LinkedIn is not a passive job seeking tool. You need to be active on it to attract the recruiters and hiring managers you need to get your next job. There are several ways to do this.
First, it’s important to know that recruiters pay a significant amount of money to be able to do special advanced searches. This recruiter license gives access to a search algorithm that, although not completely understood by most, is important to consider when building your profile. Here are some facts and theories regarding the algorithm:
- You must have as complete a profile as possible. Use the “Add Profile Section” drop-down menu to fill in as many sections as you can. This includes work experience, volunteer work, certifications, licenses etc.
- You must have a professional picture on your profile, or you will not be called in… regardless of the recruiter algorithm
- The more contacts you have the higher up you are “ranked” in the system. This is likely due to more contacts giving you access to more people including hiring managers and recruiters. Shoot for a minimum 500 contacts. Always personalize your LinkedIn invitations.
- Your headline, the words below your picture, is a key area that the recruiter search focuses on. Make sure to use all the “real estate” there and fill with key search words and/or phrases.
- The “About” section is your chance to really sell yourself. It should be attention-grabbing, interest holding, filled with key search words and phrases, and relevant to the industries and companies you’re interested in.
- In the “Skills and Endorsements” section, choose to show the 3 skills that are most relevant and important for your career field of focus. Seek out people, like colleagues and friends, willing to endorse you for those skills.
- Ask for (and give) recommendations. When asking for a recommendation be specific about what you want written about you. Ask for something about skills like “problem-solving ability” or your “results-oriented approach”. It is also acceptable to offer to write the recommendation for the person, to make it easier for them. Then, send it to them through email for a final edit before going through LinkedIn with your official request so it can be posted on your profile.
- You can join up to 100 groups on LinkedIn. Each group gives you access to more people and information for your job search. It’s a good idea to focus on 3-5 groups and commit to being active by posting or reposting articles, commenting on posts or starting conversations. You should do this at least 3-times per week. Remember that recruiters and hiring managers are in these industry specific groups and the more they see your name the more likely they’ll look at your profile…out of curiosity at least.
LinkedIn is key to a successful job search not only to find opportunities, but to be found as well. Still, it will only be helpful if you build your profile in the right way.
Do you have a powerful profile? Try this: Search for, at least, 5 people in the positions with the job titles you are interested in. Analyze their profile to determine why they showed up high in the search results. Compare to your profile and adjust as needed.
If you want help, set up time for us to talk here.