Job seekers have been hearing for years now that they need to be on LinkedIn to find a job and have professional validation. Well, if Jobvite’s recent statistic stating that 94% of recruiters see LinkedIn as the most popular place to vet candidates for their open positions is not reason enough for you to be on LinkedIn properly and professionally, let me give you one more: LinkedIn Recruiter.
What is LinkedIn Recruiter?
LinkedIn Recruiter (LIR) is a powerful recruiting tool for corporate and third party recruiters to use to cultivate relationships more effectively with active candidates and source passive candidates much more easily. This is a robust tool that LinkedIn has put in place to cater to its most active clientele, the recruiter (whether it is a third party recruiter or a corporate department recruiter, LinkedIn benefits from having this population as its clients). Through my recruitment connections, I have been given access to look at LinkedIn Recruiter from the recruiter’s perspective to share with the job seeking community.
Why Should Job Seekers Care About LinkedIn Recruiter?
After poking around LinkedIn Recruiter first hand, I see that LinkedIn Recruiter is an asset for all serious recruiters (and most recruiters I meet are serious people!) and makes a powerful tool (LinkedIn) even more powerful for recruiters. Therefore, serious job seekers must be on LinkedIn properly to show up in recruiter searches inside and outside LinkedIn Recruiter. LIR is able to identify passive candidates for corporations and search firms, aids in the relationship development of active candidates, all while significantly reducing the cost of applicant acquisition. This is probably the single-most, important reason for candidates to want to be on LinkedIn: LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn make recruiting easier and cheaper for the recruiting team the job seeker hopes to be found by. I continually hear from corporate and search firm recruiters that it is simply cheaper for companies to find candidates on LinkedIn than most other resources. It has never been more important to be on LinkedIn in a compelling, properly optimized way.
How Do Job Seekers Show Up in LinkedIn Recruiter?
Your resume on LinkedIn Recruiter is an important piece of the application puzzle and is an important complement to your LinkedIn Profile, which also needs to be done in a proper optimized manner. If you are applying to an open position on LinkedIn, and the recruiter uses LinkedIn Recruiter, your resume gets housed within your applicant profile record within LIR. Your applicant profile record in LIR consists of your LinkedIn Profile with your resume(s) submitted, record of the jobs applied and other communications between you and the recruiter with the LIR account. I have outlined below some of the points to know about how to optimize how your resume shows in this medium to help you make the most of your application and get that coveted interview call.
What Do Job Seekers Need to Know About LinkedIn Recruiter?
In taking a firsthand peek into what LinkedIn Recruiter looks like from the recruiter’s perspective, here is what I saw:
- Searchability is paramount. Have your resume and LinkedIn profile address as many of the search fields LinkedIn offers (see to the list on the right), to increase your chances of being found in the variety of searches performed by recruiters using these fields.
- Imported resumes look pretty much how you format them in MS Word minus information in text boxes, headers and footers. It confirms my experience that all resume information needs to be in the body of the document, not in headers and footers, and within the body of the document, keep the information out of text boxes. If you need a box or something set aside, use tabs, borders and shading functions to create the look you want.
- Taking the reason above one step further, because the resume gets imported as you have written it, the actions one may normally take to make a resume ATS friendly to submit to a job posting seem to not really be needed. In all of the LinkedIn Recruiter applicant records I reviewed, a clean, simply MS Word document seems to upload just fine, minus the header, footer, and text box component mentioned in the earlier bullet.
- Your File Name Matters – calling your resume smith1doc2011.doc shows up on the bottom of the candidate profile within LinkedIn Recruiter. Use this opportunity to brand yourself such as – Jane Smith Chief Financial Officer Resume. Do not use an old date.
- Have your contact information up to date and recorded in the profile and resume. It may seem obvious, but if I am mentioning it, it is because I did not see this information prominently displayed in some profiles nor their attached resumes. Amazing, right? Your phone number and email address show up prominently on the top right of your profile in LinkedIn Recruiter—unlike the embedded location on your regular LinkedIn profile—so make sure this info is populated properly when applying.
- The number of jobs you apply with the company is recorded. So be selective in applying. Make sure it makes sense and you have most of the key requirements before applying. If you look like you have applied to a number of jobs and they are of varying levels, you will come across desperate.
- Your resume is filed and cataloged for each job to which you apply—This point was a big one, in my opinion, for job seekers to note. Customizing your resume for each job to which you apply? Well, make sure your customizations are still in line with the overall brand message you want to convey in your resume. Recruiters can literally put your resume versions alongside each other. To be clear, I am not saying don’t customize the document to meet the need of the job requirements, but if/when you are customizing your resume, make sure all of the details are consistent and in alignment. It is my professional opinion that it is OK to make customizations to showcase your skills to better meet the needs of a job, but just do not take it too far or it can have a negative effect.
- All of the company’s recruiter users (those that have a license/account with LinkedIn recruiter) can see each other’s applicant and job activity. So the recruiting firm or corporate recruiting department can see where you have applied, what resume you sent, and all other information you included in your application. I got the impression that the Recruiting Big Brother was watching.
- Have a professional, up-to-date picture on your profile. No picture reduces the candidate’s ‘internet savvy’ factor, when profiles are compared to other profiles in the search results. It is clear that they more naturally, professional pictures draw the eye vs. no picture does not draw attention. And a bad LinkedIn profile pic can actually do damage to your candidacy.
- The Skills Section is an important part of the profile, as this section is one of the more significant contributors to the keyword optimization of the document. Choose keywords for your skills that support your position name, industry and functions performed to get the most out of the optimization of your resume and profile. Skills, plus the endorsement of those skills by your connections, contribute significantly to the keyword weight to your profile, affecting your placement in search results for those given terms.
- Interests and Groups and Associations were captured in the LIR candidate profile. It carried more visual weight when the applicant was a part of Groups and Interests that supported their profession, just like it would on a resume. Additionally, it will help your activity and creditability if you are active in 2-4 of your groups. This will be particularly useful if interested recruiters share the same groups with you. They will see your demonstration of social networking and knowledge sharing first hand.
- The three most important things are keywords, keywords, and keywords. The targeted keywords must be used naturally throughout the profile, particularly in your Tagline (the line under your name and next to your picture), your employment titles, your summary and your skills. Your profile can be further enhanced and made more effective by having the target key words in publications, projects, associations, and the myriad of other sections LinkedIn provides in the profile. When done properly, it improves your ranking in the LinkedIn Recruiter search results and results in LinkedIn searches done outside the LIR platform.
I am glad to see the conversation evolve from “Why do I need to be on LinkedIn?” to “What is the best way to be on LinkedIn and how can I benefit from it most?” There are many ways to be effective on LinkedIn, but it all started, I believe, with having an understanding of how recruiters use it for job seekers to be most effective in their use of LinkedIn. Understanding LinkedIn Recruiter better is certainly a step in the right direction. As this is a relatively new tool, less than a year old, I welcome all points from recruiters, job search consulting professionals, LinkedIn Profile writers and job seekers alike below. I know we can all learn from each other.
Lisa Rangel and the Chameleon Resumes team have helped over 6,000 executives and senior professionals land the 6-figure positions they deserve.
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