If you want to make great connections and open yourself up to new career opportunities, you need to be on LinkedIn. Here are proven ways to attract recruiters and hiring managers on the platform.
If you want to make great connections and open yourself up to new career opportunities, you need to be on LinkedIn.
But you must go beyond just having a profile on the business networking platform. You need to have a presence.
It’s not enough to log in once a year to update your job title. You need to be far more involved if you want to build your personal brand.
And why does your personal brand matter? It’s your key to attract attention and build credibility with your peers and industry.
Every time you post, you are telling the world (and potential employers) who you are, explains Amy George from George Communications.
“Your profile, or lack of, is your brand,” George wrote in a recent post. “What you present on LinkedIn, or anywhere, is your story and your brand – and it speaks volumes.”
So if you are on LinkedIn, you should really be on LinkedIn says George. “Having sparse information isn’t helpful to your audience, and you are passing up important career storytelling opportunities.”
Can you really get hired by being on LinkedIn?
Yep, people really do get hired just by having an active presence on LinkedIn. Stats show 122 million people received an interview through a connection on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is excellent for your career prospects, says Andy Moore, Digital Marketing Manager right here at Procurious.
“When you build a strong personal brand, you’re rarely short of career development, mentoring or employment opportunities,” Moore explains.
So how can you use LinkedIn to get attention from recruiters and hiring managers?
1) Get active
Apparently, only 1% of LinkedIn users post regularly.
Are you part of the 99% who don’t? And what’s stopping you from taking advantage of this free, simple way to reach people?
Maybe you’re worried about what to post, which Moore says is a common concern.
That’s why you should write something that is authentic to you. “This can be your opinion on an issue, an article that speaks to you, or even proposing a simple question to your connections,” Moore advises.
“Writing from a place of sincerity can really reduce the social angst in deciding ‘what’ to post or ‘when’ to post. When we do something often, we feel less nervous about it as we have acclimatised.”
Moore suggests making it part of your routing by blocking out 15 minutes in your calendar each week to post something. Also use that time to ‘like’ and comment on other people’s posts that you find interesting.
Recruiters like to see candidates who use LinkedIn regularly, says Martin Smith, Managing Director at Talent Drive – a UK procurement recruitment specialist.
“We look for people that are…clearly active on their LinkedIn whether that’s someone that has written blogs, engaged in webinars or just generally engaged with their audience,” Smith says.
“This allows them to stand out from their peers and if you can put some personality and authenticity behind that engagement that’s the key differentiator.”
2) Make it personal, but not too personal
A mistake Smith sees is people who blur their personal and professional lives on LinkedIn.
“Your LinkedIn is a professional network and there is nothing wrong with every now and then posting a day’s leave or a picture of your kids to show your human side,” Smith says.
“[B]ut LinkedIn is a professional social media platform and should be used for work-related content, not what you had for breakfast or what your favourite 80s band was. Keep that for Facebook, TikTok and Instagram!”
If you’re stuck on how to balance human and business, have a look at this list of 80+ post ideas.
You should also aim to strike a human yet professional tone in the way you interact with other people on the platform, says Andrew MacAskill, Founder of Executive Career Jump.
“Pay into the ecosystem by providing comments, taking on mentees, appearing on podcasts and sharing valuable insights,” says MacAskill.
“The best way to get what you want is to help other people get what they want!”
3) Keep it clear and simple
When it comes to your own profile, MacAskill advises describing yourself with keywords that match the kind of role you want.
These keywords are unique to your skill set and make you more searchable on LinkedIn.
“Above everything else, candidates need to ensure they have the right keywords in their headline, ‘about’ box, and job detail to be found,” says MacAskill.
Recruiter Martin Smith adds another way to catch a recruiter’s attention: have a clear overview on your profile of what you do and where you are working at the moment.
“We see too often now people have very over-complicated LinkedIn profiles with grand titles such as ‘Procurement Leader/ Top 100 Procurement Influencer/FTSE 100 leader/ Thought Leader and engagement consultant,’” says Smith.
“This can make it confusing and can dilute the message on who they actually are and what they do.”
So drop the multi-hyphenated-super-title in favour of clarity.
4) Reach out to recruiters
Ideally, the recruiters come to you with suitable roles. And they likely will, once you spruce up your profile and get active on LinkedIn.
But if they aren’t chasing you yet, is it ok to approach them directly? Especially if they often post roles that seem ideal?
Of course, says Smith. But brevity is key.
“Recruiters don’t want you sending them a 10-page document via LinkedIn on why you feel you are appropriate for the job,” Smith points out.
“The market is tough right now and is very candidate-rich and job-light which can be a challenge.
“But if you really want to stand out, send a personal yet succinct message to the recruiter on who you are, what you do and why you want the job with a follow up number and that will get the best engagement.”
Smith says recruiters are very busy at the moment trying to manage candidate expectations in a challenging market, so be considerate. You can still be persistent, but always be courteous.
“A recruiter will see every approach they have and if you look right for a role they will follow up,” Smith advises.
And it doesn’t hurt to make connections with recruiters long before you need a job.
“Build your network, reach out to businesses that interest, build relationships with recruiters to help you with your search but ensure it’s a targeted and measured approach without too much distracting noise around the message you want to give,” Smith says.
Emphasis on the word ‘relationship.’
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential hiring managers and build a relationship with a soft approach,” says Imelda Walsh, Manager at The Source – the Melbourne-based procurement recruitment firm.
“Don’t start the conversation asking about job opportunities of course. Don’t just connect with someone without following through with an introduction message to kickstart a relationship that can add value to both parties.”
5) Ask for recommendations
You can also improve your chances by identifying the right people in your network to ask for LinkedIn recommendations, Walsh says.
“Be strategic about who to ask for recommendations – professionals that are well connected and respected in your industry and that know the value you bring to a role/organisation,” Walsh advises.
And it’s ok to guide the people who are writing you a recommendation.
Obviously don’t force words on them, but you can give some pointers to help them write something truly unique to you.
Aimee Bateman from the Undercover Recruiter suggests these guidelines:
- What is my key strength (include an example)
- What did you enjoy about working with me the most (include an example)
- What word would you use to describe me and why (include an example)
- One problem that you had, which I helped you overcome and how (include example, their feelings, and your action points)
These can help your recommendations stand out from the generic but ever-popular: “Joe is a team player.”
Attract job opportunities to you
This might sound like a lot of work, especially if you’ve not spent much time on LinkedIn before.
But in strange times like these, you’ll want every advantage you can get your hands on, adds Imelda Walsh.
“If you don’t have an online presence, it’s not a matter of ‘you might be missing out on roles,’ it’s a case of you will be missing out on opportunities,” Walsh warns.
So it’s worth investing the time to make your LinkedIn presence shine.
And think of the possible rewards. “HR, hiring managers and recruiters will bring opportunities to you instead of you having to apply for roles through various company pages and job boards,” says Walsh.
So if you’re tired of throwing your CV into the job board black hole, you might want to try the LinkedIn route to your next role.