While recruiters know what to look for in terms of candidate profiles when hunting through Linked-In, as the Director of Membership for a split placement network, it amazes me how many profiles I come across for independent recruiters that are, well, terrible. Today, your personal brand is present on every site you are registered on, and each one of these is an opportunity to network and become more visible. Even if you are not interested in connecting with other independent recruiters to potentially fill more roles by split placements, you can believe that just like you search candidates, the candidates search you when they get an email, phone call, or connection from you. Here are a couple of ways in to increase your personal brand on Linked-In.
- Summary. If you are going to stop reading after this point, or this is the only one that caught your eye- please zone in on your summary in your profile. Including information on your specialty as well as your core skills and accomplishments will give you credibility. For example, if I am an ERP candidate or recruiter that has come across your profile, the first thing I would like to see is, “Specializing in ERP recruitment for contract, contract-to-hire and full-time employment nationwide with offices in Denver and San Francisco. Permanent and contract recruitment; executive search; hiring; and staffing industry experience as top-performing recruiters and business developers since 1976.” Right away as a candidate in ERP this tells me you know what you are doing, and you have been doing it a long time. I know that by returning your phone call I will at least be speaking with someone highly knowledgeable in the industry. If I am another recruiter looking for a split placement partner, I will mentally remember your name and ERP even 10 searches later if that role comes up with a client. Applying keywords and phrases that are relevant to the job will also help increase the chance of your profile showing up in recruiter’s search results. For example, “IT sourcing and opportunities for: IT Management | Chief Information Officer – CIO | IT Director | Project Manager | Project Lead | Team Lead | Functional Business Analyst | Programmer – Developer | Data Base Administrator – DBA | Security | Infrastructure | Technical Architect and other IT roles.” This might have you come up in searches for passive candidates just looking for others in those roles to connect with.
- Recommendations. Every single profile on Linked-In usually has connections, most at above 500+. It does not mean you are hard-working, friendly, people-orientated, or successful, but rather you sent a great deal of “connections.” The bottom of the profile where those 500+ people randomly endorse your skills you filled out from their homepage? Also found on nearly every complete profile, and again, means very little. What you see less of? Personal recommendations. These are from people who not only took the time to click “accept” on a connection request, but thought highly enough of their experience with you to recommend you to others through a personal note. When I am looking to work with a recruiter on a split placement, or perhaps to work with them to transition to a new career, I can tell a good deal about them from the recommendations written by employees, other placed candidates, or recruiters. For example, “In addition, Mark is a great team member and is always willing to share leads, expertise or strategies with more junior team members,” tells me that this recruiter is not only about himself or money, but is willing to help others, which can be rare to find, and shares a bit of his humanity instead of just his positions held at various companies.
- Contacting & Learning More. First and foremost, please have a picture. Primarily because without one, Linked-In moves those with the grey default avatar to the bottom of any search. Give those interested in you a way to learn more or contact you multiple ways besides just a Linked-In connection or In-mail. If they are a candidate not actively hunting, they may not even have a profile that allows many In-mails, so including no other contact information could lose you a connection. Under Contact Info at the top of the profile, including your business website or twitter page, or maybe a link to your business blog gives you more depth as an individual. If you do not appreciate calls or giving out your primary email, perhaps make a gmail account specifically for Linked-In and offer that at the bottom of the page. Show off your expertise to your connections by posting status updates of relevant industry material, personal tips and tricks, or even success stories of candidates placed. One final tip here on connecting is that once you feel as though your profile speaks highly of you; make sure to connect with every candidate or client prior to a call or appointment. By getting a good background they might find things in common or be able to prepare good questions.
If you are looking to get even fancier with your profile, this article from Social Media Examiner gets down to the technological side of enhancing your profile with images and videos.