If you want to get noticed by recruiters on LinkedIn, you need a plan to stand out. LinkedIn has over 450 million registered profiles so you can’t just sit and wait for it to happen.
We invited professional resume and LinkedIn writer Virginia Franco to weigh in with her best tips for how to attract recruiters on LinkedIn and common mistakes to avoid.
I’ll let Virginia take it from here…
First, you might be wondering how much recruiters actually use LinkedIn.
Many recruiters spend hours each day on LinkedIn, so it’s worthwhile for any job seeker to be here.
Recruiters spend their time:
So if you want to hear from more recruiters and find out about more opportunities, LinkedIn is the best place to do it. In fact, some recruiters find candidates (they call this “sourcing”) exclusively through LinkedIn. It’s often the only platform them use.
To give your profile its greatest chance of ranking high in recruiter searches and attracting attention, I’m going to share:
We’ll start with the one-time actions or “quick fixes” to get more recruiter attention on LinkedIn, and then move into the ongoing habits to boost your job search.
DON’T: Default to your current job title.
DO: Create a unique Professional Headline that includes the kinds of terms that hiring managers and recruiters would use to search for talent like you. Suffering from writer’s block? Refer to job postings that interest you to get a sense of what they use as job titles.
Note that it’s okay to have your job title as a part of your headline, but you should usually include more, too. For example, include a couple of additional keywords that you think recruiters are looking for, to make yourself appear in more recruiter search results.
Here are 10 LinkedIn headline examples.
Note: Your headline and your profile image (we’ll cover that next) are the two main things a recruiter can see before they click your LinkedIn profile. Picture this… they run a search and 10 profiles show up on the first page of search results. You’re one of them. How are they going to decide who to click? Well, it’s your headline and your image. That’s a big reason this is important if you want to attract recruiters and get noticed on LinkedIn.
DON’T: Include a picture where you are clearly cropped out from a group, where you look blurry, or where the backdrop is distracting.
DO: The photo you choose will in many cases speak louder than words to those seeing it (and you!) for the first time. Ideally shoot for a shot that captures you from the shoulders up, and that is sized to fit LinkedIn’s larger headshot sizing.
Whether taken by a professional or DIY using photo-editing software, it is critical the picture you choose aligns with the roles you want. So if you want to work as a Director of Sales at a ski resort it is probably acceptable to include a pic of you on the slopes. Otherwise refrain from mixing personal with business.
When you sign up for a LinkedIn account, you are given a URL that is usually your first and last name followed by several numbers and letters.
DON’T: Don’t forward this awkwardly-long URL to your connections.
DO: Shorten your URL to include just your first and last name, or customize it to resonate with your readers (Hint: mine reads VirginiaFrancoResumeWriter). Be sure to include this new URL as part of your resume’s contact info and your email signature.
Stumped as to how to customize this section? LinkedIn provides direction here.
When it comes to backing up your experience and reputation, there are few things more powerful than the words of a strong reference.
DON’T: Be shy. Ask your managers, direct reports, colleagues and mentors to write a recommendation that speaks to your skills and talents. While there is no limit to how many recommendations you can have, I recommend at least three per experience entry if possible.
DO: Reciprocate if appropriate – it never hurts to pay it forward.
Further reading: LinkedIn recommendation examples and how to get them.
The chances of your LinkedIn profile getting seen rises exponentially if you stay active on the site. So make sure you’re posting, commenting, or connecting with new people a couple of times a week.
DON’T: Remain stagnant. While your profile may be up to date, a profile without activity is not likely to get you nearly as far as you’d like.
DO: Share + Join. Share articles from industry trade journals, websites and online magazines as well as LinkedIn Pulse, where you’ll discover authors on a wide range of topics. Next, join some groups and start reading, commenting and sharing.
Another benefit of groups? You can reach out directly to group members without being first connections. You never know when you’ll see a few recruiters in a group, and now you can contact them quickly and easily.
DON’T: Wait for people to reach out and make connections.
DO: Focus on continually building your network to include people within companies of interest. Recruiters and HR professionals, people working in the role you want next, etc. With the right network in place, you can reach out as soon as you see a job posting of interest or better yet – know about the role BEFORE it gets posted!
If you follow the steps above, you’re going to get noticed by more recruiters on LinkedIn, as well as hiring managers and other people who can help you in your job search.
By setting up a strong profile on LinkedIn and being active on the platform, you’re going to get more recruiters seeing your profile and considering you for job opportunities.
If you fill out your entire profile and include good keywords from job descriptions, you’ll appear in more search results when recruiters are looking for new people, too.
About this guest author:
In need of some career advice, a refreshed resume or rebranded LinkedIn?
As the founder and chief writer at Virginia Franco Resumes, I offer customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker. I would be happy to chat!