Searching for a new job can be time consuming. Navigating through online application portals, creating new cover letters, logins and profiles each time you apply to a role at a different company. But what if you could potentially bypass this process and have opportunities come to you?
Passive recruiting or sourcing is a proactive approach recruiters use to identify and engage with qualified candidates rather than relying on applications. Sourcing is usually geared towards mid to senior level roles and industries or functions where there is a shortage of talent, but can also be geared towards high volume roles the recruiter might need to build a pipeline of candidates for.
So what can YOU do to get noticed? Thoughtfully building a complete LinkedIn profile can make a big difference in whether your profile even gets shown to recruiters based on their searches. Here are some tips to optimize your profile and make yourself easily searchable on LinkedIn.
Keep your Profile Up to Date and Complete
You want your LinkedIn profile to create a compelling picture of your experience and qualifications; it shows that you’ve put time and effort into your online presence. A bare or incomplete profile tells me that you’re not active on LinkedIn and thus more unlikely to respond to my InMail. At minimum, I recommend using a professional or high-quality photo for your profile picture and detailing your experience, education, certifications and accomplishments.
Your headline, summary and profile background are great places to customize and inject personality. Your summary in particular is a great space to optimize. When most users visit your Profile on LinkedIn they’ll only see the first few lines of your summary, but in LinkedIn Recruiter the entire summary is made visible to the Recruiter by default and can set you apart.
Lastly, including how to get in touch with you on your profile indicates that you’re open to hearing from Recruiters and thus more likely to be contacted. It’s as simple as including “Connect with me here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!”
Make Your Profile Search-Friendly
Having relevant keywords in your profile on LinkedIn can greatly magnify your visibility to Recruiters on LinkedIn (the same goes for your resume when you apply to postings!). A great way to identify keywords to include in your profile are to review job postings of roles you’re interested in pursuing and pull keywords from there.
For example, if I was searching for a candidate in Data Science I might use more technical keywords for required knowledge like “SQL” or “Python”. If I was searching for a Process Manager I might search for “Lean”, “Agile”, or “Six Sigma”. Based on your role and industry, identify the keywords that would be the most beneficial to your profile and incorporate them.
The industry you choose for your Profile also impacts your visibility to Recruiters on LinkedIn. An easy example is a Marketing Manager who works for a Retailer. The Marketing Manager could identify their industry as “Marketing and Advertising” but they could also identify it as “Retail”. My recommendation is that you choose your actual industry (in the above example, Retail). Recruiters frequently filter by specific industries to identify candidates who have even more tailored experience to the job they’re trying to fill.
This section applies to those whose job titles may not reflect their role. For example, if your job title reads more junior than your role actually is, make sure you include a description of your role in the experience section.
I have also seen some very uncommon job titles that likely wouldn’t turn up in a search (shout out to the Apple Geniuses and Happiness Managers). If this is you – keywords will be your best friend. Utilize keywords throughout your profile to make sure you’re found for relevant roles.
LinkedIn gives you 50 slots for you to call out your skills – use them! And think about all of the different ways someone might search for those skills. For example, if you’re looking for a Sales Director role you could include “sales”, “sales strategy” and “sales management”.
Include a Current Position
Even if you’re not working, include a current position. Many recruiters will search using the ‘Current Job Title’ field, so if you don’t have a current title with relevant keywords, you won’t show up. There are a number of routes you can take here including using titles like: “Finance Manager seeking New Opportunity” or “Experienced Marketing Professional”.
Recruiters have the ability to filter through candidates by who has engaged with their company and who are more likely to respond based on a number of factors. If the recruiter has a large pool of candidates and needs to cut it down further, they’re likely to use these filters to do so.
Ways to Engage
-Follow company pages that you’re interested in
-Engage with company posts through likes and comments
-Apply to roles you’re interested in through LinkedIn – you’ll show up as a past applicant to the recruiter at the respective company
-If you are actively searching for a new role, turn on “Open to Job Opportunities” on your LinkedIn Profile. Fill in the types of roles you’re looking for and select Only Recruiters so that it’s visible to Recruiters but not to your network.
You don’t necessarily have to be active on LinkedIn, but you do need to be responsive. Having an updated profile won’t do you any good if you’re not checking your messages frequently and you miss the opportunity altogether. If you know you’re not the type to be on LinkedIn frequently, make sure you’re set up to receive message notifications via email.
Side note: if the above has already happened and you missed your chance for an opportunity but you’re still very interested in the company, let the recruiter know. They may be able to pipeline you and keep you in mind for future roles that arise (there’s a reason they reached out to you).
In summary, LinkedIn is a great tool for recruiters, but it’s also a space that job seekers can optimize in order to reap the benefits. Put some time and effort into building a complete and compelling LinkedIn profile and you can greatly increase the chance of opportunities coming your way.