When you look for a job there are two ways you can do it: a) get proactive or b) be reactive and sit back and wait for people to come to you. But just like a fisherman uses lures to attract fish, here are some tips to lure recruiters to your profile and solicit outreach from them for relevant positions they are looking for.
Firstly let’s understand how recruiters actually use LinkedIn. Most recruiting firms have access to a premium version of LinkedIn called LinkedIn Recruiter. This allows them to see the full LinkedIn database and gives them advanced tools to organize their searches such as creating search-specific folders that they can “save” profiles into.
Now let’s break the recruiters process down into the two main steps – The Search and The Cut.
Most recruiters use the Advanced search facility – these are the key fields that we use at Glenborn when using that functionality:
1. Location field – We generally do Metro area or within 50 miles of a zip code at the center of where we are looking for. Tip #1 Make sure you are within the reasonable radius of the city you want to work in. If you are relocating, change your linked location to where you want to move to in order to see jobs in that area.
2. Title / Function field – At Glenborn our core focus is sales. We use a boolean string to cover off most keywords in sales titles. The string looks something like this: “account” OR “business development OR “sales”. If you are in sales and your company insists on giving you a title that is a euphemism for sales or soft pedals what you are doing (i.e. selling – an example might be something like the increasingly common “brand strategist”) then it may be worth clarifying your function in the title field such as “Brand strategist (Sales)” or showing a functional title instead to match industry norms. So Tip #2 is – describe yourself functionally to match industry nomenclature norms.
3. Seniority / Function field – When we look for Senior leadership roles or managers of people we typically add senior keywords to the title keywords in the title field. So Tip #3 is – Make sure your LinkedIn title field functionally describes that you manage people and fits keywords norms for seniority like “senior”, “regional”, “VP”, Vice-President” or equivalent. Also make sure you add more details on what and who (incl. numbers of people) you manage in the description area.
4. Company field – For us this is probably the most crucial field. We tend to do a lot of searches in the following industry areas: Social media, Search, Analytics, Video, E-commerce, Content Marketing and ad tech. We will explicitly create boolean strings with the names of the member firms of entire categories and subcategories of industry areas that we are targeting for our clients. For example if we were trying to find people in firms in the SEO space the string looks like this:
“Altruik” OR “Bloomreach” OR “Bright Edge” OR “BrightEdge” OR “Conductor” OR “Covario” OR “Search Metrics” OR “SEO Mox” OR “Word Tracker”
So why does this matter to you? Well Tip #4 is: understand that your current and previous firm’s name is a big determinant of how we find you so factor that into how you write your LinkedIn Profile. Here are some related hints:
4a. If you work for a smaller firm that is not on anyone’s radar screen make sure you do name-brand association with a dominant firm in your space somewhere in the keywords of the general description. For example “Crimson Hexagon competes with Radian6” – that way if someone looks up Radian6 in the keywords you will appear in the search.
4b. If your firm was acquired, split up your work history into pre-acquisition name and post-acquisition name (two separate jobs in your LinkedIn profile). Call the first one “Company X (acquired by Company Y)” and the second one “Company Y”
5. Keyword field – This is where we put random things we are interested in. In sales it is where we put keywords related to vertical orientation or specific client names that our clients are interested in their prospective candidates having relationships in. For example “Oil & gas” would be an energy string and we would use ‘proctor & gamble” when we are looking for a seller with in-depth relationships with that firm. So Tip #5 is flesh out your profile to catch VERY niche requests coming from advanced searches using the keyword field.
Assuming you successfully accomplish “The Search” the next step is…
How do you make “The Cut”? Well this is a VERY quick decision based on a VERY quick review of your profile where the recruiter makes a judgement call on whether to reach out. Here is what stands out for us:
1. Did you meet the original search criteria? We do a quick double-check on whether you actually hit the requirements of the original advanced search or slipped through the cracks.
2. Tenure across previous jobs. Lots of jumping around will hurt your chances of being reached out to. Inevitably recruiters worry about their clients complaining about being presented a job-hopper. Sometimes that can’t be avoided but it is a factor that will hurt you if you move a lot.
3. Tenure in current job. Different recruiters have different views on tenure windows when they will consider reaching out to you. Here are ours (and our reasoning)
- 1-3 months – we will generally leave you alone.
- 3-6 months – occasionally worth a shot for us as we assume this is the period when you know if you are unhappy or the key period where things tend not to work out.
- 6-12 months – we largely leave you alone. We figure this is your “settling” in period.
- 12 months plus – you are now fair game.
- 12 months post acquisition – Options vesting?
- Your 4, 5 year or beyond anniversary. What are you trying to achieve? Lifetime employment? 😉 Enough said!
4. Being currently employed. This is a key factor. Clients generally want recruiters to find them folks who are gainfully employed so recruiters therefore shy away from people who are not currently working and that increases the length of time the person is out of work. The only way to avoid this issue as a candidate is Tip #6 Rightly or Wrongly, if you are unemployed more than 3 months you should extend your tenure from your last role on LinkedIn to “Present”. Unethical? Perhaps mildly but it does level the playing field for you. Needless to say, you must clarify your employment situation to the recruiter as soon as you first speak to them. If you are on sabbatical put that in as a separate position. If you are consulting since you left the w2 world, create a new position for your consulting work. If you don’t have a consulting umbrella for your consulting work create an “entity” such as ‘Your Name Consulting” or equivalent. Recruiters will immediately understand what you are doing and will appreciate the clarification of your current status.
Are you contactable? Do you accept Inmails (check your settings)? Is your email address listed somewhere in your profile. Do you clearly state what type of outreach you are interested in (again check your settings). Please make it easy for us to contact you! So Tip # 7 is simply: Don’t shut yourself off to being contacted by reasonable recruiters. If you make it too hard we will tend to skip you.
Assuming you made the cut, you will be hearing from a recruiter. Best of luck with the rest!