If you’re in the market for a new opportunity, a recruiter can be an excellent person to have in your corner! However, finding ways to grab the attention of one through your resume, blog, or other creative work can be difficult if you don’t portray your professional attributes effectively. In today’s technologically driven market, using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as a way to connect with your favorite companies, for example, is becoming increasingly common among prospective candidates during their job search. While these two sites can be used as a platform for finding your next job, LinkedIn has emerged as the top social media site that recruiting professionals utilize to search for candidates.
So, what can you do as a job seeker to ensure that you stand out in a sea of over 330 million other users? Here are 5 ways to spruce up your LinkedIn profile to attract recruiters.
1. A photo, professional summary, and headline are a MUST!
If you want to be seen as a legitimate job seeker, not having a photo may be an instant deal breaker for some recruiters. In addition to a professional photo, a unique headline and a concise summary are also great ways to entice a recruiter to read deeper into your profile. Updating these areas appropriately will enhance your ‘Profile Strength,’ which increases the odds of your profile showing up in results if a recruiter is in search of candidates within your industry.
Moreover, a concise summary and headline highlighting your professional interests or accomplishments will stand as your first impression to a recruiter that comes across your profile. Therefore, it’s important to use this space to highlight your personal brand. For example, one way to make your summary attractive is to create a personal story that ties in certain areas of your professional history and accomplishments, which can help recruiters get a glimpse of your personality, and may make you more memorable.
2. Ensure your employment history is accurate and up-to-date
If your headline and summary haven’t garnered any interest, a more detailed and up-to-date list of your employment history and volunteer experience may be just what you need to catch the attention of a recruiter. While you don’t want to copy and paste your entire resume into your experience field, there’s no need to worry about the length of your responsibilities, so take advantage of the ample space LinkedIn gives you to expand on certain parts of your resume by highlighting specific responsibilities you’ve held that portray you as an adept professional for the types of roles you’re interested in pursuing. Something as small as using certain keywords effectively in your employment history may not only increase your chances of being found by recruiters searching for those words, but it may also allow a recruiter to point out the key responsibilities you’ve held or skills you possess that make you the perfect candidate.
3. Endorsements and recommendations will help you stand out
Listing certain technical/soft skills you excel in within the ‘Skills & endorsements’ section may catch a recruiter’s eye if they’re looking for a candidate with a very specific skill set, but connecting with past colleagues/managers to endorse your top skills (e.g., Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), will help a recruiter identify your strongest skills. Additionally, if you can secure recommendations from professionals within your network (i.e., professors, supervisors, etc.) this will add even more credibility to your LinkedIn profile as it gives a glimpse into your work ethic and performance in the field. Keep in mind, endorsements and recommendations are most useful when they come from someone who has worked with you on a professional level, so think wisely about who you ask to highlight your skills.
4. Regular weekly activity
One way that recruiters can gauge your level of interest in your field and knowledge on industry trends/current events is through your weekly activity on LinkedIn. For example, if you’re in the healthcare field and you write posts about the Affordable Care Act or ‘share’ articles you find interesting, recruiters are more likely to see you as a professional who is engaged in their line of work. Additionally, ‘liking’ articles, commenting on posts, and joining groups will help your profile show up higher in search results and will help a recruiter shape a more realistic picture of some of the areas you are interested in.
5. Avoid LinkedIn buzzwords
Finally, one area job seekers should think harder about in order to prevent their profiles from being overlooked is using certain overused buzzwords in your profile. Now that LinkedIn is used as a go-to resource for hiring managers and recruiters in search of prospective candidates, it will take a bit more creativity in the types of adjectives you use to describe your professional goals and strengths to gain their interest. For example, rather than simply stating you are a ‘good problem solver,’ highlight a specific project where you implemented a solution to solve a difficult challenge. The better you are able to tell a story while calling out concrete examples of your professionalism the more believable of picture you will paint for a recruiter about the skills you possess.