Tag Archives: Recruiter

6 Areas on your LinkedIn profile you should optimize in 2018

If you’re wondering how an optimized LinkedIn profile will help you in your job search, the answer is simple: Your profile needs to be found by hiring authorities (recruiters, hiring managers, and human resources reps). These people can’t find your profile unless you utilize search engine optimization.


Hiring authorities approach LinkedIn similarly to the way they approach their applicant tracking systems (ATSs). They search the site for certain keywords denoting titles and areas of expertise. To be found, you must show up in the first 4-6 pages of search results, lest you be overlooked.

Let’s consider the following scenario: A hiring authority is searching for a finance manager with expertise in data analysis; advising senior managers on how to maximize profits; business analysis; forecasting; supervising employees responsible for financial reporting; and legal compliance. A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is preferred, although not required.

If a given finance manager wants to be found by the hiring authority in this scenario, their LinkedIn profile must contain their title and area of expertise. Furthermore, this information must be listed in all areas of the finance manager’s profile in order to maximize their chance of being found. This information can be worked into the finance manager’s profile through the use of keywords.

Areas on Your Profile Where Keywords Count

1. Your Name

This area is valuable real estate, as it is weighed heavily in searches. Any certifications or degrees you hold should be included alongside your name, as they will indicate your experience and expertise. So, our finance manager would list their education, “MBA,” after their name.

2. The Headline

This area should be rich with keywords, and it should brand you for your occupation and industry.

Using our financial manager as an example, their headline would read as:

Finance Manager ~ Data Analysis | Business Analysis | Forecasting | Legal Compliance | Maximizing Profits | MBA

Note that you only have 120 characters – including spaces – to work with in your headline. The above example uses 113 characters.

3. The Summary

Your summary should not be brief. Writing a brief summary prevents you from including all the important keywords we’ve identified. In the case of our finance manager, they would want to repeat “finance manager” and the areas of expertise mentioned in the headline above as often as possible.

Note that you have 2,000 characters with which to work in your summary. Something to keep in mind is that visitors only see the first two lines of your summary, unless they select “See more. Read: The 39 most important in your LinkedIn profile summary

4. Experience

The experience section is often overlooked, which is a huge mistake. Each entry in the experience section contains two factors that need to be considered: the job title and the position description.

Our finance manager’s official title is “finance manager” at ABC Company. While this is an accurate title, it doesn’t show their full value. The finance manager should instead list a title similar to their headline. However, you only have 100 characters here, so you have to be more selective. Our finance manager’s title might read:

Finance Manager ~ Data Analysis | Business Analysis | Forecasting | Legal Compliance | MBA

Here, the phrase, “maximizing profits” was removed. “MBA” could be removed instead, but the designation is more important for our finance manager’s purposes.

While the position description must above all else show the candidate’s value by listing accomplishment statements with quantified results, it is also an area on your LinkedIn profile where you can utilize a great deal of space. You have 2,000 characters here to repeat your title and areas of expertise. Don’t squander them.

5. Education / other sections

The education and other sections are also in play. What many people fail to realize is that they can add narratives to their education section. Yes, you’ll list your institution of learning and location (no dates of graduation), but you can also provide some background information.

Our finance manager might tell a story like this: “I fell in love with accounting and other areas of finance on my way to earning my MBA. Of particular interest to me were data and business analysis. I was given the opportunity to learn these skills during an internship at ABC company, which is where I am now employed.” Notice how this narrative employs the right keywords!

You can also benefit from keywords in the featured skills and endorsements sections. Your skills are counted, and some say the number of times you’re endorsed for them increases your ability to be found.

Other considerations when optimizing your LinkedIn profile

Loading your profile with keywords isn’t going to be enough on its own. Being found by hiring authorities also depends on how many people you’re connected with, as well as who your connections are. In addition, engaging with your connections will increase your chances of being found.

Outside your LinkedIn profile

Highlighting your LinkedIn profile on business cards, resumes, links from other social media can further optimize your profile.

Next week, we’ll explore LinkedIn profile optimization further by looking at how to properly connect with other LinkedIn members.

This post originally appeared on recruiter.com.

If you want to learn more about LinkedIn, visit this compilation of LinkedIn posts.


7 thoughts on the mind of a recruiter

Worried on phoneIt’s Casino Night for my kids’ school. I don’t expect much from this event, but it turns out to be more fun than I would have thought. It’s surprising how PTA volunteers can really let loose when alcohol is consumed at great quantities. I talk with two stupid-drunk people at length, and another person with whom I have an interesting conversation.

