Leveraging LinkedIn for your career is one of the smartest things you can do and one that doesn’t even take up much of your time. Optimizing it to enable great job opportunities to come to you is a sure fire way for you to take control of your career. If you are actively job searching, it outsources some of that search, making your job search life just a little bit easier.
When I’m talking about leveraging and optimizing, I’m talking about setting up your LinkedIn profile so that you can be found specifically by recruiters. When a company begins a new search, 87% of recruiters turn to LinkedIn when they are seeking new talent to fill that opportunity. I was one of those 87%, I almost exclusively used LinkedIn throughout my 15 years of recruitment experience so I know a thing or two about what goes through a recruiters mind when they are hunting for that perfect candidate, knowledge that you can use to make sure your profile is all set.
1. Complete Your Profile
LinkedIn does have an algorithm and that algorithm is kinder to profiles that are 100% filled out, or received the All Star Badge. This will bias the search engine in your favour.
This is the number one thing you can do to get someone to click on your profile and send you a message, in fact LinkedIn’s stats show that you can get 9x more connection requests, 21x more profile views and 36x more messages
The photo doesn’t have to be a head-shot, but it does have to be professional.
3. Name, Headline & Location
When a recruiter does a search, the results show up with page after page of names, headlines and locations.
Most of us recruiters are inherently lazy, something I say all the time. But honestly we are lazy because it isn’t uncommon for the search results to be in the hundreds if not thousands, which means we have to be lazy as a way to be highly efficient with our time. So we only click on the profiles that are in line with what we are looking for:
Recruiters use search strings to find talent, search strings full of key words. That means when you are thinking about your profile don’t just fill it out from the perspective of what you do, also think of it from the perspective of what you want to do! Take a look at 3-5 jobs that are reflective of the industries, companies and jobs you would be interested in. Highlight the keywords that are common and fill out your profile with them.
A great place to start is your summary. I always include a list of skills and competencies in a client’s summary, a recruiter may never see that list (they would have to click “see more” and remember – lazy and no time) but the search engine sees them!
Next, make sure your work experience is up to date and actually filled in with information. It is recommended that you don’t copy and paste your resume but instead make your LinkedIn profile reflective of your resume. Use the keywords where relevant.
Lastly, use the Skills section. The great thing about this section is when you click to add more you’ll get some suggestions from LinkedIn. Use these suggestions! These are identified based on search strings used by people to find individuals like yourself, and chances are those people are recruiters! Use all 50 to get the biggest bang for your buck with this section.
5. Your Network
You can have the perfect profile but if you don’t have enough connections all that work would be for naught. As I have discussed in the past, your goal is to be a 3rd degree connection with most everyone within your industry and/or region. That 500 number is still the magic one, so working towards it is key!
6. Be Active
LinkedIn’s algorithm takes into account more than just a good profile, it now takes into account user activity and is kinder to those who log in often and engages on their platform. When you wake up in the morning, do you do a quick review of all your favourite social media platforms? Well I would add LinkedIn to that list and maybe like (or comment or share) a post each time you log in. 5 minutes of your time MAX.
7. Turn On Open to Career Opportunities
Let recruiters know you are open to hearing about new jobs.
Curious to know if it is working? There are a few things you can do. In your dashboard, look at your search appearances and your profile views numbers, they should rise after this work.
Don’t want to wait? Test it out yourself. Take a look at a job you are interested in, if you were trying to find a candidate to fill this role what sort of search strings would you use? Type them in, narrow down by location and see if you show up on one of the first few pages?
Feeling lost? I can help with that, schedule a strategy call to talk more about it.
Reprinted from Careerwise by Ceric: https://careerwise.ceric.ca/2019/04/19/insider-tips-on-job-search-from-a-recruiter-turned-career-coach/#.XMh15ehKjIU
By Sara Curto
I spent the first 15 years of my career recruiting top talent, working with some of Canada’s largest organizations to fill their staffing needs. I was good at my job, but I wasn’t having the impact I knew I wanted to have on the world.
