How to Use LinkedIn: 5 Reasons Recruiters Aren’t Finding You

Apr 08, 2015 - Joe Matar
Are you tired of hearing about how your friends found great new jobs through LinkedIn? Sick of checking your stats and seeing zero profile views? You wish you knew how to use LinkedIn in a way that appealed to recruiters, but all you have is an empty message box. Don’t worry. It’s not too late to polish your profile so that it shows up in searches and appeals to recruiters and hiring managers. To attract the attention of the best recruiters with the best network of employers who have the perfect job for you, avoid these five LinkedIn profile mistakes. (Click here to tweet this list.)

1. Your picture is scaring recruiters away

You know that a photo on your LinkedIn profile is a must-have. So you found a friend to take your picture, and you used that for your profile. Let me ask you…did you remember to smile? Not a fake, plastic, “let’s get this over with” smile. I mean a warm, friendly, “yes I’m a wonderful person to know and work with” smile. With LinkedIn, a bad photo is even worse than no photo. A great photo is simple, clear, and professional. So make a great first impression with a smiling, friendly headshot against a neutral background.

2. You’re only “seeking opportunities”

I see a lot of LinkedIn headlines that simply read “seeking opportunities.” But what opportunity are you seeking? Here’s the thing. Recruiters search for candidates based on keywords related to the job they are filling. Typical LinkedIn search results show your photo, headline, and location and industry. They don’t usually include “opportunity” in their keyword list. Your headline must describe what you do and what you have to offer. You have 120 characters, and it will benefit you to use them all.

3. Your summary reads like a keyword inventory

Recruiters use Boolean searches based on keywords to find candidates. But you’re more than just a list of keywords, right? Your profile is essentially a marketing tool, and your summary is your chance to shine. Imagine your target audience. What do they want to know about you? What do you have to offer them? Your experience is more than just a list of your job duties. Introduce yourself. Write conversationally. Incorporate keywords while you talk about how you can help recruiters solve a problem or meet a need.

4. You’re completely invisible

You’re not really invisible, although that would be a cool superpower. But if you’re just sitting back and waiting for recruiters and hiring managers to see you, instead of actively engaging with your target audience, you might as well be invisible. Figure out which recruiters and corporate leaders you’re targeting. Join the same groups. Connect with the same people. Once you know who you’re targeting and where to find them, you can engage. Be active in the groups you both belong to. Comment on their posts. Put yourself where recruiters and hiring managers can see you.

5. Your only recommendation is from your college roommate

You might be thinking, “What’s the point of recommendations? It’s not like someone is going to write a bad recommendation!” True. But here’s the secret: it’s not about what the recommendation says. It’s about who wrote it. After all, business is really about who you know. A quick recommendation from your Marketing VP will mean a lot more than a glowing endorsement from Sally in the mail room. Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations. Of course, you must have a relationship with that person to begin with — but chances are, they’ll be happy to help.

Go ahead, change things up

When you imagine someone finding your profile in their search results, what do you want them to see? A profile list that doesn’t include yours, or your friendly photo and your engaging headline at the top of the list? Your LinkedIn profile is the best place to promote yourself online and get hired. But it only works if you optimize your profile. So avoid the five mistakes mentioned here at all costs. If you can take these crucial steps to polish your profile, you will attract attention from all the right people. Before you know it, you’ll have recruiters knocking down your door! Patti Fry is passionate about helping you achieve the career you’ve always wanted, and is an expert on all things Human Resources. For exclusive tips and tactics on navigating your career, click over to