Being in the recruiting business, we’re on LinkedIn… a lot. And like many recruiters, we spend several hours a week growing our own network and viewing potential candidates profile. Surveys show that 90% of recruiters, within companies and external headhunting agencies, use LinkedIn to find talent. In fact, if you’re not on LinkedIn you probably don’t exist to us—which isn’t a good thing if you’re looking for a job or open to new opportunities. Job postings are old news, and sometimes it’s better to search than to rely on resumes from desperate job hunters.
If you’re thinking, that’s never happened to me! A recruiter has never friend-ed me or sent me a message, then you probably need to do more with your profile. Make the most out of LinkedIn by establishing a strong presence. Follow these eight steps:
1. Create a detailed Profile Summary
We like it when people include their email at the top of their summary because when they come up as a masked connection, we know how to reach them.
Also, tell what you do and us who you are! We’re always looking for people who are passionate about their jobs.
2. Choose your photo wisely
LinkedIn is not the place to be cute. Make sure to present your best face on this platform by posting a high quality photo of you smiling and looking professional.
3. Complete all of the sections in your profile
This is very important. Your LinkedIn profile should reveal more about you than your resume. Be sure to quantify your results whenever possible, too, and highlight the ways you helped grow the company. Also, SEO is especially important when recruiters do searches, so think about including key words in your descriptions. The more detailed descriptions, the higher you’ll come up on a search!
4. Include samples of your work
Although this step isn’t necessarily relevant for everyone, one of the nice things about LinkedIn is it’s a one-stop portfolio site. You can upload several files, including photos, PDFs, presentations and even Word or Excel documents. If you have it, show it off!
5. Skills and endorsements
You can include up to 50 skills, and you should! We find several candidates by looking through the Skills section. Look at keywords for the job descriptions you’re eyeing and add some of them to your skills, and then ask your friends for endorsements!
6. Get recommendations
A recommendation is like a testimonial. The more recommendations you have from people you’ve worked with, the better. Be sure to communicate with the person you’re requesting a recommendation from first. LinkedIn makes it possible for you to send reminders to people with pending requests, too.
7. Join Groups
Fact: recruiters spend a lot of time lurking in groups because members in groups can see your profile and contact you, unless you change that option on your profile. If you haven’t already, join your alumni group and as many groups as possible that make sense to your geography, industry, interest and skills. Once you’re in groups, participate in discussions. What you post is very searchable!
8. Be connected!
LinkedIn only works for you if you make the most of it by engaging with other people, and making strategic connections. The more connections you have, the more chances you have for someone to discover you. But that doesn’t mean you should just add anyone. Add people who you meet at networking events and trade cards with, and include a message saying where you met, so they don’t think you’re spamming them.