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7 Things Recruiters Look at on LinkedIn

Recruiters love LinkedIn. It’s a vast database of detailed information about professionals in every field imaginable. And it has terrific search features that let recruiters drill down to find the precise mixture of skills, experience, and attributes that a hiring company is seeking.

But, like all of us, recruiters are busy. They need to be able to find a handful of potential candidates very, very quickly. To do that, they look at these 6 things:

  • Current job title. Most often, recruiters want to find candidates with very similar experience to the job they’re filling. Your job title tells them that. And, fairly or unfairly, recruiters prefer candidates who are currently employed.
  • Current company. Are you in the same industry as the hiring company? Are you a competitor or customer? That could be valuable.
  • Companies prefer not to have to pay to relocate executives, so local candidates are preferred.
  • Length of experience. Are you at the level they’re seeking?
  • Where and what you studied may be factors in your selection.
  • Prior jobs. What’s your career path? Does it show progression? Can you add value from different industries, or strength from one industry concentration?

It sounds harsh, but if you don’t meet their target criteria, they’ll move on to find another candidate.

When writing your profile, make sure that your specific expertise comes through in multiple areas – your headline, summary, experience, and education sections. Similarly, your resume must clearly communicate these important things about you and your career – to advance you past that first screen and into the candidate pool.

And, once contacted by a recruiter, be ready to answer question #7: your current salary (something they can’t get from your profile or resume). They need to know if you’re in the right ballpark.

Again – recruiters are looking for candidates with a specific set of skills and experience. If you don’t have it, don’t waste your time (or theirs) trying to convince them what a great candidate you are.

But do recognize that recruiters fill only a small percentage of jobs! So don’t worry unduly if you are not “recruiter bait.” You have many more options for finding that next great opportunity.

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