Granted, good recruiters use many Social Media tools to find candidates, like FaceBook and Twitter.
However, LinkedIn provides the best avenue to quickly learn enough about a person to see if they should be contacted for a particular job opening. Candidates need to leverage this tool as much as possible to be included in these searches.
Have a Large Network
To be found on LinkedIn, you need to have a large network.
Although many recruiters know how to search for candidates who are outside their own LinkedIn three degrees of connectivity, not all do. Therefore, the more people you are connected to, the more likely you may be connected to recruiters.
Recruiters love invites to your network, too. Don’t be afraid to ask them to join your network - they may be unable to ask you to join their network because of LinkedIn’s built-in rules.
Participate in LinkedIn Groups
You can also be found more easily if you are a member of LinkedIn Groups within your specialty (i.e., .NET, SQL Server, Flex, Information Architects). Search through LinkedIn's Group Directory to find the Groups appropriate for you.
Recruiters announce job openings within these forums quite often - check the postings you find when you click on the "Jobs" tab (next to the "News" tab), on the Group homepage to find them.
Recruiters love to scan discussions on topics related to positions they are working on in order to find “subject-matter experts.”
Some recruiting companies even start their own Groups. Join, and contribute to discussions or provide valuable news.
Use Key Words to Describe You
When recruiters search for candidates in LinkedIn, they focus on key words just like the resume databases and applicant tracking systems do. There are ample opportunities to sprinkle in your key abilities within the Summary and Experience sections. Every job you list should include the expertise that you demonstrated in that job.
Provide Contact Info
If you want to be contacted, share your contact info. You can list your Twitter handle and can include your personal Web sites (which should have your contact info).
There is also an application you can include within your profile called Box.net Files that can allow you to share your Word version resume (which also includes…yes, you guessed it…your CONTACT INFO).
It’s not a bad idea to include a picture, too. Recruiters roll through dozens to hundreds of profiles a month. They don’t always remember names they have seen, but they do remember pictures. This will help them remember if they have contacted you in the past (and check their files accordingly).
Also, profiles without pictures can send the message of “anti-Social
Media” or “not Social Media savvy.”
Having recommendations within LinkedIn is a nice way to convey you are a quality candidate. But more than two from each job looks like you are just asking everyone you know for a recommendation. This can diminish the value of the best and most articulate recommendations you have.
Recruiters sometimes ask for references who are not included in LinkedIn.
Having a Blog included in your profile adds to your credibility, too. You can show off your technical knowledge and insights using a blog and listing it on your profile using another available profile application called Blog Link.
Similarly, you can use another application, SlideShare, to post a PowerPoint presentation on related subject matter to catch the eye of the recruiter and provide more info on you.
You can also use the Status (or Events) in your profile to announce seminars and conferences you are attending to grab the eye of the recruiters.
Of course, if you are actively looking for a new job (and can announce this), feel free to post a status of exactly the type of job you’re looking for. Updates on status of my connections comes right to my email.
Be Open to Connections
Obviously, you need to make sure you are open to invitations to connect or InMails. Make sure your contact settings are set appropriately in your profile. You can include your preferred contact information in this section, as well as, the Personal Information section.
You should be open to connecting with recruiters even when you are not looking for a job. You may not currently be a job seeker now—but some day you likely will be.
If you already have a strong network of recruiters on Linkedin, you’ll be way ahead of the game when it’s time to look for your next opportunity.
Notice that the advice above is all about getting a recruiter to find you, not the other way around. You are presenting yourself to recruiters without any extra work on your part. All you need to do is set up your profile well the first time (and keep it current) and LinkedIn (and search engines) does the work for you.
For more information about leveraging LinkedIn and the other social media for your job search, visit Job-Hunt's Social Media & Job Search section.
© Copyright, 2010, Jeff Lipschultz. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.
Job-Hunt's Working with Recruiters Expert Jeff Lipschultz is a 20+ year veteran in management, hiring, and recruiting of all types of business and technical professionals. He has worked in industries ranging from telecom to transportation to dotcom. Jeff is a founding partner of A-List Solutions, a Dallas-based recruiting and employment consulting company. He is a unique recruiter, a Six Sigma Blackbelt, and a founding member of the Dallas chapter of the Peter Drucker Society. Learn more about him through his company site AListSolutions.com and his personal blog. And follow Jeff on Twitter.com/JLipschultz.