Help recruiters find you.
There are many different ways you can get noticed by a hiring manager or recruiter that don't involve your scanning job boards for hours. In the age of digital identities, it's now possible to even the playing field and have the recruiter find you. There are many ways you can market yourself online, from traditional LinkedIn to getting proactive and publishing your own work.
However, before you begin making yourself digitally available, it's crucial to find out where you are already mentioned online so that you're aware of what a potential recruiter will find when they search your name. Perform a quick digital self-audit and Google your name to see what results come up. Scan the first five pages of Google for any results about you, and then jump into Google images to see if any of your photos appear. If anything pops up that you wouldn't want a recruiter to see, go to the source and delete it.
Next, go to your social media accounts and check your privacy settings. Make sure that the photos and comments that can be viewed by the public will not damage your job search.
It's also a good idea to streamline your social media accounts. Choose a professional profile photo and write a sensible bio for each account so that if a recruiter finds you online, it will help your chances, not hinder them.
After you've completed your digital self-audit, it's time to assess how digitally available you are. Here are five ways you can help a recruiter find you online.
1. Build a detailed LinkedIn profile
Every worker should know the value of LinkedIn. Recruiters certainly do. This popular social networking site is the main digital hub for professionals, which means it will be a recruiter's first stop when looking online for talent. To help a recruiter find you, you need a profile.
Create a LinkedIn profile that reflects who you are and the work you do. That means adding detail ‒ not just filling out the bare minimum; a professional photo, attention-grabbing summary, comprehensive skills list and thorough experience section are all necessary.
To make sure a recruiter knows you are available, use LinkedIn's #OpenToWork feature. By being clear that you are a viable option, someone may be keener to reach out to you about an opportunity.
2. Create a personal website
A professional portfolio is not just reserved for the creative arts. These days, it's easy for professionals within any industry to create a personal website showcasing their experience and value. A website is a chance to promote your personal brand, detail your skills and industry experience and provide a method of contact for a potential employer.
3. Make a professional Twitter account
You know all about finding job listings on social media platforms like LinkedIn, but have you considered using Twitter as a job-search sidekick?
Set up a 'work' Twitter account, separate from your personal one, and include a professional photo and bio detailing who you are and what you do. Follow as many organisations and individuals within your industry as you like. In particular, follow companies that you would ideally like to work for. Use your account to stay updated on the latest industry news, post status updates that are relevant to your job and comment on tweets from target companies. Twitter can be a useful social media platform and way to get noticed online and even strike up a conversation with a hiring manager.
4. Create a profile on relevant job boards
If you're in the middle of searching for a new role, you should already be doing this one. However, it is surprising how many job seekers don't take advantage of these tools.
If you want recruiters to find you online, you need to set up a profile on job boards such as Reed and Indeed, and you need to turn on the 'CV Visibility' option. By selecting this option, recruiters and hiring managers who are registered with these job boards will be able to access your CV and contact you with your provided email address for potential vacancies.
It's completely up to you whether you allow this, but it's a great way to broaden the job search and make you accessible to recruiters.
5. Write an industry-specific article
Imagine this: A hiring manager conducts a search online using keywords to find candidates with your job title (for example, PR Coordinators in London). Among the top search results is a blog post you have written about a current event happening in your industry. They're impressed. They look at your bio and find a link to your LinkedIn profile page with your contact information and voila! You've just been scouted by a hiring manager.
Publishing job-specific content online is a great way to show off your industry knowledge and position yourself as an expert within your field. It also provides another avenue through which a hiring manager can find you.
Don't worry ‒ you don't need to start your own blog to write about topics relevant to your industry. Platforms like Medium make it simple to publish your articles for free.
6. Join industry-specific organisations
It's important to know who's who in your industry. Who are the main industry bodies? Do they offer memberships? Often, if you are a member of an industry body you will have a member profile on their website, and this can be a great opportunity to network and promote yourself to others in your industry.
To get started, conduct a search for relevant organisations and browse their websites for membership options.
Is it OK to reach out to a recruiter?
What if you've taken these steps and the right person hasn't reached out to you? Is it OK to reach out to a recruiter yourself? The good news is that yes, you can ‒ as long as you do it correctly.
There are a number of means of communication, but the best are email and LinkedIn. If you can locate the recruiter's email, perhaps on the company's main website, you can message them directly. On LinkedIn, find their profile and send a connection request, and use the personalisation feature to add a note; include your message there.
When you compose your message, brevity is the name of the game. A recruiter's time is limited, and it reflects well on you the show that you respect that. Quickly introduce yourself, share a detail of your background and describe your goals. Then, ask to speak further, including the specifics of what you'd like to discuss. For example:
'Hi Mr. Li,
My name is Sandra Johnson. I've been a Graphic Designer for Superunion for eight years, but I've found myself looking for a new challenge. I'd love the opportunity to talk over how my skills and experience in the industry align with the positions you are recruiting for. Would you be willing to chat? Thanks for your time!'
The job market today is drastically different than even five years ago. There is a plethora of online tools available to help you get further along in your search for a new job, and the list is only growing. With a little time and attention spent on creating your online identity, you can make yourself digitally available and get noticed by the right hiring manager.
Make sure your CV is solid before sharing it online. Submit it for a free CV review today!
This article was updated in March 2021. It contains work written by Lauren Settembrino.