Companies use LinkedIn to source active and passive candidates for their searches. Thus, it’s important to know how to make your LinkedIn profile attractive to recruiters.
I recently did an advanced LinkedIn search where I entered several job titles as keywords, an industry, and “Greater Seattle Area” as the location. My search showed over 250 results.
As you might think, at this volume level, it’s not good enough to just come up in search results. You also have to compel recruiters, as they’re scanning pages of results, to click through to your profile.
What a Recruiter Sees
Here’s what a recruiter sees when they get search results. Your:
- Headline or your current job title (if it’s your default headline).
- Current job title and employer or your education (if your job title is your default headline).
- The number of connections you share.
Your Industry & Location
Note that I asked for industry and location in my search. If someone didn’t match those terms, they didn’t come up in my search results.
If you’re committed to making a change, list your target geography and industry — unless your current boss will flip if they see it. You will have to assess your risk and make the best decision for you.
What Makes a Recruiter Click on a LinkedIn Profile
Here’s the scoop on what made me click through to some profiles and pass on the others in my search results:
Job Title, Company & Credentials Matches
Second, my 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 Company X
David Willis, MBA, Chief Financial Officer at Company X
Anthony Pleasant, CPA, Sr. Director, Finance & Administration at Company X
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.
Less Attractive LinkedIn Search Results
Third, 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 Company X
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 Company X
I know you’re experienced. That’s how you got to be a CFO. Don’t waste limited space sharing BFOs (blinding flashes of the obvious).
Those results were less interesting because I had to click through to find information about credentials, company names, and job titles. Other people gave me 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?)
Least Attractive LinkedIn Search Results
Finally, here are results I didn’t click through on:
Donald Levy, Board of Directors, Nonprofit Organization X
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.
Now You’ve Learned How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Attractive to Recruiters
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.
Finally, be sure 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!
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Image Courtesy of Ken Tomika
Updated April 2019
© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.