June 29, 2012

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How to Tweak Your LinkedIn Profile to Get A Recruiter’s Attention

What happens when the candidate recruiters are seeking hasn’t applied to the job we are recruiting for? Well, we go out and find them.

In the past, recruiters’ passive recruiting efforts started with cold calls and leads. And we still do that sometimes, but only after we’ve looked around online first. It’s amazing how quickly we can find the candidates we are looking for in a potential employee just by running a quick search on Google.

It feels good when someone reaches out to you about a job opportunity especially when you’re not looking. But unless you are providing that very valuable content we call “work experience” on your social profile we will never find you.

Over my next three posts we will focus on the big three social profiles: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Let’s start with the most obvious one:

Linkedin is the largest online professional networking tool with over 150 million users. 275,000+ of those users are recruiters. Unlike Facebook , LinkedIn is open to the web and 100% searchable. This means your LinkedIn profile could possibly show up in the search results of a recruiter’s Google search.

So how do you make yourself stand out amongst the crowd? Let me share a few basic but helpful tips.

The first step to a solid LinkedIn profile is adding a nice professional image of yourself. Please do not use a logo. I believe a photo helps you make a more personal connection with those who view your profile.

Next, is your professional “headline.” Since your headline is the first thing a recruiter will see make sure you make it stand out. Your headline doesn’t necessarily need to be your job title, it really can be anything you want. If you are an online Marketing Manager, you may want to put something like New Media Engagement Manager. Now, doesn’t that just grab your attention?

The next step is to add your current/past employers, education, website, and social sites. These steps are obvious, but believe me, some people choose to leave these blank.

Another thing to always remember, DON’T FIB. We don’t want you to end up like the guy from Yahoo that eventually resigned because he wasn’t truthful about his degree.

Now it’s time to add your work experience. Unfortunately, I see people sell themselves short in this section all the time. To me, work experience is like a snowflake: no two people’s experiences are the same. So go on and proudly share your accomplishments, but do it in a way that makes sense.

When you enter in your work experience, think about how a recruiter would search for your particular skill sets. Don’t just enter generalities think about specific experiences you have gained. Unlike your LinkedIn headline, use your actual job titles when listing your work experience.

Another great feature Linkedin has recently introduced is the “Skills and experiences” section. This is where you can enter your core competencies. Make sure and choose wisely because these are also scanned in the keyword search.

Now, let’s talk about connections and groups. This is what Linkedin is all about: networking. If you use this site to the fullest, you don’t only have the potential to find your next job opportunity; you may learn a thing or two from your peers.

I recommend connecting with friends, co-workers, (including your boss) former co-workers and industry peers. You never know who may think about you when they see a potential opportunity. Another important note is, keep it personal, when adding a connection take a few seconds to make that invitation unique to the recipient.

You will also want make sure you join LinkedIn groups. These groups are a great place for likeminded folks to hang out and exchange information/best practices with industry peers. Don’t just be a wallflower, jump in on the conversation – this is a great way to meet new people.

Joining company groups is a must, especially if you’re active in the job search. Here you won’t just learn about a potential employer, you’ll have an opportunity to network with employees and you may even connect with a company recruiter.

Lastly, let’s clean up that LinkedIn URL. When you first create your LinkedIn profile, you are assigned a very ugly URL, one you wouldn’t want to add to your email signature/business card. Fortunately we get to customize this URL.

To make this change just follow these easy steps:

Go to your LinkedIn page, navigate to “profile” at the top of the page, then select “edit profile.”
In the section underneath your headline you will see “edit public profile” at the bottom.
Once selected, on the right side of the page you’ll see “customize your public profile URL.”
Once you make that selection you’ll be able to create your url. For example mine is my name. LinkedIn.com/in/travistriggs.

Until the next big professional networking tool takes over I highly recommend using LinkedIn to its fullest. To start you can connect with Time Warner Cable on LinkedIn.

We would love to have you.

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