As a recruiter and headhunter, LinkedIn is a daily tool for me. And as recruiters we assume that everybody uses it the same way we do, and are always taken by surprise when we come across people with fewer than 10 connections, and no explanation of what they do or who they are.
LinkedIn is now the Number 1 tool recruiters (and many hiring managers) use to identify new talent, or to learn more about people they might be interested in hiring. You can influence your ability to be found by creating a good professional image and brand on LinkedIn.
Here are some simple ideas you can use to improve your LinkedIn profile:
1. Create a profile that reads like a professional CV. LinkedIn is a great tool to really showcase who you are and what you are all about. Use the summary to highlight your experience, expertise and interests. Many professionals use LinkedIn to create their professional brand, your employer will think this is normal (that is, not a job-search activity), and it will greatly improve your chances of being on the radar of headhunters and recruiters.
2. Make sure that the expertise you want to be recognised for, or the areas you want to work in, are in your profile so that they show up in keyword searches. As an example, if you are an engineer who really wants to work in healthcare, make sure that you mention that in your summary. This way, your profile will come up when a headhunter is looking to recruit engineers for a healthcare company.
3. Edit your public profile: if you are interested in a career move, ensure that your public profile is visible. LinkedIn gives you an option on what others can see when viewing your profile. You can choose to only show some basic information, which is fine if you value your privacy, yet you need to understand that this makes it harder for headhunters to find you. An experienced resourcer will find their way around this “obstacle”, but do you really want to create hurdles to be found if you want to consider a career move?
4. Use the “advice for contacting…” box to give your contact details if you wish to be approached. If you don’t actively list them here, only your connections can see your contact details. A headhunter or recruiter will have to connect with you through LinkedIn to get in touch. This is fine, but if you don’t check your LinkedIn inbox every day (and very few people do), you might miss out on interesting opportunities.
5. Join groups that are in your field of expertise. Many jobs get advertised or promoted through groups specifically aimed at certain professions; for example, we will use the groups for system engineers to make people aware that we are recruiting in that space. Being a member of profession-specific groups will also help you to be found by headhunters who specialise in that area, or hiring managers who are considering hiring for their teams. By contributing in the group, you can build up a reputation in your area of expertise, which will get you noticed by the hiring community.
Good luck building your professional profile and getting noticed. We will continue to share our tips with you.