Has opportunity knocked at your door lately?
I think most of us can agree that doors can be rather drab. How many people say, ‘I saw the neatest door the other day!’ I don’t think I have ever heard those words in my life. Even so, doors are gateways to something so much more.
In a similar manner, LinkedIn is a great expanse of professional doors with recruiters trying to determine which ones are worthy of a knock. It’s our responsibility to make our door one that they want to knock on. So, let’s take a look at 12 ways that you can improve the chances that your door is discovered in the LinkedIn neighborhood.
1. USE KEYWORDS
What’s the first thing a recruiter is going to do when they are looking for their next prized catch? Search. Sure, it sounds simple enough, but does your LinkedIn profile contain the right words for the job? Do not underestimate the use of the right keywords in any area of your LinkedIn profile.
BE THE RECRUITER: Search for candidates. What keywords will you use? If you aren’t sure, pull up a job posting for your dream job at a reputable company. What words stand out? Can they be found in your LinkedIn profile?
2. MAKE HEADLINES
“Amazing Superstar Seller Extraordinaire.” What? Ok. I just made that up. But, this does underscore the need for caution when entering your professional headline (located under your name).
Make sure that your headline is clear, appropriate, and easily recognizable to your industry. “To your industry” is an important part. Are you in a creative industry? Perhaps a clever and catchy title is befitting. But you might consider putting the boring, professional title in parenthesis.
BE THE RECRUITER: Search for people with similar qualifications to yourself. Which headlines are confusing? Which headlines catch your attention? Do you see how a keyword makes all the difference?
3. PHOTO TOUCH UP
Let’s just clear this up right away. A recruiter will probably not get excited that you had a great time at Aunt Jean’s family reunion. Likely, that isn’t the right first impression. Please don’t use it for your profile photo.
BE THE RECRUITER: Search for people with your job title. What profile photography looks good? Note the photo backgrounds that are clean and professional. Note the cropping done closer to the head. Note the sharp, high-resolution photos.
4. DEFINE YOUR INDUSTRY
A person’s industry is one of the first things that comes up in a search. Make sure you have one selected. Make sure you have the right one selected.
BE THE RECRUITER: Search for people on LinkedIn by entering an industry. Do you see the candidates that didn’t select an industry for their profile? Highly improbable.
5. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Where in the world are you? Another important profile field is your location name. Do yourself a favor and pick the “area” name over the precise city name. An “area” name (i.e. New York City Area) is much more recognizable to everyone in general.
BE THE RECRUITER: Search for people on LinkedIn. Note those with an “area” selected for their location and how easy it is to recall. Note the locations that are specific, unknown cities. Resist the urge to search Google Maps.
6. CONNECT MORE
How many recruiters are you connected to? Hopefully, you can’t count them on one hand.
BE THE RECRUITER: Do a LinkedIn search. Note how your connections and their connections come up first.
7. SKILL SPECIFIC
Bob knows PowerPoint. Joan wants to find a candidate who knows PowerPoint. Bob didn’t enter PowerPoint under his skills. Sally entered PowerPoint under her skills. Joan finds and hires Sally. Bob collects missed opportunities. Lesson? Enter your skills on your LinkedIn page.
BE THE RECRUITER: Do a LinkedIn search for a skill you have. Note that only people who have entered that skill are listed in your search results.
8. MAKE CONTACT
How easy is it for your connections to get in touch with you? It’s really as easy as entering your contact information. This includes your phone number, email address, mailing address, website, IM user name, and more. From time to time, double check that your information is current.
BE THE RECRUITER: You are connected with a great job candidate on LinkedIn. It’s time to contact them about an opportunity, and you don’t have any contact information for them in your address book. But, don’t worry. You’re ok because they listed their contact information in their LinkedIn profile.
9. POST IT
You stay on top of your industry news. Your portfolio of work is second to none. You even received an award for a recent project. Don’t keep it to yourself. Publish a post. Comment on the accomplishments of others. You’d be amazed at how memorable this can be to recruiters.
BE THE RECRUITER: Scroll through the home page of your LinkedIn account. What kind of updates are people making? Which updates garner your attention and respect?
10. SHARE THE LOVE
You’ve moved on to new pastures, but you’ve worked with some incredible industry leaders along the way. Don’t forget to request a recommendation. There is nothing like a good referral to perk a recruiter’s interest. And remember to return the favor!
BE THE RECRUITER: Scan the profiles of some of your connections. Note the recommendations they have received. How does that affect your view of that connection?
11. SHOW YOU KNOW
Your employers saw results. Recruiters need to see those results as well. And don’t be too general about those accomplishments. As you write your summary for each employer, include specific responsibilities and real-world statistics (i.e. Increased market share to 30% for Product X).
BE THE RECRUITER: Look at the profiles for experienced candidates in your industry. How do they write the summaries for their job experiences? How do they make their accomplishments specific and tangible? Which measurables stand out to you?
12. GO GROUP
Recruiters are known to browse group discussions. So don’t stop at just joining a collection of industry-appropriate groups. Be active. Share discoveries and accomplishments. Add to and start group discussions.
BE THE RECRUITER: Browse LinkedIn groups that are related to your industry. What kind of conversations are garnering attention? What kind of comments are being made? Which comments reflect a positive light on the commentator?
Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Recruiters are canvassing LinkedIn for the right doors to knock on. So, how does your door look? Is it one that a recruiter would want to knock on? Refine your LinkedIn profile with the 12 ways mentioned and opportunity might knock sooner than you think.