Get Recruiters’ Attention with Your LinkedIn Profile
At a couple of seminars on LinkedIn I have attended recently, both an active recruiter and a veteran recruiter revealed valuable insights into what recruiters see when your profile comes up on search results, what they like and don’t like to see, how your profile is rated in terms of a match to a position, and strategies to make your profile more appealing.
Since there are more than 500 million members on LinkedIn today, it’s easy to see why recruiters love having access to the world’s largest professional network.
Of course, the fact that there are 500 million plus members also means that it is easy to become lost in the crowd!
According to these recruiters, here are some things you will want to give due attention:
Be Mindful of What the Recruiter Can and Cannot See
A recruiter or hiring manager can only see your name and headline in some search results views, and in others the first 100 characters of your summary.
Even recruiters who have a “recruiter seat” (access to the internal recruiter app) may have a very limited number of profiles they can click on without additional fees.
This makes what appears in your headline and the first 100 characters of your summary critical, since it is ALL that a recruiter who is conducting a search can see without either using up one of a very limited number of “free” profiles he’s entitled to OR paying to see your profile.
Thus, you want to include and/or repeat important keywords in the headline and the summary’s first 100 characters, AND include contact info in the summary so the recruiter can easily reach you. (They cannot see your contact info without full profile access either.) Consider including your email address and/or a phone number in the first 100 characters.
Making your email and phone number readily visible becomes all the more important because with the “New Look” LinkedIn update of 2017, the “Advice for Contacting” section was eliminated. This section was previously a place you could include contact information, since people who are not in your network might not be able to see all of your “Contact and Personal Info” section. No more.
Ratchet Up the Appeal and Relevance of Your LinkedIn Profile
Make sure that the companies and people you “Follow” are relevant to the roles you are seeking.
Be specific on skills you list on your profile for keyword optimization. For example, ‘criminal justice’ is a good general keyword phrase to list, but listing something specific like ‘’personal injury’ will further help your profile rank in Job Posting Analytics.
Seek out endorsements by endorsing others, who are likely to reciprocate.
Maintain a personal website in addition to your LinkedIn profile. It was specifically noted that this is very appealing to recruiters and shows that you are tech savvy to boot.
Establish a vanity URL! It adds professionalism because the default URL LinkedIn assigns is messy looking, hard to remember or type in, and doesn’t fit well on your resume or business card.
Align Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume to Positions
When applying for a position, look at the Job Posting Analytics that will assess your profile and rate it on how good the match is. Your Hiring Match score is based on keywords, job descriptions, and job titles found in your profile.
Edit your profile to better match the top skills highlighted in the Analytics (truthfully, of course).
Note: Anyone can see basic analytics if you go to the Jobs section and click on the posting. You may need a premium account to view all the information, however.
Uploading your resume to your profile may not be the best idea. It takes away the opportunity to tailor your resume for a particular opportunity, especially if you are a manager or executive.
Bring relevant experience to the forefront in your summary, especially if it is far down in your chronological work history.
De-emphasize irrelevant jobs by lumping several together under the same entry as your relevant positions.
Make Contact Easy for You and the Recruiter
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when you reach out to a recruiter about a posting. Specifically, many recruiters do not respond to InMails, so try to get in touch with them through an alternate route, such as finding their phone number or email address (I’ll have tips about how to do that in another post.)
As stated above, list your email address in the summary/background section, since InMails are limited for many employers and recruiters and they cannot view your contact info without using up one of their monthly profile views.
If you are comfortable doing so, also list your phone number at the top of the summary. Most recruiters prefer to be able to call you, and the same problem with inability to view contact info applies here.
Maximize Your Visibility on LinkedIn
Be active on LinkedIn. The more activity there is on your profile, the more likely it is to come up on search results. If you’ve been inactive for 3 months, many recruiters will just bypass your profile. Share links. Participate in discussions. Write articles.
Indicate that you are open to opportunities, unless of course you are trying to conduct a confidential search. You can even put “Open to New Opportunities” or “ONO” in your headline in an active search.
Head Ageism Off at the Pass
Make sure your profile picture is up-to-date, modern, friendly, approachable, and makes you look as vibrant as possible. No profile picture is a major turn-off to recruiters and instantly makes them think you are old or hiding your looks for some other reason.
Where possible, remove or omit any information that dates you, for example graduation dates, early career dates. If you want to include early positions, use the “lumping together” technique mentioned above.
Do not use a vintage ISP email address (e.g., AOL, Earthlink, Roadrunner, etc.). This is generally interpreted as a dead giveaway of age.
Get an Inside Look at the LinkedIn Recruiter Platform
Having a recruiter seat on LinkedIn makes it easier to get a feel for what recruiters will actually see and how to adjust your profile accordingly. You can take a 30-day free trial and then drop it if you want to get an insider’s look.