10/31/15 By Jennifer Brown

linked-inAlthough numerous online job boards and recruiting resources exist today, LinkedIn still dominates the recruiting world in terms of networking and identifying new opportunities. However, any system as robust as LinkedIn with millions of users can be a bit overwhelming – giving you that “trying to find a needle in a haystack” feeling. Understanding how the system works will help yield stronger matching profiles and the talent you seek. Below you will find a few strategies to help maximize your next LinkedIn search (NOTE: The strategies below relate to the free version of LinkedIn that most people have. LinkedIn does offer more powerful recruiting tools at a price):

Keywords can make or break your search results on LinkedIn. Be specific, but at the same time try to not limit yourself. Best to start broad and then narrow down. Using Boolean search strings can help optimize your results even further. Along the same lines, when it comes to searching by title, do not limit yourself to a specific one. Different companies call the same position different things. Know your industry, know the lingo.

Join industry-specific groups on LinkedIn that you can target for current and future job openings. No need to pay to post a job. You can simply post a short blurb about the opportunity in the group’s discussion section. You will want to include the title, a brief summary on what the position entails/skills you need, company name and website, location, and your contact information or instructions on how to apply. Keep it energetic and concise.

Your Profile
Make sure your profile is up-to-date. Any candidate that you send a message to or who views a job you posted will most likely want to view your profile before responding. Make sure you have a completed profile – specifically, with details on your current company (include a link to the company website), a brief summary of your areas of expertise (summary section), and a professional (friendly) picture.

If you are not already connected to someone, InMail is the most efficient way to communicate with new, potential talent. Of course, in order to have InMail, you must upgrade to one of the advanced LinkedIn packages. Good news is this can be as low as $50 per month (a bit higher if you want more bells and whistles).

Looking through hundreds of profiles and resumes to find “the one” is by far the most time consuming aspect of recruiting. LinkedIn is an amazing tool for networking and finding new talent for your organization. Knowing a few tricks of the trade will help save time, money, and frustration. If we can be of help to you in using LinkedIn or in finding talent, let me know. Good luck with your search!