How your Dream Job finds YOU
Updated: Oct 28, 2019
How you can use LinkedIn to attract that Dream Job you’ve been aspiring towards
Take 20 seconds to close your eyes and think about where you want your career to be 5 years from now. Do you have that dream job? What would that job mean for you and your family? In this short post, I am providing you some tips on how you can increase the chances of your dream job finding you, from the perspective of a recruiter. Read on!
The 60 Second Highlight (TLDR)
Not all dream jobs are posted on job boards or readily broadcasted at your company. By spending just a few minutes optimizing your LinkedIn, you will give recruiters a chance to find you for what could be that dream job. LinkedIn is a powerful tool, and when used the right way, it could present you with meaningful, life-changing career opportunities!
Have a profile picture, keep it professional, and update it – recruiters sometimes skip profiles that don’t have a picture
If you move, update your location (City, State) – no need hearing about an opportunity where you used to live!
Add detail to your Work, Education, and Volunteer Experience, but keep it concise and relevant – this isn’t a job description
Optimize your LinkedIn by adding essential keywords to your profile. Consider that recruiters may be searching for an accounting software sales manager. If that’s you, but you don’t have accounting software on your profile, you won’t come up on our search!
Ask yourself, “Will my dream job find me?" Every job has requirements, so make sure your LinkedIn profile shows that you meet those requirements for your dream job.
Include the information that recruiters are looking for, such as "lead a team of 4 salespeople" instead of "lead a sales team."
Connect with more people in your network! Building your network shows that you are active on LinkedIn.
Show your personality on your profile and use the About section to do so. Use it to express your core values, leadership quotes that are meaningful to you, a project that you are focused on and why, or another aspect of what makes you, you.
Consider updating your LinkedIn profile settings so you can be found by more people in and outside of your network.
Attach some media to your LinkedIn to share some exceptional achievements, speaking engagements, projects, or even your resume. This expands on your credibility or your desire to connect with recruiters.
Do you remember that daydream you had the other day? Or, that sleepless night you had last week? Even darker still, that anxiety-ridden paralysis you had when you woke up this morning? Okay, okay, too dark, but that likely resonated with someone. The truth is, you were wondering why you weren't further along in your career. You know? That dream job. Even if that dream job isn't defined for you yet, we all have an idea of what responsibilities, challenges, or benefits we want out of our career. For those right-brained among us, you at least have an idea of what passions you wish to pursue. So, how do you find the opportunity that would lead to or even be that dream job? The problem is, you may never know it exists.
Think about it. There are a lot of talented people out there. Some of the best candidates are happy and thriving in their current position. They may not even be looking for a career change. Independent recruiters, corporate recruiters, executive search firms, and talent scouts know this, so they actively source their talent from LinkedIn instead of relying on job boards. If your LinkedIn is not optimized, recruiters may never find you.
If recruiters can't find you, you may never hear about that dream job that you've been working so hard towards. If you don't know these opportunities are out there, what does that mean for you 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, or even 20 years from now? It means it may take you longer to achieve those life and financial goals that come along with having that dream career. Basically, you miss out on an opportunity that could have been a life changer!
Don't get me wrong; there certainly are many ways to increase your odds of being considered for that dream job opportunity. You could ask to be considered for that promotion or build a plan with your current employer, attend a national conference to network, join and contribute to an industry-related organization, or actively pursue opportunities you can find on job boards. However, those are all active measures, and respectfully, not everyone wants to do those things. We have lives to live! By simply updating your profile, adding detail, and optimizing your LinkedIn, you will create a passive way to hear about those life-changing opportunities.
Your LinkedIn profile allows you to diversify the ways you can be considered for and learn about new opportunities. The recruiters and head-hunters reach out to you instead of the other way around. Wouldn't that be nice? These professionals are compensated to find the best talent possible, so allow them to find you!
Optimizing your LinkedIn is easy. Once you've gone through a few steps of editing and adding content on your profile, you only need to update your profile as you acquire new experiences, skills, and achievements. It is a short time commitment that could lead to a dream job. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more…type deal. So, where do you start? With the picture.
Keep your Information Up-to-date
If you don't have one, put one up. It is easy to do and immediately gives your profile more color. If you already have a profile picture, make sure it is relatively current. Be smart about it. Does the photo look like you today? If so, awesome! If not, add a current one. And, please, make sure it is professional. It could be a head-shot, professionally done, or taken with a cell phone. It could also be a closeup from a speaking engagement. Regarding the background photo, you can use it to show more personality with a quote you love, an image that tells a story, or something about your current company/position.
Why does this matter? I know there are recruiters out there that will sometimes avoid LinkedIn profiles that don't have a profile picture. A picture also allows you to show a little personality, while also giving other members of LinkedIn a face to the name.
Make sure your location is updated as soon as you move. It should be based on where you live, not where you work.
Why does this matter? Most of the time, head-hunters are looking for specific people in specific areas by searching by zip codes or regions. You know that dream mechanical engineer job with that fast-growing, forward-thinking engineering start-up? They are hiring in Chicago, where you live, but your profile still says you live in Austin, TX...noooooooo! Update your location! Also, recruiters are told ahead of a search whether an opportunity will have a relocation package. If relocation is paid for by the hiring company, then we open our search to the entire country. If not, it is a targeted search based on zip codes or regions. Further still, making your location based on where you live will help you to avoid hearing about those opportunities that would require long commutes.
