LinkedIn is the place by definition where companies publish their job offers and the most valuable resource for those looking for their first job or new job opportunities. There are many possibilities, but it is not easy to rise in a social media where the competition between qualified professionals is very high. It’s right to apply for job offers, but being able to appear in recruiter searches and getting them contact you directly is worth a lot more.
To achieve this, I applied some Seo techniques: I was able to be found more easily and to directly attract recruiters of prestigious agencies. Seo means search engine optimization: thinking only about Google is reductive because LinkedIn also has its own search engine and we just have to figure out how to be found in this social. We need to start thinking out of the box.
LinkedIn in your personal branding strategy
Let start to analyze the context within which we are moving to look for work. To be found by recruiters you need to implement a solid personal branding plan of which LinkedIn is definitely an important part, but not the only one. Your arrows can be a website, a blog, other social networks, the projects you’ve followed, the resumes you’re submitting. All these channels tell something about you.
Recruiters can do a Google search to better understand if you’re suited to the position they’re managing. You need to have a consistent image in all your online presences,even among the public information in social media that you can use privately, for example Facebook and Instagram. This is the first impact that recruiters or future employers have of you.
LinkedIn for recruiters and job seekers
Now let’s try to figure out what are the players at stake in the process of supply and demand for work,how they behave and what they are looking for. Knowledge of the context and our audience is the starting point for planning our strategy, even in the search for work.
Let’s start with the recruiters. They are the ones who search for and select professionals consistent with the job offers they are following and start them in the selection process. In most cases, they have a Premium Recruiter Lite profile (Corporate if they are part of a large company), a subscription service that allows them to search for potential candidates with more than 20 advanced filters, send inMail messages and view profiles of the extended network up to 3 degree of separation. Let’s see in the video how the search for the perfect candidate on LinkedIn can take place.
Now let’s move on to the candidate who has to be found online by recruiters to receive job offers. In the base account he has only the profile. We will see later how it can be optimized. The LinkedIn Premium Careers profile offers advanced features to gain greater visibility and connect directly with those looking for candidates. The Premium profile is visible to everyone and allows anyone to send inMail messages without limits. You can send inMail messages to whoever you want and access advanced statistics that allow you to understand who viewed your profile.
Another great advantage is the ability to view statistics on published job offers and be displayed at the top for those ads that have a very long list of candidates. In summary, I highly recommend that you subscribe for the months you are actively looking for a new job.
What recruiters are looking for: job offers and ads
We’ve analyzed the context and now it’s time to dive into practice. Seo teaches that we must start from the analysis of the searches done. Our audience is recruiters and we don’t have access to all the research they do on LinkedIn, but we can understand what they’re looking for by analyzing the language and keywords they use.
The tool is called LinkedIn Jobs: from this section we have to filter the offers that really interest us. We mark on a sheet the recurring keywords in the titles and job descriptions because they are the queries that recruiters will type from the LinkedIn search box and represent how our work is viewed by them. On another sheet we mark the main skills related to the job offer (visible with a Premium profile). These are entered directly by the person that publish the offer, so a closer match helps to move up in the list of candidates.
How to optimize your LinkedIn profile to find a job
Now let’s move on to the LinkedIn profile and start by analyzing the current situation from the boxes you find in “Dashboard” on your profile page. The Premium version allows you to see both the trend of profile views and the people who viewed it (some may still be anonymous). Look closely at the aggregated data that indicates how they found you and by what keywords (you might be surprised). This information is important to understand if we are working well on this social media.
We now have a complete picture of the keywords recruiters are looking for in job offers and our current situation. Let’s optimize the main sections (look at my LinkedIn profile).
Try searching Google for “Last Name LinkedIn” and let’s look at the snippet in the results. The title includes first and last name, followed by the summary that you entered and is therefore very important. The summary also appears along with the city in the description that you find in the results that show the listings where your profile is included. Fill it out with Google searches.
Title and information
We’ve seen that the summary where you type your profession is very important because it’s a key to indexing on Google. To confirm this, we can see from the source that it is an H2 title on a page with no H1. I recommend entering the main keywords you’ve identified during analysis so you have more visibility on Google and LinkedIn. A very long summary is not beautiful, but it is effective and you can always separate the entries with graphic signs in order to make it more readable.
The information summary is a paragraph where you need to find the right trade-off between keyword usage, persuasive writing, and synthesis. A description that’s too long won’t read it. Again, take advantage of the keyword analysis you’ve done before and expand with those you couldn’t fit into the summary.
I would add an indication about the city: set the city or geographical area where you would like to work because it is useful information to respond to a geolocated search.
Experience and education
Each entry is showed by an H3 title that contains the company name and your role. These H3 titles are grouped under the H2 “Experience” and “Training”: the structure of the page is very clear. One trick to positioning our profile well is to use the keywords we identified earlier, while remaining true to what was the real experience presented. Don’t exaggerate because whoppers are sooner or later discovered.
In the description we use the same logic as the general information, but we adapt it to individual experiences. It can also be useful to link any projects or articles that talk about what we have done.
Licenses and certifications
We can add certifications that give greater authority to the profile. Again it is important to remember that the name of the certification is an H3 title, so it is better to use keywords if it is not too forced.
Skills and endorsements
We’ve seen that these can increase the value of the match between profile and job ad. Add skills in line with the industry you’re looking for a job for and try to get endorsements from your colleagues or collaborators. Obviously the skills have to be real.
Activating your job preferences is veryimportant. This way you can point out that you’re looking for a new job and you can set what kind of job you’re looking for and where. LinkedIn allows you to select whether to show this information to everyone (greater visibility) or whether to try to exclude employees of your company (recommended if you do not want to let your bosses know).
The LinkedIn network is based on the concept of separation degrees. With Premium profiles you can overcome many limits, but having a very large network helps to have more coverage and reach more people and more recruiters. Try to naturally increase your network of connections,especially among the people who work in the industry, city and company that interest you.
How to get the most out of LinkedIn
If you noticed, I talked about “naturally increasing your network of connections.” That means you don’t have to stalk, but you have to make yourself interesting. The solution is a good communication plan that involves the publication of content and interventions in groups. A Like received on a LinkedIn post is worth much more than a Facebook Like because your content is also highlighted among the contacts of those who recommended it. Communicating well on LikedIn takes time, but can be very effective.