There’s no question that if you are looking for a job, you should be leveraging LinkedIn. As the most popular social network for professionals, LinkedIn is not just a place for you to look for listings and connect with colleges, but the number one place recruiters go to head-hunt for candidates that they think might be the best fit for a job at their company — even for jobs that haven’t been listed yet.
Assuming you are already up-and-running with LinkedIn (which most professionals are), the next step is to actually take a step back. Stop doing all the work yourself, and set yourself up so companies will come to you. But how do you design a LinkedIn profile that attracts more recruiters — especially the ones for companies you want to work for?
A recent article over at The Muse provides a few very good tips, including to make sure your profile optimized for LinkedIn searches. Ultimately, you need to make sure it includes the keywords employers are looking for. Don’t know how to do this? At LinkedIn, Brian Shumway, SEO Manager at CreditCards.com, suggests a few ways, including:
1. Use Keyword Rich Job Titles
Shumway points out that the best profiles don’t just list your current job title — such as “Director of Inbound Marketing” — but use a plethora of keywords in the job title to describe the job, such as “Content Marketing | SEO | Social Media | Growth Hacker.” In the marketing industry, these are the actual keywords that recruiters search for, since job titles that perform those roles vary.
2. Expand Your Network
Brian also explains that search results can drastically vary depending on your network. The more direct, 2nd and 3rd degree connections you have, the more likely you’ll appear in a recruiter’s search results. While some people try to treat LinkedIn like a private networking club, it’s best to connect with everyone you meet — because you never know who they know, and if that person is looking for you.
3. Optimize Your Job Descriptions
This is one of the best tips from Shumway and is often overlooked. Just like with your job title, it’s important to use keywords in each of your descriptions that are the words recruiters are looking for. This is especially critical if your job title is uncommon or vague.
A few other tips to attract more recruiters? Be sure you have a professional, attractive photo. Recent studies show that recruiters spend almost 20 percent of their entire time on your profile looking at your profile picture — so make sure your first impression is a good one. Finally, keep your profile updated on a regular basis. Started volunteering something? Learned a new skill on the job? Joined a new club? These activities will help you stand out amongst other candidates — and if you use the right keywords, may actually be what recruiters are specifically looking for, too.
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If you’re a recruiter, what tips do you have for job seekers using LinkedIn? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.