For the past year I’ve had the opportunity to intern in the talent acquisition department at UPMC’s corporate office. While I’ve learned about a variety of recruiting techniques such as phone screening, interviewing, and candidate sourcing, I’ve gotten an in-depth view as to how recruiters use LinkedIn on a daily basis. In this class we have speculated as to how human resource departments view and potentially judge our social media profiles, and I’m going to give you an insiders perspective.
LinkedIn is most commonly used as a sourcing mechanism for hard-to-fill entry and senior level positions. This means that those applying for a position through the companies personal website aren’t qualified, or that too few individuals are applying, which is often common with senior level jobs. As a result, recruiters head to LinkedIn to find new talent.
Before discussing ways to make your profile more searchable, it’s important to understand how recruiters use LinkedIn.
We are familiar with LinkedIn’s basic functions for job searching; however recruiters receive access to an exclusive candidate-searching tool known as LinkedIn Recruiter. This premium function allows recruiters to expand their candidate search beyond just personal networks, to the entire LinkedIn community. This gives them the ability to maximize the number of profiles they can view. Additionally, once they view a profile of someone who fits the qualifications, they can contact them without personally connecting, though a messaging service called InMail. A variety of templates are available in InMail, which can be edited according to position, and sent to a number of candidates at once. This service is beneficial as recruiters get a higher response rate than they would with other techniques like emailing or cold calling. Lastly, LinkedIn Recruiter helps recruiters to organize and manage candidates they’ve found and reached out to. As a recruiter you are generally looking for candidates for up to 30 open positions at once, and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of which individuals have been screened, declined, interviewed, etc. making this function extremely valuable. But searching for candidates is where it all starts, and where it gets a little tricky.
Recruiters search LinkedIn using a process very similar to SEO (search engine optimization) called Boolean searching. Like SEO helps a company to become more affectively visible to the Internet community, Boolean searches help viable candidates become more visible to a recruiter. This search tool relies on specific modifiers such as quotes, parenthesis, and combinations of AND, OR, and NOT, to help recruiters find results most closely related to the types of profiles they need to find.
Quotes- when you want to search for an exact phrase
- “executive assistant”
Parenthesis- when you want to do a complex search
- software AND (engineer OR architect)
AND-when you want to search for profiles which include two terms
- software AND engineer
This concept applies to all positions, so become familiar with what recruiters in your particular field are looking for, and structure your resume/ profile accordingly to highlight these skills and experiences. While recruiters appreciate seeing your GPA and relevant experience, it is more important to note what valuable skills you gained from your education and past jobs, not simply a retelling of what you did.
At the end of the day recruiters don’t care whether you’ve had 7 jobs, or 1, pending that 1 job was relevant experience to the job you’re applying for. When they search for “systems analyst” on LinkedIn, if that title is listed on your profile, you will appear in their search. So make sure you’re ready for a resume review at all times!