Dolly Parton said it best – it's hard being a diamond in a rhinestone world. But with our insider secrets on how recruiters use LinkedIn, we can make it easy for you to stand out from the crowd and be the top of the list.
Whether you're currently looking for work or simply want the perfect roles to come knocking on your door (before having to search for them), it's worth having an always-on approach to your LinkedIn profile.
Many recruitment agencies use an add on tool to LinkedIn called Recruiter. This allows recruiters to do specific and targeted searches of the LinkedIn profiles. We break down the key search areas, so you know how to optimise your profile to stand out in a sea of applicants.
Have a Profile picture
You'll see this in every 'how to have a good LinkedIn profile' article, but we're going to reiterate it anyway because there are still so many people without one. Having a professional work photo as a profile picture will make a difference when a recruiter has 100 different profiles to click on. It gives the impression of credibility and trust, and even if you have a face for radio, it's still miles better than nothing at all.
Clear Job Title
It's good practice to have a relatively general job title on your profile. LinkedIn categorises job titles to make it easier for recruiters to search. For example, a recruiter might search for 'software engineer', and it will bring up all profiles with a job title of software engineer or similar, like 'lead software engineer' or 'junior SW engineer'. So, if your company's official job title Is something a bit more dramatic or non-specific, like Chief Dreamer, or Team Lead, it might be better to list your title as both Chief Dreamer – Lead Software Engineer instead.
Linking the Official Company
Make sure when you're setting up your job history, you're connecting your work experience to the official company LinkedIn page, and not just typing it in free-text. This way, you will be searchable as an employee of that company, either past or present. Hint: If the company logo appears, you've done it right.
Recruiters can search LinkedIn profiles by keyword. This means that they can target a specific word or phrase from anywhere in your profile, whether it be in your 'short description', or the job descriptions. We particularly use it at Kinexus because a lot of the skills we are looking for aren't categorised on LinkedIn.
So, to be best found by a Defence recruiter, you want to make sure you include all the Defence-specific language you can think of. You'll want to make sure your past/present job descriptions are filled with the particular technologies, tools and skills you use/have. If you're an ILS engineer, it's good to have things like 'FMECA', or 'Engineering Life Cycle' listed in the job descriptions because that's what they'll look for in a keyword search.
For general Defence experience, include the words' defence', or 'navy/army/airforce'. It's good to write out specific platforms you have worked on too – 'LHD', 'Hawkei'. If you have a security clearance, it's good to put that in both skills as well as written somewhere in your profile. EDIT: We have confirmed with AGSVA, and the advice is to not display the level of your security clearance on a public site. You can still indicate you have one, and you can tell a recruiter what level you have, but you are not advised to post the level of that clearance publicly.
For some more tips on how to tailor your Linkedin profile for Defence Industry, check out this blog.
Make sure they're spelled correctly too! Because it's all searched by free text, it will only pick up exact matches.
Skills are a funny one on LinkedIn. Recruiters don't use them so much, but they are valuable for other reasons such as getting endorsed, matching you to jobs and even getting 'LinkedIn certified.
Make sure you pick relevant skills that show your technical proficiency. Depending on your role, you may not need to go too deep into adding soft skills like teamwork and leadership. These are the skills you convey in your work history.
There's also a relatively new function where you can test your skills and receive a badge for your LinkedIn profile, as extra proof of proficiency when someone opens your profile. There are about 100 skills able to be tested, most of them coding language or engineering principles, but keep an eye out as they add in more. They are 15-minute tests, and you need to score above the 70th percentile to get the badge.
Open to New Opportunities
You may have been prompted to turn on 'Open to New Opportunities' (OTN) on LinkedIn but ignored it as another pop-up. It's a great way to broadcast to recruiters you are looking for jobs, and when they're searching for candidates, OTNO profiles come to the top of the list. It's only visible to recruiters, and if you have the correct company page linked it won't be visible to recruiters, admins or managers from your own company. Even if you're only passively interested in jobs, it's worth having this turned 'on'.
So, pencil in ten-15 minutes to go over your LinkedIn profile with these things in mind, especially if you're looking for a new role.
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash