Hunting for a job isn't quite what it used to be. While 93% of recruiters say they consider candidate's social profiles before making a final decision, other changes are making it increasingly difficult for job seekers. As LinkedIn rises in the ranks as a top search tool for business, recruiters are often finding qualified candidates before job listings are even posted. How can you be sure you're being considered for these positions? By tweaking your LinkedIn profile so recruiters can find you. Here's how to do just that.
Understand How Recruiters Are Searching On LinkedIn
Usually, company recruiters are using LinkedIn to search for potential candidates in one of three ways. The first is by searching through the free tool “Advanced People Search”. However, LinkedIn has recently limited the amount of searches people can access for free. Another, less popular, option is for recruiters to search through LinkedIn groups for job seekers. However, the final and most efficient method they use is LinkedIn’s premium feature, “LinkedIn Recruiter”. This method is highly tailored and increases search results far beyond what people can reach organically through their connections. To see how it works, click here: LinkedIn for Business. There are no exact rules for making your profile appear in the business results, but many social experts have found ways to increase the probability that you'll be found.
How can you optimize your profile to align with these systems? That’s what we’ll go over next.
Include Key Words Directly in Your Profile
Every industry has generic phrases that pertain to the skills and popular topics often talked about within the field. Be sure to include these in your profile headline as well as in your summary and experience tabs. Not sure which keywords work for your area of facilities management? Try searching Indeed.com’s job post trending topics here: http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends. This may give you a better idea of the types of keywords your potential candidate seekers are using to search for the perfect FM.
Some popular FM terms:
- Facilities Manager
- Facility Manager
- Facilities Operations
- Facility Operation
- Office Manager
- FM Professional
- Facilities Coordinator
- FM or FacMan
If you are currently unemployed or conducting an open job search, consider publicizing your job search on your profile. LinkedIn has an option for “currently seeking opportunities”, which will tell recruiters you’re available. This eliminates the hesitation they may have before contacting you. If you list this on your profile, they'll know you're open to receiving information about possible opportunities.
Another tip when selecting your keywords is to avoid using slash marks, like facilities/facility. The LinkedIn algorithms sometimes have difficulty understanding the separation of these words. For words that are often used interchangeably, say them both like "facilities and facility" in your description to clarify and help the LinkedIn algorithms find you.
Make Your Summary Shine
This is where you get to expand from your basic resume and truly explain each of your previous jobs. Feel free to add specific examples of your work here too! You're given much more freedom with LinkedIn to showcase your talents than a single-page resume could ever give you. It's all about standing out! You want the reader to get a better sense of who you are as an employee through your summary.
If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, or are in the process changing industries - mention this in one sentence in your summary. Whether you took time off to raise a family or pursue entrepreneurial interests, it's always important to not leave potential recruiters guessing at how you spend your time. It's best to be upfront and honest about any gaps in your career history.
Tweak Your Visuals
LinkedIn has recently updated its platform to allow users to include photos and documents right in their profile. This is where you can add some awesome visual proof of your expertise. Consider adding before and after photos of a renovation you oversaw, or a photo of your recent IFMA qualification.
Speaking of visuals, you should also be sure your profile image is professional and current. It can always be a few years old, but you want to look like yourself in this picture. Be sure it accurately reflects what you look like, right now. Investing in professional head shots can be expensive, but it definitely gives a strong first impression. If you don't want to spend on pictures, check within your community to see if complimentary head shots are ever offered for job seekers. Conferences sometimes have photo booths as well, that offer professional-quality photos complimentary or at a discount. Always be on the lookout!
Up Your Recommendations & Endorsements
Your profile should be “100% complete” according to LinkedIn. Your odds of appearing in search results are much higher if the site qualifies your profile as being completely done. One of the most common items that people forget to "complete" isn't something they can do themselves. If you’re in need of additional endorsements or recommendations, the easiest way to prompt people to write them for you is to first write one for them! They’ll receive a notification that you have done so, and LinkedIn will automatically asks them to do the same. Try to stick with endorsing people you've actually worked with in the past, or that you have a strong working relationship with. it doesn't do either party any good if these recommendations aren't accurate.
Customize Your LinkedIn URL
This is a basic tip, but it still is fairly common for users to keep the jumbled URL LinkedIn gives you when you first sign up. Here's how to change it so it reads your first and last name like the example below.
To customize your URL, click on the settings wheel right under your profile picture and next to your current URL. It will take your to the “Public Profile” page. To the top right you’ll see a section titled “Your Public Profile URL”. Click the pencil icon and type in your desired name. If your first and last name have already been taken, try adding your middle name or initial, or even FM at the end of your name. Although a simple change, this lets your future employer know you take your LinkedIn profile seriously, and will encourage people to connect with you possibly for career opportunities. This also makes it easier to share your personal URL with connections.
When searching for a new job it can be difficult to manage your social presence. There are so many sites that list job openings, and it can be overwhelming to know where to focus your efforts. Try updating your LinkedIn profile early in your search, so your chances of being found are high. Before you know it you'll be leaving a lasting FM legacy at your new place of work. Best of luck!
Want more help on LinkedIn for Job Seekers? Attend one of LinkedIn's complimentary webinars. Scheduled throughout the year, here is the list of upcoming presentations.
LinkedIn also just released their new LinkedIn Job Search Mobile App. Download the new app here.