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How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Recruiters: 9 Tips to Attract Recruiters on LinkedIn

Overview

Today’s recruiters must sift through many LinkedIn profiles to identify the right candidate for hiring. If your goal on LinkedIn is to attract recruiters and hiring managers, then you need to focus on what the ones in your industry are looking for. Out of one billion users, 65 million use LinkedIn for job searching. Many companies employ recruiters to locate qualified candidates, using a variety of tools, resources, and sourcing strategies to find the right one. 

The recruiter’s job may also include:

  • Writing and posting job descriptions.
  • Interviewing candidates.
  • Designing the recruitment approach.
  • Preparing a selection of candidates for companies to interview and decide on the next hire.

Companies rely on recruiters’ capabilities to craft job descriptions, collaborate with HR and the hiring manager, and use all available tools to identify qualified candidates. If you ask 50 recruiters about their preferences in a potential candidate’s profile, the responses will differ, particularly if their employer or client seeks unique qualifications. Jack Kelly, CEO of the Compliance Search Group and WeCruitr.io, said he seeks someone “with the exact background, skills, talents, education, and experience that the job listing requires.” Kelly’s criteria align with the expectations of many recruiters. 

9 Tips to Attract Recruiters to Your LinkedIn Profile

Not every recruiter looks for their perfect candidates on LinkedIn. They explore job boards, attend career fairs, rely on referrals, and use various other methods. Their primary instrument on LinkedIn is the LinkedIn Recruiter (LIR) tool. Ed Han, a seasoned talent acquisition professional, describes LinkedIn Recruiter as “a wholly different standalone product offering a much richer set of search filters.” It serves as an exclusive platform for recruiters to contact potential candidates directly on LinkedIn. Garry Olive, an experienced recruiter, states, “The LinkedIn Recruiter tool is really robust in terms of finding and reaching out to qualified candidates.”

Just as recruiters employ various tools and strategies to enhance their search efficiency, professionals aiming to be discovered by recruiters should also utilize profile optimization tools to increase their visibility. There are several features that LinkedIn users seeking potential opportunities should consider to boost their chances of being noticed.

1. Craft your profile to show how your skills and experience align with a specific industry. 

Recruiters will not make assumptions about how your experience may align with their job descriptions. They will move on if they do not see a clear connection to what they are searching for. If your About section lacks depth, it becomes challenging for anyone, including recruiters, to perceive the value you could bring to an organization or the achievements you have garnered with your current or past employers. 

2. Use the “Open to Work” badge on your profile photo. 

For many recruiters, any tool that makes their job easier is frequently utilized. According to LinkedIn data, users who display an Open to Work badge are 40% more likely to receive an InMail from a recruiter. The hashtag #OpenToWork also enhances the visibility of any post. Currently, over 350,000 users follow this hashtag. Combined with the use of LIR, the badge is beneficial according to a vast majority of recruiters, according to Han. He further explains how the badge aids recruiters in finding candidates: 

  • It allows recruiters to maximize the ROI on InMails. Recruiters, who have a finite number of InMails to send, benefit from statistics on the number and percentage of InMails that are accepted. An accepted InMail increases the likelihood of progressing through the recruitment process.
  • LIR subscribers benefit because they can specifically search for any member who has activated this feature on their profile, making it an attractive option for those seeking quicker responses.
  • Even for non-LIR users, displaying this status publicly can attract attention from recruiters. 

3. Leverage your profile’s headline.

Most LinkedIn users, including recruiters, are more likely to read the “About” section after being drawn in by a well-crafted headline. The headline plays a crucial role for recruiters searching for candidates, especially when it includes relevant keywords. 

4. Include basic contact information.

Not all recruiters use LinkedIn’s email for communication. It’s advisable to include both an email address and phone number in the “Contact Info” section of your profile page. The simpler it is for a recruiter to reach out to you, the more memorable you’ll become, especially if they’ve spent time searching through other profiles without success.

5. Gather recommendations.

Individuals who have worked with you and have firsthand knowledge of your work performance are the most suitable to provide recommendations. Although recommendations on LinkedIn may not carry the same weight as a reference check during the hiring process, they generate increased interest in your work. 

6. List industry-specific credentials.

If your industry demands specific credentials and skills, make sure to list them. This way, they’ll appear in search results, allowing recruiters to quickly assess if you are a suitable candidate. Wendy Schoen, a legal recruiter, explains why this is crucial for her: “Given my industry’s obsession with credentials, I have to quickly scan where they went to school and how well they did (and if they had any clerkships) And their employment history.”

7. Don’t stress about employment gaps.

The importance of the job’s nature, duration, and the number of positions varies depending on the recruiter and industry. Since the pandemic, recruiters have begun to view employment histories differently, as more individuals have faced layoffs. While gaps in employment are not necessarily deal-breakers for many recruiters, briefly explaining their presence can be helpful. 

Recruiters also verify that the employment dates on your profile match those on your resume. They ensure that the skills you list are clearly associated with specific employers. 

8. Grow your network of industry-specific recruiters.

Many recruiters on LinkedIn generously respond to inquiries about hiring and job searching. LinkedIn allows you to “follow” any user instead of connecting, which is beneficial if you’re conducting a stealth job search. It’s advantageous for you if the recruiters (and companies) post job openings and have previously shared application instructions. Some recruiters use the purple “Hiring” badge or the #hiring hashtag to highlight available positions. Over 3.2 million users follow #hiring.

9. Post and comment strategically.

It’s often underestimated how interactions with recruiters, hiring managers, and company pages can lead to conversations. They are likely to notice when users share or comment on their content or job postings, helping to increase the post’s visibility. There are many stories of users who have found recruiters through a comment or share. This presents opportunities to showcase your experience and expertise, potentially catching the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager and sparking a meaningful conversation. If a recruiter with LinkedIn Premium and a user without it comment on the same post, they can both send each other InMail messages.

What Not to Do on LinkedIn According to Recruiters

Scams are prevalent on most social networks, so when you’re approached by a recruiter, vet them carefully and ask them questions. Legitimate recruiters will never ask for money from candidates under any circumstances. If approached by one, do not pay them; instead, block and report them.

Here are a few reasons a recruiter may not engage with your profile or reach out to you:

  • Your profile has little to no information to explain why they should contact you.
  • If you use a moniker instead of your real name.
  • If your employment history dates are inconsistent with your timeline information.
  • Making negative or false statements about past employers.
  • Consistently making rude and derogatory statements about other LinkedIn users.
  • Harassing recruiters about a current or past position.

What Do Recruiters Want You to Know?

Recruiters view your LinkedIn profile as their first impression of you. Generally, most profiles they encounter must meet their criteria for further engagement. Schoen explains, “I need to go through a pretty extensive checklist before I can even get to the meat. Most profiles fail somewhere in the checklist. Those that make it hard to complete my checklist get tossed when I hit the impediment.”

If you aim to find jobs through a recruiter on LinkedIn, tailor your profile based on your understanding of the industry and what the employer is looking for, as well as understand what recruiters need. Executive Recruiter Lynette Carney states, “Someone can be extremely qualified; however if they cannot demonstrate their value proposition and don’t have great communication skills, it’s difficult to move them forward to the Hiring Manager.” 

Picture of Mark Dyson
Mark Dyson
Mark Anthony Dyson is a career writer, thinker, podcaster, and speaker in the careers and job search space. He has written for Glassdoor, Recruiter.com, Payscale, The Financial Diet, The Balance Careers, and more.

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