The interesting conversation of which I speak is with a recruiter from a local computer and network security company. We talk about our occupations, sharing the good, bad, and the ugly. The main message I learn from him is that recruiters don’t have it as easy as we think.

1. There are jobs a plenty. This recruiter asks me how I see the job market. I tell him it’s getting better but not as good as I’d like. He confirms my statement by telling me he has a ridiculous number of job requests open. This is good, I think. I tell him there are job seekers with excellent qualifications who come through our career center.

I ask him if he only looks for passive job candidates—those who are currently working. He says his company looks at unemployed candidates, as well. How many months out of work will they consider for a candidate, three, six, nine? He says one year is usually the limit. This is better than I thought. I’m encouraged.

Actually, I think this guy is too good to be true.

2. Difficult finding talent to meet his employer’s needs. When I lament that companies expect their new hires to hit the ground running, he corrects me with, “You mean sprinting. Hit the ground sprinting.”

Sadly that’s the fact at his company. This recruiter’s job is to find people with extensive Java experience. Not just some Java experience, not even enough Java experience to get them going. He’s looking for people that can jump in on day one.

“How about someone who is capable of mastering what the company needs, within a couple of months.” I offer. He agrees but points out that one of his hiring managers has had an open job for four months. This befuddles him. “A quick learner might be a better in the long run,” I follow. He agrees, but ultimately it isn’t his choice who gets hired.

3. The résumés, in general, suck. When he tells me this, it is not new news. I’ve been hearing and reading this from frustrated recruiters who skim through poorly written and formatted résumés. Worst of all, they have little to nothing to do with the job a recruiter’s trying to fill. “What can you do?” he says. People desperate for a job will do anything to get an interview.

This, by far, is the worst part of his job, trudging through résumés…all those résumés.

4. He finally finds the right person, but they don’t interview well. He finds people who have all the skills, job-related and soft, but can’t demonstrate them at an interview. Other recruiters have echoed this; they have no control over what goes on between the hiring manager and the candidates during the interview. Some candidates just don’t do well at interviews.

It must be like sending your child away to summer camp and hoping for the best. In most cases they know the candidate will handle him/herself well, but there’s always the chance that a person will bomb at the interview. Lose their resolve and slide under the table because of their nerves. Shame. Many a good candidate is passed up because he can’t pass the “test.”

5. Everything goes fine until negotiations. Another recruiter I spoke with told me she was willing to bring someone in for an interview because he had the talent necessary for the job. However, he wouldn’t budge from his salary requirement. She and this person were $10,000 apart for a $100,000+ position and she was sure the gap could be narrowed. He was so adamant that she gave she gave up on him in frustration.

6. He uses LinkedIn exclusively. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this said and probably won’t be the last. This recruiter no longer uses Monster because his searches aren’t as focused; there’s too much garbage. Linked allows him to zero in on exactly what he needs. I remark that I read only 20% of résumés stored on Monster are read. He doesn’t doubt this.

I bitch about LinkedIn taking away us common folks’ commercial searches. He hasn’t heard about this new rule because he’s a recruiter and benefits from a $12,000-a-year premium account. (This is the figure I’ve heard.) Now I wish I were a recruiter.

7. I think he thinks I”m the enemy. He wonders what I do to help my customers. “I teach them to fool people like you,” I tell him. He laughs. I go into my dog and pony show telling him about how I lead workshops on job-search strategies, as well as provide individual assistance through résumé and LinkedIn profile critiques. He seems interested. But I can tell he’s lingering on what I said about teaching my job seekers to fool people like him.

Can he meet me for lunch, he wants to know. Now I’m wondering if he wants to know my secrets, or if he’s looking for a job. He’s been with his company for five years. I’m thinking he’s doing damn good—I heard the average tenure is less than two years for a recruiter. I see on LinkedIn that many of the recruiters with whom I am connected, in fact, hop jobs like wildfire. Yes, he’s doing quite well.

I agree to meet him if he’ll talk to my networking group about what recruiters think. He says he’s not much of a public speaker, so to make a joke I tell him neither am I. He laughs. If he doesn’t come in, at least I can tell my customers what’s on the mind of a recruiter.

Why are jobseekers and recruiters/employers disconnected?

disconnectedI have been accused of being disconnected from my family. For example, with Easter approaching, I should’ve known that it’s a gift-giving holiday, when the girls will receive $100 Sperrys and my son a massive amount of candy, which will amount to a large dentist bill. How could I have forgotten?

