While at the end of the day, most successful job hunts are the result of humans connecting with humans, there’s no doubt that a huge component of job hunting, especially the initial stages, occurs online.
Although data reveals that applying to online job postings yields a frustratingly low ROI (Payscale.com estimates >85% of open positions are filled through networking), a first step in the journey for all parties involved is conducting online research.
I recommend a 3-pronged approach that lets people know you’re looking, makes you as easy to find as possible, and impresses decision makers with what they see.
#1 Make Your LinkedIn Profile Keyword Rich
When hiring managers and recruiters conduct a search for you on LinkedIn, you can increase your chances of topping their list by inserting the right keywords in the right places.
Replace your headline that will otherwise default to your current job title with 120-characters that include the kinds of words that a hiring manager might enter to find candidates for their role that needs filling.
Refer to job postings of interest to identify common industry keywords and key phrases and weave them into the language that describes your success on your summary and experience sections.
#2 Let Recruiters Know You’re Looking
LinkedIn allows you to privately let recruiters who subscribe to one of its premium services know you’re open to their outreach. While turning on this function (go to your dashboard located above your experience when you go to ME then “View my Profile”) won’t cover all recruiters, it at least covers some.
When engaged in full-throttle job search mode, I recommend making it as easy as possible for ALL recruiters to get in touch with you by including your email and contact number in the summary section.
#3 Be your Best Self Online
Whether we like it or not, 70% of decision-makers, according to a 2017 Business News Daily article, screen job candidates online using social media. This means that from the comments you post to the pics you share, you must remember that people are looking to see that your personal persona aligns with your professional one.
Given that of all the social media platforms out there, LinkedIn is the site most commonly used for candidate screening (87% according to a 2017 Fast Company article), I recommend that in addition to carefully selecting what you post on other sites, you aim to really shine professionally here.
Accomplish this by completing as much of your LinkedIn profile as possible. In addition to including a professional-looking headshot, a searchable headline, a robust summary and achievement highlights in the experience section, be sure to get recommendations and complete the skills, organizations and volunteer sections.
Also read: Why, How and When Should I be Active on LinkedIn? The Science & Strategy Behind Content Sharing
People are Looking – Why Not Control What They See?
The end goal for most job seekers is to get in front of a decision maker and get the opportunity to make their pitch. In my experience, you can expedite this process by making yourself easy to find by those whose opinions matter, and to impress them with what they see.