You’re intrigued! The telephone rings and it’s a recruiter asking if you’re interested in moving to a best-in-class organization in your industry. Because your LinkedIn profile is complete with relevant industry keywords, you’re discovered ahead of dozens of others.
Gone are the days of smile-and-dial campaigns searching for the ideal candidate. These days using SEO (search engine optimization) tools, finding a passive candidate is fast and effective. According to The Undercover Recruiter, 97% of all HR and staffing professionals use LinkedIn in their recruiting efforts. If you are planning a career move, you can’t afford to ignore this because recruiters depend on LinkedIn searches to find passive candidates.
Position yourself as a passive candidate by creating a keyword-rich LinkedIn profile to pique the interest of recruiters.
Identify industry keywords
Recruiters will search on multiple categories including geography, job title, and specific skill. For example, while working on a recruiting project for a general manager for a department store, I used the keywords: general manager; department store; more than 10 years’ experience; within 100 km of my city. I found 12 people and I interviewed 4.
If you’re unsure what keywords to use, consult a job description and select your relevant skills. If you have a unique skill or body of knowledge, ensure you include it in your profile, including your headline and summary. Think about how someone would search for a professional like you. Let’s say your expertise is financial compliance. Include the term “compliance” in your headline so that someone searching for a compliance expert will find you.
Consider the following headlines:
John Doe | Manager | ABC Company Inc. (fair)
John Doe | Compliance Manager | Hedge Funds | ABC Company Inc. (better)
John Doe | Bilingual Compliance Manager | Hedge Funds | ABC Company Inc. (best)
Recruiters searching for a bilingual compliance expert in the hedge fund industry will easily find John in a search with his optimized headline.
Expand your connections
If you want to be discovered on LinkedIn by recruiters and hiring decision makers, you will need a broad reach. Multiply your age by 10; this is the minimum number of connections you should have. The larger your number of connections is, the greater the chances of your being found in a search.
Ensure that the people you connect with are relevant to your goals and interests, such as targeted industries or companies you are interested in pursuing. Having 100 quality connections is more effective than 500 random connections.
Ensure that your name is unique to you on all social media platforms because confusion abounds when two people with similar names are in the same profession and in the same industry.
Consider the names David McKay and David MacKay. They are both attorneys in Ithaca, New York. However, one is a public defender and the other is a district attorney (based on a true story). Imagine the confusion for clients, court staff, and recruiters when David McKay receives David MacKay’s mail.
Use your middle initial if you have a potentially confusing name. You do not want to miss out on an opportunity because the information intended for you was delivered to someone else.
As an entrepreneur, LinkedIn is an indispensable marketing tool for my business. I work with organizations that I previously didn’t know existed and clients are finding me based on the keywords in my profile.
My friends and associates often ask me: “How did you end up working with XYZ Company?” They are always pleasantly surprised when I say with a smile, “LinkedIn.”
Make it easy for hiring managers to find you by optimizing your profile.