Is your inbox full of job opportunities tailored to you? If not, you might want to optimize your LinkedIn profile to grow your network mindfully. While some messages will always be spam, you don’t want to hide from relevant jobs finding you.
Why do recruiters reach out to people who didn’t apply for a job? Because we don’t get enough qualified applicants. In select confidential cases, sometimes we cannot post the job. We use LinkedIn’s back-end search function that’s built for recruiters to find candidates. Even when the timing of our outreach isn’t right or you’re not interested in the specific role or company, a new connection can lead to a dream job down the line.
What will get you noticed? Balance and relevancy. Your LinkedIn page should have identical core information to your resume with a bit more details—especially on side-hobbies or volunteer work. It is less detailed than your portfolio, which you should also link.
If you make my job as a recruiter easier, chances are higher that I will find and reach out to you. Here’s what I’m looking for.
I recommend making your industry-specific to your job rather than your current company’s function.
Covid has changed the equation here, but many companies are still looking for hires who will be local long-term. If you are open to relocation this or next year, make sure you list those places on your profile.
We look for talent at our competitors. We also search for those who have formerly worked at similar environments or specific places we think have strong talent. We look for talent in similar jobs ready for a promotion.
List 10-20 skills that you’re capable of, then get endorsements. Hard skills are preferable as soft skills are evaluated during interviews. I’ve never searched for an “out of the box thinker.” Your LinkedIn and Resume won’t get you the job, it will get you the interview.
Each job has a few key requirements, and recruiters might want to see experience in a specific industry or job function. Make sure your core skills and experience are listed somewhere. Your core skills should be listed in multiple places. Examples of these skills include CPG, technology, social media management, technology PR and project management. Write a few paragraphs or bullet points under each job that contain keywords. Think about the reasons someone might be looking for your experience and make sure you cover them.
Specificity wins over generality. Recruiters get paid to fill specific jobs. We’re looking for a set of experiences and skills. Make sure you list your core educational and volunteer experiences as well as any relevant hobbies or side projects.
Include articles, your portfolio and links to the specific content you’ve created. Do not include anything confidential or proprietary.
LinkedIn is a social site. Offering recommendations to your current or former colleagues and managers will strengthen bonds and your “network.” As a bonus, it will also attract future employers.
Many leave this section empty and waste the value of a free billboard. Don’t write a short story of your life to date. Use this as the highlight of what you’re good at, what you like to do and what the world hopefully needs. You can include your contact info, website and key social links—even if they’re included further down. Not everyone will scroll all the way there.
LinkedIn ranks profiles with pictures higher. They get more connection requests. Keep yours up to date and professional.
Most importantly, get back to recruiters who present relevant opportunities—whether you’re looking or not. Maybe your friend or colleague is looking for a move and would appreciate the introduction. Maybe the recruiter’s next job will be at your dream company. You never know. Relevant professional connections never hurt.
Fanni Gabor is a recruiter, career coach and mindfulness teacher based in Brooklyn, NY. Grounded in the belief that growth happens step by step and through new experiences, she founded Mindfully Transform where she combines peripatetic coaching and mindfulness practices with talent recruitment. Her mission is to help clients walk the talk, embrace change and take charge of their personal and professional lives. Learn more at her website.
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