Being found by recruiters on LinkedIn is exactly what job seekers need. Hopefully, you won't need to apply for your next job. Your next job will find you, if you understand and implement LinkedIn SEO ("search engine optimization") effectively.
As a job seeker, you want to be visible in recruiter search results for candidates who have similar qualifications, preferably much higer in the search results than your competitors. This is called LinkedIn SEO.
SEO is the key to success on LinkedIn. If your Profile cannot be found on LinkedIn, you have a serious problem, unless your career requires invisiblity (spy?).
The primary reason to be on LinkedIn is to be found by:
This is LinkedIn's reason for existing, a giant online rolodex on steriods. LinkedIn's primary revenue stream is LinkedIn Recruiter, the service used by recruiters access to LinkedIn's 500+ million member database.
To better understand the LinkedIn sourcing search results concept, think about how you search online job boards for job postings. You go to a website ( Indeed, CareerBuilder, etc.), and enter a series of keywords. You may also click on an industry or job function from a drop down box. Then, you then get presented with a series of job listings.
Do you click on all of the search results? Likely not. Instead, you only click on those that catch your eye and are most relevant. You probably pay more attention to the listings on the first page, some attention on the second page, and may not even consider looking at the entries on pages 3, 4, etc.
Recruiters search for and choose job candidates in a very similar way. To search through a database of resumes or job candidate profiles, they type their keywords into a search box, possibly clicking on some options like industry, location, or other criteria.
Then, they scan the search results, and click on those entriesthat are most appealing and relevant to the jobs they are filling.
After more reviews and, usually, a Google search on candidate names, they reach out to the candidates to begin the hiring process. [Read Managing Your Google Resume for more on how to succeed in this part of the process.]
Typically, like everyone who does an online search, recruiters pay the closest attention to the first page of search results, with less attention paid to the second and subsequent pages. Your appearance on the first few pages of results is very important to your visibility to recruiters.
More on how sourcing works: Get "Sourced" to Get Hired and How to Find Jobs Working With Recruiters, Head Hunters, and Staffing Firms.
LinkedIn offers many options for recruiters to find job candidates, and many recruiters also search outside of LinkedIn for LinkedIn membersYou need your name and your LinkedIn Profile to appear high up in the search results on LinkedIn when a recruiter does one of these typical searches:
If an entry for you doesn't appear on the first page (preferably) or the first two or three pages of search results, you are invisible because, typically, few people look past the first page.
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.