Good recruiters don’t just place employment ads and wait. They go out and find candidates.
First, recruiters know that most of the people who respond to ads are not remotely qualified. They don’t want to waste their time.
Second, recruiters know that passive candidates and those casually looking are not regularly reading job ads. Yes, they might be open to a great opportunity, but they’re not actively looking.
Third, recruiters know that the chances are slim that someone who works for their employer’s competitor will respond to an ad. These people need to be found and enticed.
While there are many ways to find candidates, most recruiters turn to LinkedIn. Many spend hours setting up LinkedIn searches and combing through the results.
I certainly did when I was a recruiter.
Even if you’re not actively looking, you need to have a LinkedIn profile that will help recruiters find you.
Today LinkedIn is like a Google for people.
Business with poor websites don’t get found. Neither to people with lousy LinkedIn profiles.
Here are a few ways to increase your chances of being found.
#1 Create A Headline
Have a Headline that’s actually a headline. Don’t waste valuable space with a job title only or worse Looking for Opportunities which is the worst headline for job seekers.
Pepper your headline with key skills. Include a tag line that tells recruiters what you have to offer.
#2 Jazz Up The Summary
The Summary section is not the place for a boring biography. Your summary should give readers some insight into who you are and why you do what you do, not just what you do.
Also, LinkedIn profiles should be written in the first person. That said, starting every sentence with I is boring. Try to talk about other people and things besides you.
#3 Build Out Job Descriptions
Make sure your job descriptions highlight your accomplishments. Provide some information about what you do, but also demonstrate your value.
To make your profile more personal add a few lines about what you are/were most proud of or enjoyed the most about each position.
#4 Share Volunteer Work
In most cases volunteer work doesn’t belong on your resume. But it can really add value to your LinkedIn profile. Go beyond listing your volunteer activities and talk about what you do and why you give time to this cause.
#5 Upload Some Photos
It’s surprising how many people still don’t have a profile picture on their LinkedIn profile. Some people leave them off because they think it opens them up to discrimination. However, a profile with no picture is often passed by. Put one up today.
Today, you need a background photo as well. LinkedIn’s generic blue background makes you look generic too.
#6 Include Contact Information
Finally, make it easy for recruiters and/or employers to contact you by including your contact information in your Summary section. If you’re unemployed or your employer knows your looking include a pitch for what you’re looking for with your email address.
If you’re passively looking or conducting a confidential job search include a line like “always interested in connecting with colleagues and clients” along with your email address.
#7 Make It About You
Many of the LinkedIn profiles I see focus on the person’s employer. The Summary Section talks about the employer and their services. Often the job descriptions focus on the business too.
Recruiters scouring LinkedIn don’t want to read your company’s bio, they want to learn about you.
Demonstrate your value with accomplishments. Tell them why you do what you do. Share your career philosophy and the things that made you proud. Let them get to know you.