Whenever I kick off a new recruiting project, I go deep into sourcing for candidates. While I do run job advertisements on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn, I’m simultaneously reaching out directly to potential prospective applicants via LinkedIn Recruiter, user and community groups, and of courseinto my existing network.
As LinkedIn has been a great source of hires and overall networking, I thought I’d put some new suggestions out there that might help job seekers get attention from recruiters…
Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches your resume. Too many people just have job titles but no descriptions underneath as to what they do in the job, accomplishments in the role, and the technologies/tools they’ve used. LinkedIn is your online resume, and I simply cannot tell much about you if you don’t tell us anything!
Check your Settings! LinkedIn has a lot of profile settings that will make it easier for you to be found, including “Let Recruiters Know You’re Open to Opportunities” and under Communications, your email preferences for “Invitations” and “Messages”. I can’t tell you how often I hear from people many months later saying “I just don’t check my LinkedIn that often”, when all they had to do is update their settings so they get an email when someone invites them to connect or a recruiter sends them an InMail about a job. Now I’m not talking about removing spam filters – they have separate blocks you can do for “3rd party emails” and stuff like that, thankfully.
Make Your Header your Profession – not your employer! LinkedIn’s default is to list your header (under your name on your profile) as your job title and current employer. However, if your job title is some vague-sounding one only folks at your company would understand, or you’re not currently employed, or you are looking to move into a specific field, make it clear in your header, as when we’re searching, that can really help set you apart. Example – if you’re a software engineer, that’s a GIANT category. Are you a full-stack engineer? Are you in DevOps? Are you a frontend developer? Tell us so that we won’t waste your time or ours. Yes, you may have multiple skills, but if there’s an area you want to focus on going forward, make that clear.
Yep, have a picture. I know, I know, they can feel super cheesy, but it makes you into a more real person if you have a photo. No, it doesn’t have to be a professional headshot! (Believe it or not, that can actually pigeonhole you as “oh that guy only wants to work somewhere where suits are required”). Just a quick selfie or snapshot is fine, one where we a) can see your face, b) is business casual, and c) you look somewhat friendly and approachable.
Respond to all messages, even if you’re not interested! A quick “no thank you” is all you need to do. LinkedIn even has a template to do that when you get an InMail. If you might be available in 6 months, tell them to look you back up then. If you have a specific type of role or industry you want to work in, tell them that – they might have something else coming up or be able to introduce you to someone in that field. If you know someone who’s looking, give them that suggestion (there may be a referral bonus in it for you!). Recruiters can be a fantastic resource for connecting you to the job or field you want to be in – whether or not it’s with their company. You just have to build that relationship. Be polite, be considerate of their time, and treat them as you’d like to be treated. Golden Rule stuff, ya know?
Want more ideas? Check out my classic Top 10 Tips on this blog. In this series I originally did some years back for Mac’s List, I provide some good basics for resumes, cover letters, internships, interviewing, social media, and more.
Looking for one on one assistance? Go to my Coaching page for details!