LinkedIn has revolutionized the recruiting world and made it easier than ever to reach out to job candidates directly, whether they’re actively or passively job hunting. With so many recruiters on LinkedIn, this is obviously welcome news to job seekers.
Well, at least some job seekers — the ones who can actually be found on LinkedIn.
To make sure you’re in this position and ensure that recruiters who are searching for people like you find, well, you, read on and follow these three simple steps.
Step 1: Show Up in Searches
Your profile isn’t going anywhere if you’re not showing up in a recruiter’s LinkedIn search. With this in mind, use LinkedIn SEO to your advantage. You know the usual things to keep in mind: Complete your profile, make sure it includes keywords that employers may be searching for, and get recommendations and endorsements, which help boost your profile higher in search results. But another interesting idea, as Larry Kim of Inc. recently shared, is to use LinkedIn more like Twitter — in other words, to add as many contacts as possible — which increases the chances that you’ll be seen and your work will be shared on the platform.
While this isn’t something that will work for everyone (for example, I try to only stick with contacts I’ve had at least one meaningful conversation with because I use LinkedIn more as a way to keep track of professional acquaintances than a job search tool), it may make sense for you to be a bit more liberal in adding contacts in order to raise your profile in search results.
Step 2: Be “Clickable”
Now that you’re higher up in search results on LinkedIn, the next step is to make sure people want to actually click your profile to have a closer look at your experience.
We know recruiters spend almost a fifth of their time looking at the photo when reviewing LinkedIn profiles, so one thing you definitely want to get right is your LinkedIn photo. Make sure it’s professional and expresses your brand, and try having your photo reviewed by PhotoFeeler to make sure you’re sending the right message.
Along with your name and photo, your headline will also show up in the LinkedIn search. This little line of text may just be what convinces recruiters to click on your profile or not, so be extra thoughtful about what you write here. (Hint: Don’t just settle for the default setting of listing your job title!) Elliott Bell offers some exceptional advice on how to be memorable in your headline in this short, 90-second video.
Step 3: Stay Active and Up to Date
Lastly, once you have a recruiter actually looking through your profile, you want to make sure they a) like what they see and b) can tell that your profile is accurate and updated.
To get this right, don’t be lazy and skip writing a summary section. As Jenny Foss explains, “It’s where you get to lay down, if you choose to, an incredible, original first impression to recruiters, decision makers, potential clients, and the universe of other professionals.” As a recruiter herself, here are four things she likes to see in a LinkedIn summary, starting with hooking the reader with an engaging story.
And finally, to allay any concerns that your profile hasn’t been touched in years, and is in fact being used actively, post relevant industry articles to your homepage feed, “like” articles that others have posted, and maybe even write and publish your own articles to be posted through LinkedIn. Or, if you’d like it broken down further, follow this handy plan for what you should be doing on LinkedIn daily, weekly, and monthly to create an active presence.
LinkedIn is a great tool for recruiters to find talent, but it’s also a great tool for job seekers to bring eager eyes to their qualifications. To reap the benefits of recruiters relying on LinkedIn more and more, do what you can to improve where you come up when recruiters are searching, and make sure your profile is compelling enough to click. You never know what opportunities might come your way if you set yourself up to be open to them.