Lately I have been spending a ton of time on LinkedIn looking at profiles.  I see good ones, great ones and profiles that need a LOT of help.  In a world where job boards aren’t as effective as they once were, it is no secret that LinkedIn is still considered the best tool to find talent.  I am writing this blog for the candidate because I know in 2015 you are considering a change.  Why do I know that?  I’m watching it happen every day!  Passive candidates are receiving multiple offers and counter offers.  Well.. Truthfully and bluntly- some of the candidates are receiving offers.  Many candidates aren’t getting any views on their LinkedIn profile

I know there are candidates out there that no one can find.  I can’t find you!  Even if I am the best Boolean search string ninja, I can’t find you.  Why are you hiding?  Do you even know you are hiding?  I bet you don’t.  Do you want to increase your probability of a recruiter reaching out to you?  Please, do me a favor if you are looking for a job.  Spell it out!  There are things you can do to make your LinkedIn profile stand out, but today I want to recommend something many of you probably haven’t considered.

Did you know that when recruiters search for candidates in LinkedIn, almost every time they put in the keywords “looking” OR “seeking”?  Did you know that I use the keyword search “looking for next opportunity?”!  It sounds so basic doesn’t it?  I polled a large group of very successful recruiters this week and asked them if they would think any less of a candidate who put “looking for next opportunity” on their profile. Remarkably everyone unanimously said “No” and they said they would look at the skills and abilities above anything else.

If you do put “looking for next opportunity” on your resume, make sure you are easy to connect with.  It is amazing to me how many individuals do not include their phone number and e-mail on LinkedIn.  Do you want a quick response?  Make it easy for the recruiter to connect with you! LinkedIn inmails have a slower response time from candidates. Recruiters have to pay extra to send inmails and many recruiters haven’t invested in an upgrade for LinkedIn recruiter.  If you have your phone number on your profile, you are almost guaranteed to get contacted.  In an economy where the market is really picking up, speed will win the war for talent.

Don’t lose out to the other candidates because they were easier to find and contact.  Stay ahead of the game.  If you are with an employer and you don’t want them to know you are looking for a job,  “seeking new opportunities” may raise flags to your current employer.  My suggestion, work with a career counselor or SEO expert to embed keywords that will help your profile get found.

Be as explicit about what you are doing at your current job and spell out the details of your job duties on LinkedIn.  Your resume and LinkedIn profile shouldn’t look that much different.  I hope these few suggestions help you get a few more calls from recruiters.  We could certainly use a larger pool of candidates to choose from!