If you want to be found and chosen by recruiters with jobs to fill, you need to understand how and where they look for candidates.
The first thing to clarify is that recruiters don’t work for YOU. Their clients are the corporations who have hired them to help fill available positions with appropriate candidates.
Candidates are people like you, whether employed or in career transition, who are actively managing their careers by being open to opportunities. Recruiters’ clients have very specific needs and niches they have to fill. That’s why you must be on their radar all the time, even when you’re gainfully employed.
These days, recruiters have their radars pointed at social media. According to Jobvite’s 6th Annual Social Recruiting Survey (2013), 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts. Some have even dropped their databases altogether and are solely relying on social media.
They use social networks at each stage of the hiring process, from keeping tabs on potential candidates, to making initial contact, to vetting candidates before and after an interview.
On LinkedIn, recruiters are looking mainly at things like professional experience, length of professional tenure, and specific skills. On Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social sites, they’re also assessing how well a candidate fits the company culture, and your industry knowledge and connections.
Because we know this is the trend, I tend to be blunt on this topic:
Not being on social media is like committing career suicide!
Make it easy for recruiters to find you by using key buzzwords in your profiles that match the niche needs they must fill. To help YOU be more keyword-savvy in your social media profiles, download a complimentary copy of An Elite Guide to Resume Keywords.
To stay on their radar you need to stay in touch, but no one wants to hear from YOU only when in disaster mode. Remember that an introduction is only the beginning. If you’ve met in person, follow up with a personalized and articulate LinkedIn invitation.
Once you’re connected with a recruiter online, keep in touch regularly with updates about your career milestones and interests, relevant articles about your industry, and helpful resources. That way they’ll be more likely to see and think of you when opportunities come up that are a good match.