Tips for Ranking at the Top of Recruiter Searches in LinkedIn

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You’ve updated your profile with a nice headshot. You’ve pasted your summary from your resume into your About section. You’ve filled in your job titles and companies. You’ve listed your latest certifications and coursework.

So why are you hearing crickets from recruiters?

Two reasons your profile isn’t getting attention: what you didn’t include content wise and what you aren’t doing when you’re logged in.

Let’s start with the former.

Creating Content for Enhanced Ranking

Your LinkedIn profile, just like any other page on the web that is supposed to drive traffic, needs to have strong SEO for you to rank high in searches. Below are two of the most important things you can do to increase the visibility of your LinkedIn profile by optimizing it for the platform’s search algorithm.

1. Achieve All-Star profile status. 

Below your top card information, you might see a meter that gauges your profile’s strength. A strong profile improves the rate of your profile’s appearance in search results. The meter prompts you to complete certain steps to achieve All-Star status. To achieve this status, you must have:

  • A profile photo
  • Your industry and location
  • A headline
  • A completed About section
  • Your current position
  • At least two past positions
  • Your education
  • A minimum of five skills
  • At least 50 connections.

2. Build your content with an SEO mindset.

Content is paramount and keywords matter. So, buckle down, do your research on what skills your target companies are looking for, and strategically introduce them throughout your profile, weaving them into your compelling and engaging content.

Think creatively about how you might incorporate keywords throughout every section and field of your profile, paying special attention to heavily indexed fields like the headline and job titles.

Your headline, for example, should be strategically written to position you for what you want and introduce searchable skills that will help recruiters find you. Many people opt to use LinkedIn’s default headline – their current role. This is a missed opportunity to strengthen your headline’s traffic-driving ability. You have a whole 220 characters to make an impression. That’s a lot of room. Include your current title, if relevant, and then consider adding more information in an effort to keyword optimize. For example, “VP of Sales” becomes “VP of Sales – Manufacturing Industry • Driving Explosive Growth through Business Development, International Expansion, and Global Team Leadership.”

Another section to optimize is Skills. Don’t leave any skills – and potentially searchable keywords – on the table. You can choose up to 50, so use your research to select them appropriately based on what you know about what is required in your ideal role.

Driving Recruiter Traffic to Your Profile through Strategic Action

Once your profile’s content is optimized for search and engaging to read, it’s time to think about the actions you take when you are logged in that feed information to LinkedIn’s algorithm.

What you do on LinkedIn teaches the platform’s AI mechanism about you so that it knows if you would make a good candidate for recruiters using the search tool. If the AI perceives you as someone in transition who is interested in certain companies, people, and topics, it will feed your profile to the appropriate LinkedIn recruiter user who is conducting a search. LinkedIn Recruiter wouldn’t be the powerful tool it is if it always led recruiters to candidates who are not interested in vacancies or the companies.

Thus, if you are following companies you’d like to work for, connecting with people you know who work in those companies, sending introductory networking Inmails to people in those companies, following recruiters in those companies, engaging with the content of both the company and the people connected to it, and if you are actively looking at job descriptions and have selected within your profile that you are open to opportunities, you will very likely be a suggested candidate for relevant recruiter searches.

You can see how logging in, mindlessly scrolling, and occasionally liking your friend or former colleague’s random post about space travel will do nothing to help you land a job in equipment sales. With this in mind, before you log in again, create a target list of companies you would like to work for, and make your time online valuable by following and interacting with those companies and the people who work in them. 

In sum, both your content and the actions you take on LinkedIn will heighten your profile’s visibility to the people who matter. Let research on your targeted companies fuel your content and drive your activity on LinkedIn.

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