LinkedIn is now the go-to place to make professional connections and ultimately find new job opportunities.
Having a strong up-to-date profile on LinkedIn will massively benefit anyone looking for a new role as recruiters use it daily to find potential candidates. Even companies with extensive candidate databases use LinkedIn to find candidates.
With over two million LinkedIn users in Ireland alone, the competition is tough. So how can you ensure an all-star profile and attract recruiters and employers to your profile?
How Recruiters use LinkedIn
When using LinkedIn to search for potential candidates, recruiters use different search combinations of LinkedIn fields such as; Job title, Location, Skills, Keywords, Industries, and Schools.
Depending on the type of role and the key requirements, we would initially start the search with job titles, skills and keywords to find a selection of suitable people. Once we see some promising profiles in our search results, we will then review the LinkedIn profiles in full.
In order to increase your chances of being found by a recruiter on LinkedIn, your profile needs to be optimised for these search terms.
Start by checking your search results on your dashboard. On your dashboard alongside profile and post views is a link that reads, “X search appearances.”
Clicking the number shows the type of people who found your profile based on their roles and companies. More importantly, it shows more of the keywords they plugged into LinkedIn search.
This offers excellent insight into how recruiters actually search for candidates.
If you are coming up with terms that aren’t central to your role or skillset, remove terms from your profile that are leading recruiters astray. Add in more specific skills and keywords that describe what you currently do.
LinkedIn Profile Headlines & Job Titles
The profile headline and recent job title are weighted heavily in LinkedIn’s search algorithms as well as recruiter behaviour.
A recruiter is likely to begin their search with specific job titles, and candidates with a matching job title in their headline and experience headings will appear higher in results.
The headline is the first major piece of information seen in search results, alongside your name and profile photo. You have 120 characters to use in your LinkedIn headline.
This gives you plenty of space to communicate what you do, your specialisations, and/or what role you’re pursuing.
Keywords make the biggest impact on LinkedIn search ranking when they appear in a profile heading or job title, but they should also be placed in job descriptions and your LinkedIn profile summary.
Open for Opportunities
If you are open to a new job, it’s important to have the Open for Opportunities function turned on. This will help recruiters find you.
When turning on the Open for Opportunities feature you can decide to only notify recruiters, so you don’t have to worry about your manager or any colleagues in your company finding out that you are looking for a job.
It works behind the scenes and automatically attracts recruiters to your profile. To activate this, go to “settings and privacy” or you should see the option directly under your profile photo, as shown above.
When the window opens, scroll down to “job preferences’ where you will see the option to let recruiters know you are open to opportunities.
Once you select this you can edit your job preferences to share with recruiters. For example, you can edit your job preferences by adding job titles, locations, and different job types such as part-time or contract work.
Location & Commute Preferences
Recruiters aren’t only looking for the right skills, they’re looking for candidates who are likely to accept the job offer. Because of this, some recruiters are more likely to target local candidates at the beginning of their search.
You can’t qualify for localized searches without adding your location to your LinkedIn profile. Similarly, listing your current location rather than the city in which you’d like to work can have the same effect.
Explaining to a recruiter that you are willing to commute or relocate is more effective than hoping they search broadly enough to find you.
You should also specify which cities you’re willing to relocate to. Again, you can do this within the “job preferences” section of “settings and privacy”.
Keep your Profile Updated and Active
All these tips will be for nothing if you don’t maintain your profile by updating your details and staying active.
When I recruit, I frequently reach out to prospective candidates via their LinkedIn profile, and multiple times I have heard from candidates long after the initial message.
Some don’t have notifications set up or email information attached to the profile to be alerted when they get a message.
If you have a profile and are open to opportunities, it's important to keep an eye on it. Be consistent and have all relevant information on your profile up to date.