How To Get Headhunted On LinkedIn

Wondering how to get headhunted on LinkedIn? The modern recruiter looks at a lot of LinkedIn profiles every day, so whether you’re looking for work or just open to new opportunities, investing some time in your profile is a worthwhile endeavour.

Resume Rules Apply

For many people, LinkedIn is more of an online resume than a social network, which is why it’s so surprising that those same people frequently have terrible LinkedIn profiles. When headhunters are looking at LinkedIn profiles, they look for complete work histories, job descriptions, and (yes) a picture of you. Make it easy for them to get a sense of your career trajectory by completing your profile. Even if you never post a status update, apply the same rules to your profile that you apply to your resume.

  1. If a position is worth having there, it’s worth explaining. (Just keep it skimmable.)
  2. Not all positions are worth having there. (Your profile should reflect your current career, not the two years you owned an ostrich ranch.)
  3. Post a picture. (This is the only rule that’s reversed from an old-school resume.)

Skills Show Up In Search

A resume is a place to show off your skills, but you can do more than just include them in your job description with LinkedIn. Under the ‘Skills & Expertise’ you can tag your account with keywords and skills related to your industry. These are tags that help you show up in search results so, if we’re looking for “software sales Toronto”, having “software” and “sales” is a good first step to getting noticed.

There are a lot of different tags you can apply to your profile, so don’t be afraid of a little overlap. “Marketing” and “Web Marketing” are going to attract different audiences and the more specific you can be, the better.

Request Recommendations

Nothing will replace a reference check, but a recommendation is a good way to establish that everything on your profile isn’t a complete fabrication. If you work directly with clients, they may take it upon themselves to recommend the work you’ve done, but in any other situation you’ll probably have to ask. When you do, try to get someone senior to vouch for you. It carries more weight than swapping recommendations with the guy in the cubicle next to you.

Be There Or Beware

This isn’t equally true for every industry, but LinkedIn is the go-to resource for recruiters in technology, finance, manufacturing and a host of other sectors. If, for whatever reason, you’ve decided to avoid LinkedIn you’re likely missing out on opportunities to get headhunted. There are still ways you can come across our desk (recommendations, applications, etc.), but we might not even bother if someone else’s well manicured LinkedIn account has given us everything we need before we had to ask for it.

For the most part LinkedIn is a “set it and forget it” social network, which is good for people who might not be social media savvy. These are the basics you can do to make sure your profile is informative and easy for a recruiter to find. Of course, connecting with your colleagues, joining groups and connecting with a recruiter also increases your odds of getting headhunted, but start with the basics and go from there.