I’d be surprised if any professional working today hasn’t heard of LinkedIn. Billed as the world’s largest professional network, it now has over 575 million members globally. There are also over 25 million users in the UK alone, making it arguably an essential social network for any professional.
If you’re familiar with using the site, you’re probably also familiar with the slew of unsolicited and irrelevant approaches from recruiters that come with it. It may surprise you that the majority of LinkedIn’s annual revenue comes from the fees recruiters pay for access to its members’ details.
So is the answer to delete your profile, smash your smartphone and live out your years as a hermit? Maybe. But perhaps a better approach is to take the time to get your LinkedIn profile right, so that, when recruiters do contact you, it’s with jobs you’ll actually want to consider. Here are my top five tips to doing just that.
There are a lot of fields to fill out of when you sign up for LinkedIn, and like all forms, most of us will rush to fill it out with the essentials. But by going into detail about your career, you can ensure that recruiters know exactly what you do, and therefore what you’re more likely to want to do in future.
An example; if you put your job title as Solicitor then great, you’ll only get attention from legal recruiters. If you say you’re a Litigation Solicitor, then even better - you’re much less likely to be contacted with a non-contentious role. But if you put that you’re a Property Litigation Solicitor, with a particular focus on landlord and tenant disputes, then only the most ignorant recruiters will contact you for anything else.
Likewise, elaborating on focuses and interests within your career increases your odds of being found by recruiters for a role that just might be your dream job. Recruiters search LinkedIn using keywords relating to the job they’re recruiting for - if they’re all on your profile, they’re going to come to you first.
2. Accurate and Up-To-Date
Are recruiters contacting you with jobs in a city you no longer work in? Have you changed specialism or direction, but are still being contacted with jobs that would have been right for you two years ago?
Ensure your profile is up-to-date! Recruiters aren’t psychic - if your profile lists Brighton as your location, even though you moved to Portsmouth a year ago, then don’t be surprised if people only contact you about roles in Brighton!
Along with your location, make sure to update any promotions, redirections or new roles that have come your way.
3. Open to new opportunities
If you are actively looking for a new role and want to receive contact from recruiters, LinkedIn has a fantastic feature that allows you to mark yourself as ‘open to new opportunities.’ Only recruiters can see this - not colleagues or your boss. But be aware that this is a green light to recruiters, so to get the most out of this feature, provide the additional information about what exactly you’re looking for. If you don’t, you’ll probably be getting contacted about an opportunity that doesn’t match up.
4. Responding to Recruiters
If you’re overwhelmed by dozens of messages from recruiters every week, then the prospect of responding to them all can seem daunting and pointless. But if you follow the above tips and are getting tailored messages, appropriate to you and your career, be sure to respond and acknowledge those recruiters who took the time to get it right. Even if you’re not looking right now, then a simple ‘thanks but no thanks’ goes a long way. If you’ve got the time to elaborate a little further, then you could even build a good connection for the future. If you say ‘not right now but in six months,’ or ‘this is close to being perfect, were it not for this small thing,’ the best recuiters will remember that, and get back to you when the timing or the role is just right.
5. If none of that works - turn off your InMails!
Finally, if you’re sure you’re happy in your current role, and want absolutely no contact or temptation from recruiters, LinkedIn does give you the option to turn off your InMails and make yourself entirely uncontactable. Just remember to turn it back on if, down the line, you start finding yourself wondering what’s out there again.
Why not try the above tips and see if they improve your experience with recruiters on LinkedIn? And remember that, at Harvey John, we always take the time to read your profile carefully and contact you only with roles we think will truly interest you.
Hayley Rose is an Associate Director in the Legal Division at Harvey John.
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