Looking for a job can be challenging, especially for executive level candidates, but armed with the right tools, job hunting doesn’t have to be painful.
Social media sites like LinkedIn, for example, have streamlined the process, broadening your reach and exposure. Sure, you still need a résumé, but having a detailed LinkedIn profile is a “must have” tool for C-suite executives and managerial candidates.
Leslie Boudreaux, founder and senior managing partner at BVOH Finance & Accounting Search, says that LinkedIn is the “go to resource” for hiring managers and recruiters. In fact, as of 9/10/13, 94% of recruiters said they use LinkedIn to vet candidates, according to Expanded Ramblings.
Here are seven things Boudreaux says executive recruiters are looking for in an optimized LinkedIn profile:
- Don’t embellish job titles on LinkedIn. They should match what’s on your résumé. If they don’t match up, hiring managers and recruiters may doubt your credibility.
- Select a specific industry. This will help hiring managers better understand what you do and where you might fit into their organizations.
- Keep your location updated. According to Boudreaux, hiring managers usually look for candidates within 25 miles of their location, assuming you won’t want to commute unless the job is a high-level opportunity.
- Use relevant keywords. To help hiring managers and recruiters find you online, use relevant keywords in your job title, summary and experience. Incorporate these same keywords into your bio and résumé as well.
- Post a recent photo. Skip the anniversary selfie you took with your spouse. Instead, use a recent professional headshot.
- Borrow highlights from your résumé. Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be an exact duplicate of your résumé, but it should include bulleted highlights of your career history, key responsibilities and skills. Your focus should be on highlighting skills and experience that are in line with your future career aspirations. Boudreaux cautions candidates not to overshare on LinkedIn, but rather to use it as a starting point for conversation.
- Don’t worry about online recommendations. Boudreaux says some hiring managers don’t even read the recommendations (hint: they are near the bottom of your profile). They are more focused on how your experience and expertise will fit with an opening they are trying to fill.