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Can Recruiters Find You?

Having been a recruiter myself for over 15 years, job seekers often ask me how to work with top flight recruiters today. My reply is not what they usually want to hear. Top recruiters are already wired into their own network of potential candidates for the specific positions they work. Calls from outsiders or resumes sent blind to them rarely spark their interest.

Yet, there are some tools and techniques you can use to get yourself on the radar of the better recruiters who specialize in your field:

  1. Build a Solid, Up-to-date LinkedIn Profile

    Job search has evolved tremendously over the past 18 months with the explosion of Internet social networking sites. In fact, many recruiters today have the attitude that "if you're not online, you don't exist".

    Why? When it comes to sourcing job candidates, more recruiters and hiring managers prefer LinkedIn (even over Twitter and Facebook) to source and tap into new candidates and investigate new referrals. Of the hiring managers surveyed in a recent study (www.interbiznet.com), 66% visit LinkedIn, 23% visit Facebook and 16% use Twitter to find job candidates to fill openings.

    If you haven't done so already, visit both LinkedIn and Facebook to establish a profile page that describes who you are. Keep it professional, but spin it your way. Whet the appetites of visitors to your page. Describe yourself with a brief sentence, a Unique Selling Proposition. A USP is a one-sentence description that says who you are, what your biggest strength is and the greatest benefit you bring.

    For example: "Hands-on Operations Manager with strong people and team-building skills who has helped produce revenues of $2.8 million with a 22% margin for my previous employer."

    Place this sentence in your profile header as a starter to explain what distinguishes you from others in your field. Include your previous employers as well as the briefest descriptors about you.

  2. Add Your Profile URL to Your Resume

    Once you've built your profile, make sure you make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find you on the web. Add this link directly to your resume right under your contact information.

  3. Ask for LinkedIn Recommendations

    This is like having your referrals before you need them. Once again, you want to make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers. Provide them with good feedback about your work. A great way to do this is with LinkedIn recommendations. A recommendation is merely someone saying something good about you. Make a list of your past (and present) bosses, supervisors, colleagues and clients with whom you've either worked or done business. If they're on LinkedIn as well, they can provide you with a recommendation. Don't be afraid to ask since most will be more than glad to do this for you. Once done, you'll have a number of professional recommendations that will be easily seen by any who visit your profile page.

  4. Make Yourself Known as an Expert in Your Field

    You can also utilize tools like LinkedIn (and Facebook's) Groups, to reach out to widen your network. You'll find hundreds of groups on LinkedIn beyond the obvious ones dedicated to alumni and job search. With a little searching you'll also find groups of people dedicated to the advancement or discussion of their particular profession or industry and seeking solutions to specific problems.

    Since recruiters will often monitor selected groups that pertain to the industries they specialize in, it would be beneficial for you to join some of the most relevant groups in your profession or industry. Once a member, you can initiate new discussion threads for others to join in on. You can both ask a question and answer someone else's question. If your answer is selected as the most relevant or helpful, this gives you added visibility within the group. Recruiters definitely notice these people as they prove to be the movers and shakers within their profession. They make the short list for a check on your profile and a potential e-mail or LinkedIn direct message to your inbox.

    Summary

    Cold calling recruiters these days can be a pointless exercise. If you're unemployed, don't expect recruiters to beat a path to your door. Instead, position yourself to be found by the top recruiters who specialize in your profession or field. Start with LinkedIn as a tool to leverage yourself to get noticed and receive a coll. Once done, you can then move to incorporate both Facebook and Twitter in your job search marketing.

    - Joe Turner, the Job Search Guy™

    A former recruiter, Joe Turner spent 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. The author of Job Search Secrets UnlockedPaycheck 911, Joe also hosts his Job Search Guy Radio Show as well as weekly Resume Writing Workshops to thousands of job seekers across North America. You'll find Joe's free tips and advice on landing a job in this tough economy at: www.JobSearchGuy.com