You may or may not work directly with a recruiter to find a job. But outside your list of usual contacts there are many recruiters who are working to fill specific roles. They could be scouring the Internet for profiles that fit their clients' needs, or calling companies that employ the talent they seek.
To be found by industry recruiters, it's essential to either come recommended from a colleague, or to have an online presence that shows you have the specific experience their clients seek. Are you positive that these recruiters can find you?
Here's how to be found online:
1. LinkedIn Groups
You know you need a LinkedIn profile to be found by hiring managers and recruiters. But if you're not taking advantage of all of the site's features, recruiters could overlook your profile--no matter how qualified you are.
Completing your profile with more information than just your employment history will help you come up on a short list for recruiters looking for specific industry experience.
LinkedIn Groups exist for virtually every category. Recruiters scour them to find profiles of relevant industry professionals who might not already be in their network, but are connected to those who are. If you're actively participating in an industry group, you're likely to catch the eye of a recruiter in your field.
The site's Answers section is another place you could get involved. Here, people ask questions you're qualified to answer. Your profile is highlighted by responding, and more people (recruiters included) can find you.
Blogs are great for search engine optimization (SEO), and recruiters spend a lot of time searching online. Say you want a job in product management, and your blog provides training tips for product managers. If you write a post about productivity, a recruiter should be able to stumble across your blog simply by searching.
The key with blogs is keeping your content fresh and updated. While older content is archived and capable of being found, new posts are more likely to impress and give recruiters a sense that you're actively involved in your niche. Make sure your blog lists your contact information on a page or in a post; this makes it easier for recruiters to get in touch with you.
3. Other Social Sites
Twitter is becoming the new channel for job hunting. Recruiters can easily search for people there, or take the more subtle approach of posting job openings and seeing who responds. The site is also a quick way for recruiters to skim your profile and gauge whether or not to connect with you before researching further.
That being said, you have to make your Twitter profile searchable for recruiters. Use keywords (like your job title preference) and make sure your tweets are about your industry and occupation of choice. Follow companies and recruiters in your space and engage with them online. Keep your profile picture and background professional.
Don't leave out Facebook and Google +. It's best to have all your bases covered, as different recruiters will focus more on some social sites than others. Aim for consistency in your personal branding: If your goal is to be hired, use your privacy settings wisely.
Maintaining Them All
It can be overwhelming to update your profiles on each of these sites regularly, blog several times a week, and look for a job all at the same time; especially if you're still employed. By blocking out some time each day, you can improve your job search by positioning yourself to be found by recruiters. They might have opportunities you wouldn't know about otherwise.
Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.
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