My goal was to always coach or counsel people, to bring value to their everyday lives. For a long time, I resented my younger self for taking me so far off my goal of coaching and counselling.
But then something changed. I started to recognize the value in my recruitment experience.
Instead of it being a detriment to my goal of helping people, my 15 years spent recruiting was my differentiating factor. It was a knowledge set that I knew I could leverage as a career coach. I could use my insider knowledge to ensure my clients’ applications would get noticed, that they had strong interview skills that would help them build connections, and that they had the tools to assess whether the offer and onboarding processes were right for them.
I lean on my previous experience every day and it makes me better at my job in so many ways.
ResumesOver the course of my career as a recruiter, I probably read more than 100,000 resumes (a number that boggles my mind). I have also used Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
As I create marketing documents for my clients, I know how to add keywords that will help a resume get past the ATS. But I also know that at the end of the day, a person will still read the resume. That person, probably a talent acquisition specialist/recruiter, is ruthless in their approach. A candidate only has six seconds to stand out – to get put in that “yes” pile. Using my experience and the knowledge of what recruiters look for in those seconds allows me to make sure that information is easy to find and highlighted.
A hiring manager will take a little longer, looking for different things. As someone who talked through applications with hiring managers, I use that knowledge to include content in my clients’ resumes that is sure to get hiring managers interested in interviewing them.
Cover lettersRarely does a cover letter get someone an interview; that’s the resume’s job. Honestly, as a recruiter I never read the cover letter and I know I’m not alone. So, when writing letters for my clients, I make sure that they are focused on the right target audience: the hiring manager.
To a hiring manager, a cover letter is a sign of the applicant’s interest and due diligence. It often gets a hiring manager excited to meet someone, which can be powerful once the client gets to the interview stage.
LinkedIn profilesAs a Talent Manager filling roles for companies, I almost exclusively used LinkedIn to find candidates. I used keyword Boolean searches to find those candidates.
For clients who don’t have much time for job searching or who are in a job that they like but want to be kept in the loop about the market, I optimize their LinkedIn profile with the proper keywords so that they can be found.
Using a mix of knowledge from my own time spent hunting candidates and the training I’ve had from LinkedIn themselves (as a recruiter), I ensure that they have all the necessary pieces of their profile updated to increase search appearances, profile views, connection requests and messages.
I counsel my clients on the importance of their LinkedIn network and how to grow it so that they are three degrees of separation from almost everyone in their region and industry.
InterviewsI’ve conducted about 10,000 interviews of all types (phone, face-to-face, senior level and client group). There are a few interview questions that tend to raise red flags for employers:
When my clients get offers, we break them down to determine their priorities. I let them in on the pieces of an offer that are most difficult to negotiate and we develop talking points that advocate for their worth while showcasing the value they bring to the table.
My journey to becoming a career coach took a lot longer than I expected, but that doesn’t bother me any more. I know now that the knowledge and experience I gained brings more value to people’s lives than I ever thought possible. I am so proud to be a Career Coach and to help guide people on their own journeys to discovering a career that brings them that same satisfaction.
When interview nerves get the best of you.
So what did I do?
I prepared a lot. But way in advance of interviews. I really began to think about my career as a story and would practice coming up with stories to talk about my successes, how I made a difference and things I was proud of.
That way when it came time for an interview, I didn’t need to prepare as much – I just needed to review my stories and think about how I would frame them for this particular job. Years later, interviews are almost a piece of cake b/c I have gotten so used to “storytelling”.
I also prepared for the worst to happen. Like rambling or my mind going blank and thought about how I would handle it if it happened. And it still occassionaly happened but I was able to overcome it quite easily b/c I had already figured it all out.
I also focused on using my nervous energy as just regular energy to show enthusiasm. After all, the same nerves are firing!
Watch the Q&A to learn more!
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
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