedIn.
- Make sure your last name and email address are available in order for people to connect with you.
- Example: I find Jon S. on LinkedIn, but when I attempt to connect, I’m asked for his email address. If it isn’t available to me, the hunt to contact him regarding available job opportunities may become too difficult to continue (if you are open to being contacted, make it easy!)
- If you're setting your profile to private as a “safety precaution”, then you may have included too much personal information.
The last thing you want to do on LinkedIn is to play hide and seek, especially when you’re really interested in being found. Use the above tips and you could help make your profile be the first result in a recruiter’s search!