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8 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Land a New Job

Photo courtesy of Sara Geyer

LinkedIn is quickly becoming one of the main tools used by recruiters/headhunters/talent acquisition professionals for finding top talent. LinkedIn Recruiter, the tool used specifically by recruiters, is an expensive, souped-up version of LinkedIn. We live in an age where even if you are not looking for a new role, you may want to keep your options open just in case that dream job drops a message in your LinkedIn inbox. From a recruiter’s perspective, here are a few simple tips to get your profile noticed.

1. Have a professional picture. It shouldn’t matter what you look like, but it can matter how professional your LinkedIn picture is. You’d be surprised how often recruiters may dismiss a potential candidate based off of how unprofessional their LinkedIn picture is. I have seen people in costumes, gym selfies, car selfies (stay away from any kind of selfie), and inappropriately dressed. Keep it to a professional picture. If you do not have one, crop your best solo picture.

2. Have recommendations! This might be one area where recruiters go to first on someone’s LinkedIn page. Someone with great recommendations often stands out from a recruiting perspective. I encourage everyone I work with to reach out to their coworkers and managers to have them write a recommendation on LinkedIn. This can be more beneficial than the letter of reference/recommendation. Even if it is coworkers/friends that do not directly work with you, it adds value to your LinkedIn profile.

3. Have your LinkedIn page mirror your resume. When we say “mirror”, we mean include all of your skills and responsibilities for every relevant role. You do not need to add every bullet point for a role that holds zero relevance to the role you are targeting. However, LinkedIn Recruiter uses keyword search as a main source of finding candidates. This means that if you do not have the keywords on your profile, you will not show up. I encourage everyone to note keywords relevant to your industry and include them in your profile. For instance, if you are in Digital Marketing you may want to include words like “Social Media”, “SEO”, “SEM”, “Paid Search”, “e-commerce”, and so on.

4. Want to make a move? Let us know you’re open to hearing about opportunities. LinkedIn Recruiter sorts candidates by interest level. There is an option on your profile to “let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities”. When professionals use LinkedIn Recruiter, it sorts by candidates that are “open” and those that are not. More often than not, we will contact those willing to hear from us first.

5. Want to make a geographic move? Change your location/city on LinkedIn. Recruiters search by location first. For instance, if you want to move to Denver from Chicago and still live and work in Chicago, the first thing I would do is change your LinkedIn location to the “Greater Denver Area”. This allows you to be seen by recruiters in the area in which you are targeting.

6. Keep your bio statement short and sweet. Humor is very hard to decipher in this section. This section can only hurt you if you let it hurt you. Better yet, skip the bio if you are struggling writing it.

7. Write an article demonstrating your skills, knowledge, and abilities in your field. This is an easy way to make your profile stand out and demonstrate your abilities when recruiters visit your profile. Try to keep it relevant to your field or a specific area of study.

8. Reach out to the recruiter, people at the company directly. Become a referral. The most aggressive move job seekers can make is to reach out to the recruiter directly listed on the job posting and others that work within the company. If you are not finding traction using the actual recruiter, try to research people on LinkedIn that work in the field within the company you are applying to. They may be able to send your application directly to the hiring manager, thus allowing you to become a referral. Companies typically treat referrals much better than applicants in general.

Stay tuned next month for the second installment of our “Talent Speaks: Interview Series”, where we sit down with another talent acquisition professional!



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