How to make your LinkedIn profile easy for recruiters to find


  • Recruiters regularly search for keywords using “and”, or “or” no “in their searches to find potential candidates on LinkedIn. This is called Boolean logic.
  • Three recruiters told Business Insider how job seekers can optimize their profiles for the Boolean methodology.
  • They suggested including keywords on your profile and resume that are relevant to your background and the roles that interest you.
  • If you can’t find the right words, pick three to five words from job descriptions and think about different ways recruiters might search for specific titles.
  • It is possible to overdo it when it comes to optimizing your profile, so avoid keyword stuffing and using outdated and unnecessary terms.
  • Visit the Insider home page for more stories.

Boolean logic – if this sounds like a sentence straight out of an algebra textbook, that’s because it is. Developed by a 19th century mathematician, this search method allows people to search for information using expressions “and”, “or” or “not” and is widely used by recruiters as a way to filter candidate profiles with efficiency and speed.

And job seekers who want to increase their visibility – making sure their information appears among the results when filters intended to narrow the scope of applicants are applied – can benefit if they take the time to learn the ins and outs. outcomes of this approach.

“Most recruiters use Boolean logic, which is essentially advanced keyword research, to search for potential candidates on LinkedIn,” said George Atuahene, founder and CEO of Kofi Group, an executive search company that helps startups funded by VC and funded by investors like Andreessen. Horowitz hires technical talent.

The three words mentioned above – “or”, “and” and “not” – along with quotes, brackets and other symbols help define what appears in search results on LinkedIn, databases. company, applicant tracking systems, job boards. , and more, and helps recruiters select candidate profiles that contain specific desired keywords.

“LinkedIn alone has over 706 million users, so it would be almost impossible to sort through the thousands of potential candidates without an advanced keyword search,” he said.

“Candidates who want to gain more attention from recruiters should intentionally include skill-based keywords on their LinkedIn profile that relate to their area of ​​expertise,” he added.

For example, full-stack JavaScript engineers should include the specific names of client-side frameworks they have experience with (such as React.JS, Angular, Ember, etc.) as well as server-side and infrastructure-side keywords. and containerization (such as like NodeJS, AWS, GCP, Kubernetes, etc.).

The candidates Atuahene advised to make this kind of change increased their inbound messages from recruiters by over 300%.

“In fact, some of our candidates have increased their inbound messages from recruiters and hiring managers tenfold just by adding a keyword,” he said.

Recruiters use Boolean searches to find candidates with the right credentials and skills

Atuahene shared a real-life example that a recruiter on his team used to search for a software engineer on LinkedIn:

(“engineer” OR “developer”) AND “node” AND “react” AND (“aws” OR “gcp”)

“This means that LinkedIn will return search results for profiles containing the keywords ‘Node’ and ‘React’, as well as the various cloud-related titles and keywords that are in parentheses,” he said. .

Other variations of the Boolean search string above could include keywords like “IT” and “product development,” he added.

For another job, such as a data scientist or machine learning engineer, Atuahene explained that a potential search string might look like:

(“scientist” OR “engineer”) AND “python” AND (“machine learning” OR “decision tree” OR “regression”)

And for a high performing SaaS sales position, their team would use the following:

(“account manager” OR “sales” OR “business development”) AND “saas” AND “quota” AND “club of presidents”

“This is precisely why it is crucial to ensure that your LinkedIn profile and resume contain specific keywords that are both relevant to your recent experience and the job opportunities that interest you,” he said. -he declares.

“If multiple skills are required for a position, we can use ‘and’ to ensure that only candidates who have each of those skills listed appear,” added Amanda Daering, who worked in recruiting and human resources for Northwestern Mutual, Compuware and Centare, before launching his own HR and recruiting firm, Newance, which helped place candidates at high growth startups and venture capital firms. “We could use ‘no’ to eliminate a common word that might not apply to a given role. For example, if I see too many recruiters rather than engineers appearing in the search, I might add “NO recruiter” to remove them from the results. “

Jim Goldfarb, senior vice president of Atlantic Partners Corp, a recruiting agency used by Fortune 500 companies, which has over 25 years of experience and has placed candidates at Prudential Insurance, Morgan Stanley, WebMD and UBS, has stated that his company uses “and” and “or” the most. “Gold” helps their company expand the pool of potential candidates, while “and” helps them “eliminate” profiles that do not match the key criteria they are looking for.

Where job seekers can get ideas on what keywords to include on their LinkedIn profiles

Take a look at the keywords used in job descriptions for the positions that interest you, Atuahene said. Select three to five to get started and see if you can identify any patterns in the keywords.

“Focus on the ‘experience required’ and ‘experience preferred’ sections,” he added. If certain keywords appear multiple times in the three to five job descriptions – and they are relevant to your background – then incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile and resume, including details on how and where you got. used these skills.

Daering added that it can be useful to think about the different ways a recruiter can search for a given job title.

“For example, a job description might list ‘project management’ rather than ‘PM’,” she said. “A good Boolean search might include ‘project manag * AND PM’, but making sure to check for these gaps will help a job seeker be found without relying on the recruiter’s Boolean skills. This spelling on project manag * is intentional, like an asterisk allows you to search for partial words such as manager or managed. “

Goldfarb recommended that applicants who have used a technology, system, or program in the past include it in their CV or LinkedIn. While any web developer can say that they have created “beautiful websites using the latest technology,” that is not what recruiters are looking for.

Keyword placement, frequency and recommendations matter

LinkedIn ranks results higher based on how often a given search keyword is used, the height of the keyword on the profile, and how many people have approved someone for that skill, according to Atuahene. .

In light of this, he recommended candidates assess which keywords would best suit their LinkedIn title as well as the descriptions for each position listed under ‘experience’ and which skills to add (and look for recommendations for) their ‘skills. and recommendations ”section.

For example, software engineers who have worked with Node and React for several years may consider changing their title to read: “Software Engineer | Node and React ”.

“That alone will give you a huge advantage when it comes to appearing on the first page of search results,” Atuahene said.

But no one benefits from irrelevant keyword stuffing

While it’s certainly helpful to use the same keyword or phrase multiple times, it only does so if those words are relevant to a candidate’s experience.

“For example, if you started your career working with C ++ and now work with Node, assuming you want to continue working with Node, it would be better not to mention C ++ at all or just mention it. just once down your profile, ”Atuahene mentioned.

“As long as the keywords you use are supported by the actual work you did and are incorporated into full sentences on your profile, then there are too many keywords,” he added. .

Include examples and recommendations that support the keywords you’ve used and avoid dated information and jargon

“Adding a portfolio with recent projects, a link to a website with your bio, a cover letter or a recommendation letter can go a long way in converting your profile views into real job opportunities,” Atuahene said.

Having 10-20 keywords in your LinkedIn summary can help you show up in search results and lead to profile views, but this approach won’t necessarily translate into interview opportunities.

“Many hiring managers have started to use a term called ‘alphabet soup’ for the section at the top of resumes where many applicants seem to indiscriminately list all the keywords they have heard of that might come up. relate to the job they’re applying for, but most of the time applicants who do this only have a solid background with less than half of the keywords on their CV, ”Atuahene added.

For a more strategic approach, applicants should focus on five to 10 of the most popular and relevant keywords. And, according to Goldfarb, the inclusion of outdated technology or programs that no one has ever heard of can be seen as a red flag by recruiters.


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