Why you want to attract recruiters via LinkedIn

I often hear from LinkedIn citizens that they’re pestered by recruiters about jobs, how they find it a huge annoyance, unprofessional, spammish, and they won’t reply. But what if recruiters were not contacting you?

Having a recruiter contact you is an affirmation that a) your skills are in demand and b) you can be found. Without both, the professional-you may be approaching the end of it’s shelf life.

Unlike our parents era, no one is looking out for you and your career. This is now your responsibility. You could be tapped on the shoulder tomorrow, or while you’re reading this, that your services are no longer required.

linkedin-icon-100x100aLinkedIn has democratized human capital. Virtually every one in every vertical should be on LinkedIn, whether you’re a professional commercial painter, electrical supplies salesperson, or work in technology, you’re doing yourself a disservice for not being on LinkedIn.

By not being on LinkedIn and/or not sufficiently describing your skills:

  1. You’re losing track of solid connections that could help you find your next job (and vise versa)
  2. You’re losing track of key connections that would provide references during the hiring process (and vise versa)
  3. You’re unable to share your industry, technical or business knowledge to your inner circle, and learn the same from your network. A great way to keep you, and them, up-to-date
  4. You’re keeping your salary depressed.


Related must reads:
Why a Passive Candidate Should Take a Recruiter’s Call. https://diigo.com/0x8we
How to be found on LinkedIn: searchvelocity.ca/2012/11/09/top-11-linkedin-seo-tips/


Top 11 LinkedIn SEO tips

How are people finding you on LinkedIn if they don’t know your name?  What keywords and/or titles are they using?

I have a LinkedIn premium account and can therefore see how people find me. 22% (up from 15% a few months ago) of the people who found my LinkedIn profile found me by my name, firstname and/or lastname.  The next largest hit was 4% (combined) for vendor names mentioned in my profile. However, finding me by those company names has zero value to me – I’ve since removed the vendor names and that 4% disappeared.

How do I want to be found on LinkedIn?  This started my research into LinkedIn SEO tips as LinkedIn provides virtually no help here except for one faq.

Your Unique Lense

LinkedIn’s Search results are based on your Profile content and activity.  However, one early and (now) seemingly obviously discovery is everyone searches LinkedIn through their own unique “lense”.  Your lense is the people in your network, your 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections, group connections and your Industry.  Below is my part of my lense into the LinkedIn population – the 1st level connections.   Image underneath each dot is another cloud of connections (your 2nd level) then each of your 2nd level connections has a cloud of connections under them.  Those 3 layers of cloud connections is part of your unique lense. Because of each person’s unique network, virtually no two persons search results will be identical.

Consider that the value of LinkedIn is ensuring your search results are most relevant to you, delivering search results of people in your network.  If I’m searching for title “CEO” in location “Toronto”, I want my results to start with people in my network, people I have a good chance of knowing, or know someone in common, so I may rapidly connect with that CEO.  That’s the other power of LinkedIn, facilitating rapid connections.

Your unique lense also includes your Industry.  You set your Industry with your profile settings.  My Industry is Information Technology & Services.  Therefore, when I search “CEO” in location “Toronto”, I would expect the results to be of CEO in my industry, vs. CEO’s in the Fishery industry.

Your Profile

Before you embark of SEO Optimizing your LinkedIn profile you need to ask yourself a) how do you want to be found and b) by whom – what keywords / titles would they use?  There are two ways to search LinkedIn profiles, from within LinkedIn itself, and externally via a search engine as your #LI profile is indexed by search engines.

During my research I came upon the following results, from reputable sources.

11 LinkedIn SEO tips

  1. Customized Profile URL with your name.  Keywords in URL are search engine optimized.
  2. Change the standard names for the (up to) 3 website URLs (i.e. from “my company”) to customized names (e.g. Stomphorst.ca) for SEO passing authority. You may want to rename the site within LI to attract your target audience, vs. the actual url name.   BTW, don’t list your employer’s website.
  3. Repeat your professional specialty and keywords many times in your LI profile, however keep in mind LI says “More keywords aren’t always better”.   E.g. If you are a BI Specialist:
    1. Professional Headline: BI Specialist
    2. Summary: I’m a BI Specialist in the….
    3. Current & Past Titles (if/when applicable): BI Specialist
    4. Description within job: I was a BI Specialist ….
    5. Specialties: BI Specialist
    6. Skills & Expertise: BI, business intelligence, business intelligence tools. Insert all the keywords you want to be found from.
  4. Remove non-relevant keywords to eliminate false positives. E.g. I was receiving significant hits (relatively speaking) due to single mentions of “Rypple” and “Intelex” in my profile.  This adds zero value to my profile.  30-60 days after I removed mentions of “Rypple” and “Intelex” from my profile, those search words don’t appear in my “Top Search Keyword” (include screen capture)
  5. Set your profile to Display all information
  6. Set your Industry accordingly
  7. Participate in Group discussions – increases the number of internal links to your profile from within LI, thus strengthening your visibility in search engines.
  8. Answer questions on LI answers – increases the number of internal links to your profile from within LI, thus strengthening your visibility in search engines.
  9. Link to your LI profile on other social sites (i.e. link backs)
  10. Request Recommendations. Have at least 10. Elevates your profile within LI.
  11. Endorsements: LinkedIn isn’t weighing endorsements at this feature’s release in Sept 2012, “but will soon.”  “…the more endorsements for your skills and talents that you get, the more often you’ll appear in search results” according to Dave Kerpen.

Gaming the System

I classify the following suggestions as “gaming the system.”  They likely produce a positive impact, but I can’t corroborate their effectiveness. I don’t use them.

  1. Recognizing that LI users search through their “lense”,  LI will elevate results for connections within their network (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections, groups). Therefore, to be in as many networks as possible and therefore found by as many people as possible, you need to be connected to as many people as possible.  Accept any and all connection requests (I’m breathing in a paper bag as I type this).
  2. Similar to above, this too seems seedy, join as many Groups as possible (50 max).  Join the groups with the largest memberships (where’d that paper bag go?).
  3. Add applications like WordPress to promote your blog and Slideshare.net to promote your slidedecks.
  4. List any media attention in the Honor & Awards section. Obviously include any other honors or awards.
  5. Use the Projects section to promote your whitepapers

Will Facebook’s job board turn LinkedIn into the next Myspace?

I don’t care what anyone says, Facebook is squarely seated in the B2C and friends & family corner. LinkedIn is in the opposing corner, B2B and business. Will they fight?

Facebook has the pocket book and therefore the potential to replace #LI in the long term.

#LI has a good standard product. It could be much better.

A plethora of companies have created apps and are making a living on the Facebook platform. Other than some nifty bolt-ons (Amazon, box.net, events), there are virtually no independent software vendor created LinkedIn apps. I would make it easier for other apps to access #LI data. Why doesn’t #LI allow me to use its users database as the directory for my applications? Why doesn’t LinkedIn Events allow me to a) broadcast a message to All Attendees or b) allow individual attendees message other attendees? #LI is a business communications tool, but as I noted in a previous blog, they’ve buried the functionality to message fellow group members. A step backwards.

In 2009, there were 29 Job apps on Facebook. A quick search today shows up to a few hundred such apps.

A Facebook job board could be the disruptive app that turns #LI into the next Myspace. I love LinkedIn. Time for them to step up their game.