Recruitment Consultants often search the LinkedIn database for candidates that have specific qualifications and/or key words in their LinkedIn Profile.
After searching these recruiters are given “search results” that include a Profile view for each candidate and as a job seeker, you ideally want to consistently show up in search results for candidates with your set of qualifications, and rank higher than other candidates. This is frequently called LinkedIn SEO, or improving your LinkedIn search ranking.
And, you want to stand out from the other candidates and be incredibly interesting to recruiters so that they click on your Profile snapshot to learn more about you and, eventually, to get to your full Profile information.
How does LinkedIn “sourcing” work? How do recruiters search the database?
To understand the LinkedIn sourcing, search results concept; think about how you search online job boards for job postings. You go to a website Seek, Indeed, etc.), you enter your keywords, you might also click on an industry or job function from a drop down box, and you then get presented with job listings.
Do you click on all of them? Probably not. Instead, you only click on those that catch your eye and are most relevant. You would probably pay more attention to the listings on the first few pages, and may not even consider the ones on pages 3, 4, 5, etc.
Recruiters search the LinkedIn database in a few different ways.
For example, some of them use the free, “Advanced People Search” function available to all LinkedIn members. Some search members and activities within specific LinkedIn Groups.
Others use LinkedIn’s paid service and this provides much better search functionality. And you can also find candidates in LinkedIn using a Google site search of LinkedIn.
Additionally, similar to the way job seekers sign up for “job alerts” to get notified via email whenever a new job gets posted that meets a certain set of criteria, recruiters can also sign up for candidate alerts to proactively notify them of new candidates who fit their requirements.
How can you optimize your LinkedIn Profile to fit in with this?
There are lots of things you can do to optimize your Profile. You want to help ensure that you show up in the appropriate search results, show up higher than other candidates (LinkedIn SEO), and you want to stand out among the search results.
You want recruitment consultants to see your Profile snapshot and think, “Wow, there’s the perfect candidate,” and then click to view your full Profile information.
Consider these tips:
- Your Profile should be 100% “complete” (a.k.a. “All Star”) per LinkedIn standards.
- Include a detailed work history, with clear job titles and well-written job descriptions that describe both your responsibilities and your key accomplishments. Most people stop at dates and job titles, wasting this opportunity to promote their experience and to add important keywords to their Profiles.
- Within your Profile, include the keywords that tie to your preferred industry and profession. These keywords could be inserted in different areas within your Profile such as your job descriptions, Profile summary, headline and even your website descriptions. One of the best methods to find these keywords is to review recent job descriptions for the roles you are targeting and see what keywords are repeated over and over again.
Most experts believe that users with more connections and more recommendations show up higher in the search results and it makes sense. It’s also possible that Recruiters may only want to view candidates that have a minimum number of either one.
- You’ve probably heard the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Very good advice! Do you have a professional, flattering Profile photo that looks like you already have the role you’re seeking? or do you need a photo makeover? This is an area where we recommend that you seek the feedback of a professional or objective source that will be honest about your online image. Don’t leave anything up to chance!
- Does your headline effectively market your skills and abilities or is it, blah? Are you an “IT Professional” or a “Global VP of Technology | Technology Enthusiast | IT Guru ” Just a few additional words can make the headline, much more powerful.
- In the job search, you need to market yourself like a company would market a product or service. Think of how many million dollars are spent each year to develop exciting taglines for products. Your LinkedIn headline is like your personal tagline.
- Avoid using slashes between critical keywords, for example, “sales/marketing.” We know that the LinkedIn search technology does not always recognize the two words separately. Instead, use a comma with a space or, one of the nifty vertical slashes with spaces, like “sales | marketing.”
- Don’t put a fake job in the “current job” section. We have seen a number of job seekers who put something like “Next Growth Oriented Company” or “My Next Job” as their most current company. This may negatively impact whether you come up in search results, and does not make a good first impression on the recruiters who do find you.
By following these tips, you increase the likelihood that you will show up positively in the search results, when recruiters are sourcing candidates that match your set of qualifications, education and experiences. I also recommend that job seekers learn more about the LinkedIn Recruiter software and how it’s used. Knowledge is power!