Did you know a recruiter’s preferred method of finding candidates is to not advertise? Advertising jobs is usually time-consuming, expensive and unreliable. From the confessions of a professional LinkedIn resume writer, read on to learn how to leverage the power of LinkedIn and get head-hunted…

Finding candidates without advertising involves two main techniques – “referrals” (candidates recommended by someone) and “head-hunting” (approaching candidates who have not applied for the role). The best way to get head-hunted is with a search-optimised, clear and compelling LinkedIn profile. One that instantly calls out “hire me”.

Good LinkedIn profile writing requires leveraging all LinkedIn’s functionality and making sure your content is well written, clear and search-optimised.

If you don’t want to outsource this task to a professional LinkedIn profile writer, check out the 9-point checklist below. I’ll think you’ll like it – the points are my most valuable tips for getting head-hunted via LinkedIn.

1) Optimise your headline

Your headline is the most important component of your LinkedIn profile. This 120-character line under your name is the main reason your profile will get clicked in a LinkedIn search so you have to get it right. Include your target job titles, specialisations and if you are “available”. Keep it simple and save the flowery stuff for the marketers.

Would you like an optimised LinkedIn profile headline written by a professional LinkedIn resume writer? Since you’ve taken the time to read this far, I’m offering to write yours for free. No strings attached. Just click on the link below and it can be done in 3-4 days. Easy.

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2) Search optimise relevant keywords

There’s a simple formula known by any LinkedIn resume writer – repeat the keywords that a recruiter would use to search LinkedIn if they were recruiting your target role. The more times you repeat the words the better (but don’t go overboard). To work out what those keywords are, pick out job ads that are of interest then:

– Identify words that are unique/specific to the role.

– Run the ad’s content through a Word Cloud application (like www.wordle.net) to see the which words are most heavily weighted.

3) Leverage your most valuable real estate

The quickest way to increase your profile’s search rankings is to put relevant keywords in the most valuable sections of your profile. I understand (although this is unconfirmed by LinkedIn) that the four best places to add your top keywords, in order of power, are:

– Job Titles

– Headline

– Education

– Summary

 4) Show discretion

Be careful what company-sensitive information you disclose on your profile. Revealing things like budgets and internal problems tend to be frowned upon, both by past and future employers.

5) Overcome plain text

LinkedIn only lets you use plain-text when writing content which means you can’t use bold, underline, bullet points and colour. The way around this limitation is to search Google for a symbol you’d like to use, then copy and paste it into your profile.

– My favourites are ► and ★. When I searched Google for “star symbol”, the results included ⋆ ✢ ✥ ✦ ✧ ❂ ❉ ✱ ✲ ✴ ✵ ✶ ✷ ✸ ❇ ✹ ✺ ✻ ✼ ❈ ✡✮. You can copy these into your LinkedIn profile like any letter of the alphabet, using them as bullet points, spacers or decoration. Just keep it professional.

6) Post a professional profile picture

You need a professional looking profile photo. On LinkedIn, your photo can act like a handshake and be the foundation for a first impression. Black and white looks smart. It’s best to wear your work attire and not look too casual – imagine the CEO was visiting your office for the day and would be sitting next to you. The photo should be 200 x 200 pixels and ideally taken by a professional photographer.

7) Use “Advanced Search”

Most people don’t know about the best thing on LinkedIn. Have you used Advanced Search? Just press the “Advanced” button to the right of the search bar and your ability to find the right people just got a whole lot better.

8) Expand your connections

It looks good if you’re connected to people in the industry. In fact, the more the better because it shows a hiring manager or recruiter that you “hang in the right circles”. The goal is to get 500+ connections so your LinkedIn connections counter hits its limit.

Before you start blasting everyone with invitations, be aware LinkedIn will give you a warning, then put restrictions on your account if you invite too many people who say they don’t know you. I suggest:

– Upload your phone and email address books to LinkedIn. LinkedIn will do the rest.

– Go through all your past workplaces and invite anyone who could know your name.

Regarding accepting invitations, your profile is a public web page and is affiliated with a whole industry, not a private community like Facebook. I recommend accepting invitations from anyone who works in your space, be it through industry, technology or related services. Just be wary that some people will immediately send you a sales-related email. Just grin and bear them – it’s one of the costs of having a good LinkedIn profile.

9) Ask us to write you the best LinkedIn profile headline today

Having an effective LinkedIn profile headline is so important I am going to offer it one more time… Just click on the button below and I’ll write yours for free. This will improve your LinkedIn profile’s search optimisation and the number of times your profile gets clicked when it appears in search results.

It’s a great and easy way to get head-hunted for a better job.

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