Work, Education, and Volunteer Experience
LinkedIn does a fantastic job of presenting relevant information about you in an order that makes sense. It first goes into detail about your work, starting with the current role and progressing backward. Then it covers your education experience and, finally, your volunteer experience. Go through these three components of your LinkedIn and make sure your information is current. Aim to have at least 3 bullet points for each role you've had under the Experience section and for each Education item. The bullet points should provide some detail about your achievements, highlighted responsibilities, or relevant facts. For Volunteer Experience, add the information and provide detail if you have or had a significant role in the organization. Listed below are some examples:
ABC Company Full-time
Jan 2019 - Present 10 mos
San Francisco Bay Area
- Lead a team of 10 accounting software sales associates in the West Region, making up Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona
- Improved region sales by 25% each year, securing three consecutive Best of the Best Awards
- Subject matter expert with Salesforce, Zoom, and LinkedIn SalesNavigator
ABC Company Full-time
Jan 2019 - Present 10 mos
San Francisco Bay Area
- Managed team of salespeople, providing strategy and support
- Improved sales every year
- Familiar with customer relationship management tools
ABC Company Full-time
Jan 2019 - Present 10 mos
San Francisco Bay Area
Why does this matter? Your career and professional image should be relevant to you. Recruiters want to see that you cared to spend at least a few minutes on each section (Work, Education, and Volunteer Experience). What kind of message do you send to a recruiter if your information is not current and/or vague? You can avoid this issue entirely by updating the information and sharing a few details. The words you use in these sections also matter when it comes to recruiters finding your profile – foreshadowing!
Optimizing your LinkedIn Profile
Keywords! Keywords! Keywords!
Recruiters and talent scouts have many ways of searching for great candidates. LinkedIn has various premium packages that provide even more tools to help find candidates. The common ones are LinkedIn Business, LinkedIn SalesNavigator, and LinkedIn Recruiter. These premium subscriptions allow us to search by specific criteria or keywords to find profiles of candidates that fit that ideal candidate profile. For example, let's say I have a client looking for a sales manager with at least 5 years of experience in accounting software sales. They need substantial experience using Salesforce. They need to be an accomplished, award-winning salesperson. They also must live in Denver, CO. Quite the ask, but not as tricky as it sounds. On LinkedIn, I can search for profiles located in Denver, CO, that contain the following keywords: "accounting software" AND sales AND Salesforce. I can add that I only want to see profiles of candidates that have "manager" in their title. Boom, I have my initial list to work from.
Why does this matter? Imagine that you meet all those requirements, but you did not have accounting software or Salesforce on your profile. You would not have been on the list for me to look through. That's a problem. These keywords matter, and you need to make sure that your profile includes those keywords that are relevant to your industry, role, and experience. A good routine is to ask yourself, "Will my dream job find me?" If yes, awesome! If no, consider adding color to your profile that includes relevant information that recruiters would be searching for.
What Recruiters want to know
You've probably heard of someone telling you that all that extra stuff on your resume is considered fluff. Well, the same applies to LinkedIn. Recruiters don't need to see every responsibility you have in your role. Most recruiters have a firm idea of what your responsibilities are given your job title and the company you work for. Instead, you should really focus on adding achievements, essential job responsibilities, and relevant facts about your role. For example, let's say you are a Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC). Instead of using the bullet points that state what you do, you can use them to let your network and recruiters know specific details! You could address detail such as the therapeutic areas you work in, the stages of a trial you have experience working on, whether you are a certified CRC, or if you are certified with phlebotomy or EKGs.
Why does this matter? Recruiters will search through 100s or 1000s of LinkedIn profiles daily, attempting to identify the best of the best for the jobs they are recruiting on. Even though this doesn't apply to us at DraftHire, that rumor about recruiters and hiring managers spending 7 seconds on a resume may not be much of a rumor. There is some truth to it, and the same applies to LinkedIn. Recruiters won't spend minutes reading each section of the profile. Instead, they are focused on identifying the minimum requirements and whether the profile hits on those "ideal candidate" qualities. By being concise and specific to what is unique or special about your role, you provide not only a clean and professional looking profile, but a recruiter-friendly one as well.
For the Overachiever
Connect with People – There are many reasons as to why you should do this, but here are a few. You will automatically become more discoverable as you can be found by your new connections' networks. More connections allow you to see more content and potentially more job opportunities that are shared by your network. A more extensive network shows recruiters that you are active on LinkedIn and gives them optimism that you'll respond to their outreach.
Use the About Section – The About section gives you a chance to show even more personality. If you want to be open about what roles you are looking for, this is a great place to do that. You can also add some quotes you love, information about yourself that makes you different than the masses, or even some of the core values you live by. Recruiters love when some glimpse of your personality is shown in the About section.
Change your LinkedIn Privacy Settings – If you want to be found by recruiters, you may want to consider making your profile more public. There are many privacy settings that you can edit under your account that will allow your profile information to be more readily available in searches. If you go to Settings then Privacy, check out the "How others see your profile and network information," "How others see your LinkedIn activity," and "Job seeking preferences." These are all settings that can be adjusted, but changing them is entirely up to you. Great recruiters will still find a way to connect with you, even if you want your profile to be private.
Attach special projects or even your resume – If you are unemployed or broadcasting that you are actively looking for a new role, you can attach your updated resume in the About section of your profile. This will make it very easy for recruiters to connect with you. Also, if you have permission to share presentations, media, or other project files, you can do that under the relevant Experience section. This will help to establish credibility in your industry or role, but it is not an essential step to take.