Can Recruiters Find Me?

While signed in to LinkedIn last week, I discovered an appealing email from a recruiter. The email shared some information about an open position within the organization and how my skills and accomplishments could potentially be a great match for this position. While not the first time I’ve received a message like this, I began to feel intrigued, but also a bit bewildered. I’m not currently looking for a job, and there’s nothing on my profile that says that I am. So, how exactly have recruiters like this one been able to find me on LinkedIn?

In today’s competitive job market, the rules of recruitment have changed. Online technologies and social media sites have altered the way open positions are filled. Unfortunately, recruiters just don’t have the time or desire to review hundreds (maybe even thousands) of resumes submitted for online job postings, only to find a handful of candidates worthy of interviewing. Today, by conducting a focused search on social media sites like LinkedIn, employers are finding more success by locating individuals who have the desired skill sets.

So, what does this mean for job seekers? How do we capitalize on this? Well, if the rules for recruiting have changed, so must our job search strategies. If recruiters are looking for candidates online, we must allow ourselves to be found online. And beyond just being found, we want our online presence on these platforms to be a true reflection of the strengths we bring to the table for prospective employers.

According to Peter Zukow, General Manager of Lock Search Group, an organization with 30 years of experience finding qualified candidates for various companies, employers are looking at LinkedIn with straightforward needs. In Forbes magazine, he stated, “It can be geographic, number of years of experience, degree qualifications. It’s the tangibles, the nuts and bolts and vetting candidates against the core minimum criteria.”

To help you with this seemingly daunting task, here are my top five strategies for improving the likelihood of recruiters finding you on LinkedIn:

#1. Make sure your profile is 100% complete. LinkedIn makes it very easy to update your profile to meet this goal. The more robust your profile, the more likely the chances are of your profile showing up in both Google and LinkedIn searches. 100% complete LinkedIn profiles are 40 times more likely to be viewed.

#2. Connect, connect, connect. Don’t limit your connections on LinkedIn to just those you have worked with professionally, like your colleagues and managers. Remember, social media isn’t just about your 1st degree connections, but also 2nd or 3rd degree connections. Consider adding your family and friends, who may have a network of individuals looking to fill positions as well.

#3. Have a strong headline. This item should go without saying. How will they know what you do unless you tell them? Create a headline that shares not just what position you’re seeking but what value you bring to an employer.

#4. Become active in industry groups. LinkedIn groups are a fantastic way to interact with others in your industry and stay on top of industry trends. Recruiters also regularly visit these groups to explore who might be available and qualified for various openings.

#5. Use keywords. It’s just like search engine optimization. Similar to how companies utilize specific words to increase the likelihood of web users to stumble upon their site, you should also include specific industry keywords in your profile to improve the odds of being found by recruiters.

Finally, as you begin to work on improving your online presence, it is important to remember, you have a phenomenal skill set, you have a wealth of experience, and you are extremely knowledgeable. Every day, more and more employers are looking for someone like you, so ask yourself, are you allowing yourself to be found?

Written by: Genesis Lastrella, Lead Career Services Specialist

Resources:
The Surprising ‘New Normal’ of the Job Search: http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/getting-started/job-search-new-rules/article.aspx
Profile Completeness: http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=pop%2Fpop_more_profile_completeness
How Recruiters Use LinkedIn: http://www.forbes.com/sites/reneesylvestrewilliams/2012/05/31/how-recruiters-use-linkedin/
18 proven ways to help recruiters find you on linked in: http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/05/16/18-proven-ways-to-help-recruiters-find-you-on-linkedin/

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