You’re at your desk and you answer a call from a recruiter for a job you’re overqualified for. Half an hour later, your phone rings again, this one you're under-qualified for, as a result, the next time your phone rings, you send it right to voicemail. Everyday people are deleting hundreds of LinkedIn messages and InMails from recruiters who are contacting you for the completely wrong opportunity.Why? Because your LinkedIn Profile is not optimized for your dream job.
Keyword Search Sensitivity
LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Sales Navigator are only able to search the exact match of a word. I want to show you how you may be overlooked for certain roles and found for others based on the keywords you use in your LinkedIn Profile.
Here, you can see a search that I did, trying to find myself. I only appear in the search if the keyword is “CEO”, not if it is written out as “Chief Executive Officer”.
The solution here is to be aware of titles, skills, certifications, etc. that can be written with either acronyms or full spellings. When possible, use both the acronym AND the written out form to maximize the number of searches you will appear in.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With Keywords
Recruiters use LinkedIn’s internal search engines to identify ideal candidates. As I have explained in a previous article, these internal search engines are able to look through every profile on LinkedIn that match the keywords recruiters use in their search criteria. Keywords are the most important terms related to your career experience such as:
Technologies you use
Words that express your skill level (manager, leader, growth)
Qualifications / Certifications
The keywords you use in your profile tell a story to the recruiters about who you are and what jobs you’re searching for. Recruiters don’t care about your exact internal title or the exact amount of months you worked at a job (and they will have your resume to give that info), they care more about what you did at the company you worked for, and what skills you have.
Having a LinkedIn profile that is optimized for the wrong keywords is lethal to your job search. However, if you use keywords effectively within your headline, summary and work experience, you will put yourself in the right recruiter’s search, and boost your LinkedIn profile to the top of their list.
Using Keywords To Set Your Profile Apart
The keywords you use in your profile need to stand out to attract recruiters, rather than turning them off and repelling them by giving out too much information.
If you take a look at your LinkedIn profile right now, do you see any of these?
Paragraphs of details about the companies you’ve worked at
Bullet points about all of your previous jobs
Facts about projects
A fun anecdote or two
If you’re seeing these, this is not the way to impress a recruiter because they aren’t going to spend the time reading every line you write. If they can’t get the information they need within a few moments of skimming your profile, they will move on.
Be strategic with the keywords you want to use to market yourself on your LinkedIn profile. Anything that is not related to these keywords can be taken out. Remember that your LinkedIn Profile should be used as a sales tool to get an interview, and using this mindset, write a short headline and summary that utilize your keywords, and only if absolutely necessary, you can add a quick sentence or two to your jobs within your work experience.
Think about the technologies or skills that you use the most within your current position. What words associated with your current skills, projects, and job experiences will get you on the list of the recruiter at your dream job?
When you’re gearing your profile towards your job search, it’s also useful to consider what skillsets or experiences will recruiters want to see in their dream candidate. If you can identify the keywords associated with the next job you want, and they are true to your work experience, these will be the most impactful keywords you can use.
Using keywords well will situate you as a top candidate to the best recruiters. Curating your LinkedIn profile and using keywords will not only draw in the best recruiters, it will help you tell them your professional story. The next article in the series Syfter on LinkedIn will go into detail about seeing the story you tell recruiters with your LinkedIn profile, and how to tell them the story that will guide you toward your dream job.
This article is the fourth in the series, Syfter on LinkedIn. In this series I will be pulling back the curtain to show you the industry tricks to land your next dream job. I’ll tell you all the dirty secrets of recruiters and show you how to make your LinkedIn pop to land the big interview.