Want to know what recruiters are really thinking? In our Ask a Recruiter series, we invite you to take an exclusive look inside the mind of a real recruiter — Jeni Lambertson — to see how she approaches the hiring process.
In this series, Jeni will answer a question from one of our readers. If you have a question about finding the right job posting, emailing the right person, or landing yourself on a recruiter's desk, drop it in the comments.
Q: How can I stand out to employers and recruiters on LinkedIn ?
You've just found the description for your dream job on LinkedIn. While you know it's the perfect role for you, you want to ensure the hiring manager does, too. How can you all but guarantee that you stand out from the vast pool of candidates on LinkedIn?
As a recruiter and founder of the female-first recruitment agency, the constellations, I dedicate a good portion of my time to reviewing LinkedIn user profiles (along with resumes). And I can tell you that there are a couple of critical measures that a prospective applicant can take to shine.
The first step seems pretty obvious.
But sometimes candidates are consumed with the completion of their profile and forget to do this: make sure you have turned on "let recruiters know you're open" under the Career Interests section of your LinkedIn user dashboard.
Another obvious (but overlooked) step is to make sure that you have a professional profile photo.
It doesn't have to be a headshot where you are wearing a suit and pearls (and fine if it is), but it does need to be prim. A friendly reminder on this topic: a LinkedIn profile photo is no place for drinks, friends, pets or anything you think is "comical."
Once you've double checked those aspects of your profile, it's time to focus on content.
I always like to see that candidates have taken the extra time to complete their user profiles thoroughly. Think of this the same way you would an Instagram profile. I do not mean you should share personal or non-professional information about yourself, but that the same degree of time and energy you dedicate to "image control" on Instagram should be dedicated to LinkedIn, especially when looking for a new opportunity
Your headline should give the prospective employer or recruiter an immediate understanding of what you do, especially if your current title is something ambiguous.
The goal here is short and sweet like: "Marketing Director with eight years of experience currently overseeing implementation of marketing strategy including campaigns, digital marketing, and PR for XXX."
Next up is successfully completing your summary.
It is perfectly acceptable to pull this information from the summary or profile section you have created for your hardcopy resume. It should read as a professional synopsis. You want to create a snapshot of your work history, but also weave in a bit of your personality to cut through the dryness of standard work experience. Include what you are passionate about or what excites you about the industry you have chosen.
Following your headline and summary, make sure you have correctly and thoroughly completed your work history.
It seems self-evident, but anything you choose to include needs to be accurate and honest. The internet is a big place, so embellishment of dates, awards or accolades can be fact-checked instantly.
I love to see candidates who are both interested and involved in their respective industry.
If you don't already, now is the time to share relevant articles with thoughts to your timeline. I love candidates who have opinions. One of the questions I always ask my advertising candidates, especially those who have only been in advertising for a few years, is what work they love or don't love. I ask this for two reasons: candidates, especially women, are often assigned projects as an afterthought, so they may not have a portfolio with the sexiest brands the way a white male would. So, this question helps me understand the type of work they gravitate towards or would be interested in creating. And second, because it demonstrates an interest in advertising beyond the paycheck.
I am always impressed with the candidate who goes above and beyond to contact me.
If you feel like you are submitting your application or resume for consideration on LinkedIn and not hearing back, find the hiring manager or HR person, add them on LinkedI, and send them a message with your request. Only do this once, and don't hound them should they not respond. But a simple note stating you submitted your resume and think the opportunity is fantastic, and thanking them for their time in advance, will indicate you are willing to go the extra mile in the role.
Jeni Lambertson is the founder and CEO of the constellations, a female-first procurement service. She's passionate about bringing diversity to future-thinking companies while simultaneously doing her part to close the wage gap.