Dear Sam: In a past column, you suggested: “set up the behind-the-scenes recruiter profile on LinkedIn.” I have a profile set up, but I can’t find any mention from searches on setting up a behind-the-scenes recruiter profile on LinkedIn. Can you explain? – Lisa
Dear Lisa: Of course. So what I was referring to is the Open to Work feature. To set up this feature, select your profile picture from the top right menu on LinkedIn and choose “View Profile.” Next, underneath the top portion of your profile, you will see a menu that says “Open to,” and you will select the “Finding a Job” option. You will then be able to choose different options, such as desired job titles, workplace environments, on-site and remote locations, and the job type you seek, such as full-time, contract, temporary, etc. You can also select “Start date” of “Immediately…” or “Flexible.” Lastly, you decide who sees that you are open to opportunities. Usually, I recommend you open your profile for recruiters and not all LinkedIn members unless you are not currently employed and seeking to evangelize your search across all networking contacts.
I also note that LinkedIn does attempt to hide your “open to work” profile from recruiters employed by your current employer, albeit they would not be able to hide your profile from third-party recruiters perhaps employed by your current employer. You will have to decide if that is a risk worth taking if you are currently employed and do not want your employer to potentially find out you are job hunting. When you are selecting your “Start date” when setting up your profile, I recommend choosing the more passive option versus stating that you were actively searching. Most employees are passively searching at all times and just keeping their eyes open for potential opportunities, so selecting that option does not necessarily tell your current employer that you are searching.
When you create your Open to Work profile, your profile will show up with priority in recruiters’ searches, enabling more of what I call a ‘push’ strategy, meaning you aren’t constantly having to ‘push’ your resume out there. If you are currently employed, this can significantly increase the efficiency and even the effectiveness of your search. In addition to creating your Open to Work profile, optimize your front-facing LinkedIn profile, ensuring you position yourself how you want to be seen in the market.
Similarly to your resume, your LinkedIn profile should represent the highlights of your experiences as they most relate to your current career target. Pay attention to the About section, the Experience section, and your 50 available skill slots. Be sure each of those skills relates to your candidacy. I do find that many candidates who set up their LinkedIn profiles many years ago have skills that are no longer related to the professionals they are today. Hence, review your existing skills, delete ones that are no longer as necessary, and add others that are more important. You can also rank your skills in order of importance and even ‘pin’ the top 3 skills to always appear at the top of your skills list.
There are numerous LinkedIn learning opportunities on the platform to learn more about utilizing LinkedIn as a job seeker, and I would encourage you to review those to ensure you are capitalizing on the power of LinkedIn. While we have just scratched the surface, I hope this provides you with some insight into how to start promoting your candidacy.