(Upcoming posts: How To Handle Recruiters Wanting To Connect, How To Deal With Trolls Now That You’ve Gone Viral)
In case you weren’t aware already, recruiters use LinkedIn to find, qualify, and engage with talent for open positions. I can’t confirm an actual statistic, but one study reported in 2016 that 84% of recruiters use LinkedIn to recruit while another study from March 2018 reported that 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates. I believe them both.
From the 2017 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report, below are the top three positive factors that impact a recruiter’s decision to move forward with a candidate.
- Examples of written or design work (65%)
- Engagement in volunteering, mentoring, or non-profits (63%)
- Mutual connections (35%)
So, if you want to be visible and desirable to recruiters as part (not all) of your job search plan, below are four things you can do to increase your chances.
Please be advised that companies report their highest quality candidates come from external recruiters only 7% of the time, and 26% report that their lowest quality candidates come from external recruiters. So, allocate your time investment in recruiters to be about 10% of your efforts. Contact us to learn what to do with the other 90% of your time.
The good news is the efforts below will not only make you attractive to external recruiters, but also internal recruiters and, even better yet, hiring managers.
- Follow and engage with recruiters and industry leaders who are active on LinkedIn.
By active, I mean they post regular status updates, like and comment on others’ posts, and have 500+ connections.
When you follow them, their updates will show up on your homepage feed. But, when you follow a lot of people and companies, algorithms will govern your homepage feed so that you only see status updates with strong engagement predominantly. In other words, their posts will only show up in your news feed if others have been engaging with those posts (popular posts).
You will also want to make sure you follow companies on your target company list and internal recruiters, HR leaders, and thought leaders (who are active.) Some that I follow:
- Lauren McDonald
- Adam Karpiak
- Shaun Hervey
- Ken Lubin
- Tabith Trent Cavanaugh
- Brigette Hyacinth
- Kevin Wheeler
- Lou Adler
Once you follow, you must engage! You can help them gain more visibility by liking their posts, which then adds their post to your networks’ home feed and lists that activity to your profile under recent activity. However, if you want to gain visibility with them or within their network, comment thoughtfully. Asking additional insightful questions will generate the most visibility.
Spend 15-20 minutes doing this daily and you will see the amount of your profile views go up. The amount of invitations or followers you receive will be more reflective of the quality of your posts, versus the quantity. I recommend you focus on what you say rather than how frequently you say it.
We’ll discuss in a later post what to do when recruiters you don’t know invite you to connect.
- Add people to your network weekly.
Start by expanding who you think SHOULD be in your network. The obvious people are former or current co-workers, supervisors, vendors, and customers. Some people focus solely on people in their industry or professional realm, but this is a mistake. People don’t operate in industry vacuums. Think of anyone you are on a first name basis with who, if they asked you, you would not hesitate to make an introduction on their behalf. This could be neighbors, fellow soccer parents, doctors and dentists, event planners, attorneys, accountants, etc. Every time you leave your house, think about “the people that you meet each day.”
If you fewer than 200 connections, aim to add 20 each week by inviting 50. If you have at least 200 quality connections (meaning you know them at least as an acquaintance, if not better), and you feel that you have added all of the above-mentioned people, start seeking out those who are commenting on posts of interest to you. It’s the easiest way to connect and customize your invitation message: “I saw your comment/post on >>>> and thought it was really insightful. I’d like to know more about what kind of introductions would be the most impactful to you right now. Do you have 20 minutes or so to get better acquainted offline? My number is…..”
Then, of course, wait for them to accept or perhaps respond, and follow up to schedule an introductory phone call, a lunch or happy hour, or invite them to an event you will be attending and ask them to meet a bit earlier.
- Start posting quality content.
What is a quality post? One that exhibits your expertise, but also initiates a discussion that others want to engage.
You have two options for posting content on LinkedIn, and I recommend using them both to some capacity.
The first option is your status update:
You enter this right from the top of your homepage. You have 600 characters here, unless you want to cross-post to Twitter, in which case you have 140 characters. A highly engaging status update now has the potential to go viral even more so than publishing posts, as long as people engage. Engagement will extend the “shelf life” of your post, so your goal is to get people to like and share it.
Think about some of the pains your industry experiences, trends impacting it, and challenges of implementing solutions. Find ways to resonate and empathize with your future employer. Don’t give away all your proprietary expertise, but definitely share the great outcomes to which you have contributed. Tell stories. Express your personality, which will promote you not only as a qualified candidate, but one who would potentially fit in with a company’s culture. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone. Not everyone will give you an offer. You only need one great offer (though we can help you generate momentum that produces multiple offers.)
Read each post out loud twice and have someone else proofread it twice before you put it out there.
We’ll discuss in a later post what to do about trolls. Don’t let them stop you from getting great content out into the world.
The second option is publishing posts:
These are essentially like blogs or articles. They are usually longer (500-800 words) and include keywords. While the “shelf life” of these are longer (they will be associated with your profile either indefinitely, or until LinkedIn decides to change that), they become hard to find unless engagement continues.
They can sometimes be picked up and promoted by LinkedIn. I recommend also sharing through your status update, to individuals who may want to chime in on the comments, and in groups (read and follow all group rules; some don’t want you to self-promote or direct people outside of a discussion thread.)
Think carefully about your titles and try to think about what someone might be experiencing, wanting, or wanting to avoid.
- Volunteer and add your experience to your profile.
The better volunteering opportunities are the ones that enable you to interact with people and work on a team. Perhaps you can even be the one that organizes a community event. You might want to start with professional organizations in your industry. See if they have events coming up at which you can volunteer.
I encourage you to choose an organization that has meaning for you. It may or may not lead to you meeting someone who can open a door of opportunity for you, but it is really one of the best ways to remember how valuable you can be for others. And at the same time, helping others less fortunate than you will remind you of your own blessings.
As expressed above, a tertiary benefit is how favorable recruiters look upon this type of activity.
You may also opt to add a post related to that non-profit or volunteer activity and tag others involved to bring them added visibility, as well. Besides professional organizations and non-profits in your community, another place you can go to find volunteering opportunities is volunteermatch.org.
Watch for upcoming posts related to this topic: How To Handle Recruiters Wanting To Connect, and How To Deal With Trolls Now That You’ve Gone Viral.