Recruiters use LinkedIn to source active and passive candidates for their searches.
I recently performed an advanced LinkedIn search where I entered several job titles as keywords, an industry, and “Greater Seattle Area” as the location. My search returned over 250 results.
As you might imagine, at this level of volume, it’s not enough to just come up in a recruiter’s search results. You also have to compel them, as they’re scanning page after page of results, to click through to your profile.
What a Recruiter Sees
Here’s what a recruiter sees when they get search results:
- Your name.
- Any credentials that follow your name.
- Your headline or your current job title (if it’s your default headline).
- Your location.
- Your current job title and employer or your education (if your job title is your default headline).
- Number of shared connections.
Note that I had specified industry and geography in my search. Thus, if someone didn’t match those terms, they didn’t even come up in my search results.
That’s important to think about if you’re relocating or changing industries.
If you’re committed to making a change, then list your aspirational geography and industry — unless your current boss will flip if they see it. If that’s the case, assess your risk and make the best decision for you.
What Makes a Recruiter Click on a Profile
Here’s the scoop on what made me click through and what made me pass on profiles in my search results:
1. I looked at my first-level connections first because they came up on the first pages of my search results.
2. My next clicks went to the results with the most compelling job titles, company names, and credentials. Here are some examples (this was a CFO search):
Sonya Pruss, MBA/CPA, CFO at Fictitious Company
David Willis, MBA, Chief Financial Officer at Fictitious Company
Anthony Pleasant, CPA, Sr. Director, Finance & Administration at Fictitious Company
Sarah Oldstone, CPA, Interested in Career Opportunities
Just as the research shows, I went for relevant experience and qualifications, as demonstrated by job titles, company names, degrees, and credentials — over anything else.
I also went for someone who was looking because they displayed a “must have” credential for this particular search.
3. Here are some results I found less attractive:
Cathy Chan, VP Finance & CFO at DMIS
Don’t use acronyms readers don’t understand.
Phil Wolk, Director at Fictitious Company
Tell me what type of director – finance, budgeting, accounting, what? Phil Wolk, Director (Finance) at Fictitious Company would have been more useful.
David Smith, Experienced Chief Financial Officer at Fictitious Company
I know you’re experienced. That’s how you got to be a CFO. Don’t waste limited space providing BFOs (blinding flashes of the obvious).
These results were less interesting because I had to click through to find information about credentials, company names, and job titles. Other people provided that information without requiring my extra time and effort.
I might or might not click through to these profiles — depending on how long my call list already is and which page of search results I’m reading. (Translation: How desperate for well-qualified candidates am I?)
4. Finally, here are results I didn’t click through on:
Donald Levy, Board of Directors, Fictitious Nonprofit Organization
Kirk Frederick, Principal at No Brand Name Associates
Laura Merz, Finance Professional
Cecilia Garcia, Independent Consultant
Mohammad Khan, Owner, Omega Services
There simply wasn’t enough compelling information, when compared to the abundance of other interesting results, to make me click through.
Do you wonder how you compare to the competition on LinkedIn? Search LinkedIn for your job title and similar titles, your industry, and your geographic location. How do you compare to the competition? If you don’t like what you see, buff up your profile.
Once you’ve done that, be sure that they can contact you.
Let’s Connect on LinkedIn
Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect here. The more I know about my readers, the more relevant I can make my blog posts!
I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at email@example.com for more information.
Image Courtesy of Ken Tomika
Updated June 2017
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