This is a trivial matter compared to how disconnected jobseekers and recruiters/employers are when it comes to LinkedIn’s role in the hiring process. It makes me wonder if jobseekers are aware of how recruiters/employers value LinkedIn as a tool to find talent. The two parties aren’t on the same page.

An infographic published on The Undercover Recruiter paints a pretty telling picture of the importance recruiters et  al place on LinkedIn in finding candidates, while it also shows that  jobseekers seemingly place little importance on using LinkedIn.

Facts from the infographic show



  • 48% of recruiters post jobs on LinkedIn and nowhere else on social media
  • 73% of recruiters filled a position using social media in 2012, a 15% increase from 2011


  • 50.5%: The percentage of LinkedIn users who have complete profiles


  • 89% of recruiters have filled a position using LinkedIn at some point in time


  • 0-2 hours: The amount of time per week most users spend on LinkedIn


  • 97% of all HR and staffing professionals use LinkedIn in their recruiting efforts

The reasons vary as to why jobseekers fail to utilize the very tool that recruiters/employers are increasingly relying on to find them. It may be that LinkedIn is difficult for some to master. Only 50.5% of LinkedIn users have a complete profile. Some of my customers complain about basic things like downloading a photo, remembering their password, how to connect with other members or the Jobs feature, etc.

Some may find it impinges on the numerous hours they spend on the job boards. Sadly, the average time spent using LinkedIn is a mere two hours a week. Good gosh, I spend two hours a day on LinkedIn. Can they give up half an hour a day? Fifteen minutes?

Others may wonder if LinkedIn actually works. There have been no cold facts on the success rate jobseekers have had at finding work directly or indirectly by using LinkedIn. We have heard that personal networking garners anywhere from 60-80% success if used as the primary job method, but some people will only believe it when they see it.

There are jobseekers I consider to be experimenters–they join LinkedIn because they’ve heard how it will help them get a job, only to abandon the application after a day or two of looking for immediate gratification. To these folks, I tell them to kindly close their account and not muck up the work for the rest of us.

Whatever reasons there are for recruiters and jobseekers being so disconnected, it is obviously clear that the two entities are fishing at different lakes. Recruiters will never reveal where the fish are; and I fear I will never understand that Easter is a gift-giving holiday.


What You Should Know Before Contacting a Recruiter

Guest post: Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Résumé Writer, LinkedIn Profile Writer, Past Recruiter, Resume Expert & Columnist

Considering contacting a recruiter to find out about executive or leadership jobs in your field? Many job hunters assume that forging connections with recruiters will put them closer to lucrative, high-level positions that aren’t otherwise advertised.

However, a successful recruiter-job seeker relationship doesn’t just happen. It’s important to understand the relationship among all involved parties (the recruiter, company, and you), get your résumé in top shape, and to be ready to deal with potential objections.

These tips will help you be ready to work effectively with a recruiter—with better results from the relationship and a faster outcome for your job search:

1 – Recruiters often source candidates that have been there, done that.

Career professionals and executives that have followed a straight-line, traditional career trajectory (and very few job changes) are the best candidates for working with a recruiter.

The reason? Recruiters are hired by companies to identify talent among leaders who can demonstrate commitment to a specific type of career or skill set, with steady advancement toward a senior-level role in their particular field.

Therefore, if you’re trying to switch between one job type to another, or you’ve hopped among different employers frequently, you’ll often fare better by contacting employers directly.

2 – A recruiter’s mission is to focus on the needs of their client companies.

What many job hunters fail to grasp is that recruiter job orders often contain specific detail on the background, education, career history, and competencies  of the ideal candidate.

Depending upon the recruiter’s relationship with their clients, they may not be able to convince the company to take a chance on your background—especially if it’s not in line with these requirements.

A recruiter must not only be comfortable with the strength of your credentials, but confident that you represent a true personality and leadership fit within their client companies. After all, the recruiter’s professional reputation (and future commissions) are riding on their ability to supply the all-around perfect candidate.

3 – Your résumé must be ready for presentation to their clients.

Too often, job seekers dash off a résumé to recruiters that undercuts their abilities—making it difficult for the recruiter to promote the job hunter as a viable candidate.

If your leadership résumé  hasn’t had a review from colleagues or a résumé professional, it can be worth your time to request a critique or suggestions. Some recruiters even refer their clients to career coaches that can elicit a strong brand message on the résumé.

Others can often see qualities in your background that you’re too close to realize, and their recommendations can make the difference in the response you receive from a recruiter.

As a job hunting method, working with recruiters can be very effective, but only if you go in with an awareness of your role, fitness as a candidate, and realistic expectations.