To Get Hired: Be Found Where Recruiters Look

where recruiters lookToday, if you aren’t easy for recruiters to find and obviously qualified for the job they are trying to fill… you are invisible to them.

Recruiters today are in a hurry to fill their jobs. The reason they don’t take more time is simple: the majority of recruiters are measured on their “time-to-hire” — how quickly they fill job openings.

So, most recruiters don’t have, or take, the time to read a complete resume or social profile to determine if you would be a good fit for the job they are trying to fill. If you aren’t obviously qualified for their job opening, they move on to the next applicant or candidate.

So, if you are a job seeker, you need to be easy for them to find quickly. Your goal, then, is to be found on page one of Google/Bing/LinkedIn search results since very few searchers check the second or subsequent search results pages.

Here’s exactly how to do that in five steps:

1. Know the Job You Want

Being easy to find is not really very difficult, but you must know the work you want (at least for this moment) to be found on the first page of search results. Without focus, you won’t catch that busy recruiter’s attention because you won’t have the right keywords for your job (more on that next) and you won’t make your qualifications for that job visible and obvious.

You can change your mind about your target job next week, or even tomorrow, but for an effective job search today, you must know the job you are targeting. Vague I-don’t-want-to-limit-my-options goals are a waste of time now.

2. Know the Best Keywords for That Job

People often use vague language in resumes and social profiles in the hope that they will be considered for many different kinds of jobs or because they aren’t sure the job they really want.

Recruiters aren’t searching using vague language, like “marketing professional” or “experienced manager” because the requirements in job descriptions are not vague.

Remember that recruiters are in a hurry, so they are looking specifically for the job titles and skills required to do the job they are filling. So, for example, when filling a job for a “social media marketing analyst,” they will search on that job title and the skills required to do that job rather than vague (and possibly unqualified) “marketing professional.”

When you have identified your current target job (more specific than “marketing professional”), spend some time analyzing how employers describe that job. What skills, education, and experience are specified in their job descriptions? What job titles are used by your preferred employers for that job?

3. Use Your Best Keywords in Your Professional Visibility

For employers using Google and LinkedIn to find the right candidate, include your target keywords in your LinkedIn Profile, Google Plus, and other professional visibility online.

  • Include your target job title (keywords!) in your LinkedIn Professional Headline.
  • Describe your qualifications (with quantified accomplishments) that demonstrate your fit for your target job — more keywords.

LinkedIn is the 800 pound gorilla in the professional visibility  marketplace, currently, so start there. Google Plus is owned, obviously, by Google, so it’s a great spot (the About page) to tell Google what you want it to know about you.

Many other sites can provide you with good visibility to support your LinkedIn and Google Plus profiles. See Reputation Management for a list of sites where you can establish solid professional profiles to support your job search.

4. Use the Appropriate Keywords in Your Applications / Resume Submissions

If you are applying for a specific job, mirror the keywords used in the job description for the resume you submit. Maybe your current job title is “Admin Wizard” but you are applying for an “Admin Assistant” job which is essentially the same job with a more commonly used job title. So, combine the terms in your resume or application — “Admin Wizard / Admin Assistant.”

5. Stay Active and Keep Your Visibility up-to-Date

Posting a LinkedIn Profile and walking away is a waste of effort. LinkedIn is a “social network” and to be effective, you must visit it several times a week (daily is best). For a successful job search, my recommendation is to spend as much (or more) time on LinkedIn as you do on all your job boards combined.

Today’s job search is more complex than in the past. For both a successful job search and career, being visible is a requirement (except for spies). So, build your visibility while job hunting and then maintain it for your career to continue building your online reputation.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at WorkCoachCafe!




Susan-P-Joyce-AuthorAbout the Author: Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management since 2012, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.


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