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Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile: Notes from a Recruiter

*This post is adapted from “Recruiter Shares How She Finds And Evaluates Job Candidates On LinkedIn” by Robin Ryan, originally posted on Forbes.com on 11/1/2022.

Wonder how you might get discovered on LinkedIn? Curious about when a recruiter finds your profile, what are the criteria used to evaluate whether you’d be a good prospect for the opening they want to fill? If you have applied for the job when the recruiter goes to learn more about you on LinkedIn, will they be impressed by what they see?

To help you develop an impressive profile, let’s examine the process the recruiters undertake, define what they want to see, and outline mistakes to avoid.

How Recruiters Conduct A Search For Candidates

“The recruiter must be strategic to source the appropriate candidates. Most people are quite surprised to learn that when you use recruiter-level access on LinkedIn, just how much more information is visible,” Chow stated. Keywords are critical and typically searched with other parameters. “One trick I use is to search for job titles at competitors’ companies to uncover potential candidates,” shares Chow.

✍ Take Away Tip: “Change the headline. This will help a lot.” LinkedIn automatically uses your current job title and employer as listed in your work experience area as the default headline. What’s more effective is to change it and add a job title related to the job you seek or one that reflects the type of work you do. Along with job titles, add some appropriate keywords. For example, instead of just stating “Engineer” be specific and list “Mechanical Engineer.” If you are also a Project Manager, be sure it is listed in the headline. In addition, it also helps to add the industry you work in, such as “automotive industry experience.”

Criteria Used To Evaluate A Potential Candidate

Recruiters say that a critical section they carefully review is the work experience. It should be a resume snapshot and what you did at each job. Don’t leave this area incomplete with only a job title and dates of employment.

Recruiters investigate people’s activity, wanting to know what they publish. If the potential candidate has any negative posts, they skip them and move on.

Take Away Tip: Post industry news and only positive things about the employer or a manager.

More Tips From Recruiters

✍ Write the ABOUT section in first person as this comes off more personal and authentic. Reveal why you like your specific job, such as, “I have a direct impact on improving people’s lives.” You can explain the type of manager you are. If you are unemployed, mention that you are available. State the job title you are looking for. Just remember to update it when you get hired.

✍ Have a professional-looking headshot and a nice background photo.

✍ List your education and any certifications or specializations you have.

✍ Include awards.

✍ Note your volunteer or community service work.

✍ Recruiters hate to be ghosted. If one reaches out to you, politely decline. That recruiter may have a better position later on or move to a new company you would be interested in and then could contact you about a better opportunity.

✍ Be a LinkedIn 1st connection to any recruiter you meet or seek out.

✍ Know what companies you want to work for. Follow their pages to get to learn more about the company, products or services, mission, values, work culture, and new things coming up. An employer is impressed when you are knowledgeable about all the things going on in their organization.

✍ Recommendations are very influential. If you don’t have any, or if they are pretty old, ask a few people to write new ones that point out your strengths performing in positions you’ve held.

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By Robin Ryan
Robin Ryan