Agencies have access to incredibly powerful searches on LinkedIn. There is a separate website which the company has set up just for them, called ‘Recruiter’. It opens up in a new window and allows recruiters to do things other users can’t see at all.
Fundamentally, this is a powerful candidate search engine with dozens of options.
For example, did you know that recruiters can search for Project Managers from companies with between 5,000 and 10,000 employees, who graduated in 2001, and who joined LinkedIn between 8 and 14 days ago? That’s all done in just a few clicks.
There are 96,231 searchable people in London with ‘Finance’ in their job title, so you can be assured that agencies use as many of these filters as possible to narrow the population down.
Omit one tiny thing from your profile and you’ll be invisible. Get one tiny thing wrong and you’ll come up in the wrong searches, wasting your time.
Here are three key things to think about
1. Be accurate and up to date
You don’t need to include a lot of information in your profile. No-one should expect you to copy and paste all of the detail from your CV. However, your company, job title, employment dates, and a brief summary of your role are essential and must be accurate.
One mistake people make is typing their company name and not linking it to the proper, 'official' LinkedIn page for that business. There is a simple check for this, just view your own profile and click it. If it comes up with the right page then you’re sorted. If this is wrong, all of the information linked to that company won’t be linked to you when people search.
Secondly, if you’re not currently working, then make sure you put in an end date for your most recent role. People tend to leave their roles 'open' to make it look like they’re still working. It’s easy to see why. However, there is an obvious downside: you’re not going to be seen as readily available nor as open to new positions as someone who is clearly free and looking.
2. Get the right flags up
If you have never done it, go to your profile now and click on the ‘Jobs’ link at the top. If you haven’t done this before you'll be greeted with a tool which ask you for information. If you can’t see this, click on the ‘Career Interests’ link.
Right at the top is a button you can slide to tell recruiters that you’re open to new opportunities. If you select this, you get to fill in a little box with a note to recruiters. It’s a very good idea to do this. Include the types of roles you’re looking for in as much detail as you can. When recruiters use their search tool they see their list split into sections. One of these is for those 'open to opportunities'. It's where most agents will start reviewing profiles.
Good agents will then read the specific note you've written when you come up in a search. It’ll mean that you’ll receive fewer messages about irrelevant jobs, saving you, and them, time and effort.
3. Sort your photo out
From the sublime to the ridiculous, there are examples littering LinkedIn of what to do, and what not to do in your profile picture. Like it or not, your photo will appear in search results, and those with images are more likely to be contacted.
It’s a split second snap-shot to give an impression of yourself, just as you might do in an interview. And there’s the key.
Treat your photo like you would an interview.
That means look as smart as your target companies require. Looking for a role in the Big 4? Wear a suit. Desperate to land a job in a start-up? Dress down.
Your photo should make you look approachable and professional. It’s a good idea to visit a photographer too. It can cost around £50 and you’ll get something which makes you stand out in the right way.
Believe us when we say, most people’s profile photos are awful. Seeing someone in search results who looks like they’ve made the right kind of effort goes a long way. Just as it does in an interview.