How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Recruiters

Posted by Karissa Justice | Job Seekers

Are you hoping the perfect job opportunity comes to you? That a recruiter will contact you with your dream job? Whether you are actively job searching or simply want to stay open to new career options, there are a few ways you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to make it easier for recruiters to find you.

How do recruiters use LinkedIn?

Recruiters usually have a subscription to something called LinkedIn Recruiter, a tool for finding and organizing potential job candidates. You can watch a demo video of LinkedIn Recruiter if you’re curious to see what it looks like on the recruiter side. After searching, recruiters either send the most promising candidates messages directly through LinkedIn InMail, or use tools to add you to their Applicant Tracking System and find your email address (very similar to sales prospecting tools), so they can contact you directly. The majority of the time, recruiters do this when they have a specific job they are trying to fill.

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How can you show up in a recruiter search on LinkedIn?

Firstly, keep in mind that many recruiters at small to medium sized organizations use Recruiter Lite because it is more affordable than higher tiers. Recruiter Lite limits search results to people within 3rd degree connections. This means that more connections with real and well connected people make you more likely to show up in searches. Actively using LinkedIn or making a point to connect with people at work, at conferences, and engaged within your industry on LinkedIn is key.

Secondly, focus on more commonly used filters, such as titles, location, and keywords. If your title at work is “Design Leader”, consider making it: “Director of Design” on LinkedIn, which is more likely to be searched. Note that you should only do this for clarity if your job description is truly equivalent. Don’t give yourself inflated titles! You can also add the title(s) you want to show up for in your Heading.

Finally, keep in mind that there are multiple fields someone might search for a keyword. If you want to show up for “Javascript”, don’t just put that in the Skills section. Consider putting the word in your About section, your Experience descriptions, and maybe even in a job title if that was your primary focus (Software Engineer: Javascript). This increases your chances of showing up depending on how the recruiter is searching.

How can you get contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn?

Showing up in search is not necessarily enough to get a recruiter to contact you. Recruiters have an InMail limit on LinkedIn, which means they can only contact a certain number of people per month. Recruiters are “refunded” their InMail credits if the person they contact responds back to them. Additionally, recruiters must keep a certain response rate to avoid getting penalized for spamming. On their end, recruiters can see which candidates LinkedIn thinks are likely to respond. Following the pages of companies you are interested in, connecting with people at a company you've applied at, indicating you are open to work, and responding to InMails or logging in regularly are good ways to boost your responsiveness scores for certain recruiters.

That said, the best way to increase your chances of being contacted is by ensuring your profile is human readable and has relevant information. Write a clear About section explaining your career direction, ensure your keywords are embedded in contextual descriptions of your experience, and keep your profile up to date with complete information about your work history. Recruiters generally review the profile pages of people they flag in search before deciding whether or not to contact them.

There is a lot of advice out there with hundreds of ways to improve your LinkedIn profile! It can feel overwhelming to know where to start, but these core areas will have the largest impact on your chances of being contacted by recruiters for new opportunities.