SPEAKER’S CORNER: Abby Kohut’s 5 Tips on How to become a Red Hot Job Candidate on LinkedIn

By Candace Waller
On September 6, LinkedIN expert Abby Kohut gave job searchers five tips on how to become a Red Hot job candidate on LinkedIn. Standing out among the thousands of people looking for jobs on LinkedIn is hard. LinkedIn has more than 175 million members with a new person joining every second. There are 130,000 recruiters on LinkedIn with 93 percent actively using it to fill positions.
Abby demonstrated how many names came up when a recruiters types in a job title.  In the advanced search Kohut typed in Administrative Assistant and 27,000 applicants came up. However she was able to narrow down the list to a few hundred savvy profilers because of the way they posted their information. Read on for tips on how you can become a Red Hot Job Candidate on LinkedIN.
Tip#1: Include keywords throughout your profile.
In the administrative assistant example, Kohut eliminated 25,000 applicants by inputting the keywords PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Although these are key skills for this position, most people did not include them on their profiles. Applicants at the top of the list had these keywords listed three to five times in their profiles.
The easiest way to find key words is to look over job descriptions and the profiles of people competing for similar job to see what words are used most often. Make sure that these words are listed throughout your profile.
Tip #2: Make sure that your profile is filled out 100 percent.
Many people are reluctant to put up a photo on LinkedIn for fear of discrimination. But recruiters want to see candidates. Applicants must include a photo to have a completed profile on LinkedIn.
Tip#3: Use box.net and slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/) to show examples of your work.
LinkedIn is a place to show off professionally, but most people only fill out their profiles and leave it at that. With box.net and slideshare applicants can upload:

  • A copy of their resume
  • Articles they wrote or articles written about them
  • Awards/recognitions
  • Pictures of yourself getting awards
  • Copies of degrees or certifications
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Projects (please note that care should be used when posting proprietary items.)

Slideshare and box.net are free, similar programs on LinkedIn with one key difference: When a user clicks on a profile with box.net they must double click on the icon to see the information. This is a good place to post your resume if it makes sense and you are comfortable doing this. Individuals with multiple resumes should avoid doing this because it might cause confusion if recruiters/hiring managers see multiple copies of your resume.
Slideshare posts a thumbnail of your information that will expand when a user clicks on it. The information is faced out and this is a great place to post a video recommendation or presentation.
Tip #4: Create a current job title that does not have an end date.
Many recruiters will screen out applicants in their search by only selecting applicants who are currently employed. Red Hot candidates research job titles they are looking to fill, then include them as job titles, using the term Free Agent as the company name. Using this tactic will help them get to the top of the list. 
Tip #5: Connect to other LinkedIn members and join groups whenever possible.
The more connections an applicant has, the more likely they will appear in the first few pages of a search. Applicants with fewer than 200 connections rarely get to the top of job search lists.
Red Hot candidates join and become active in groups to seek out members to connect with, and network with recruiters in the field they want to pursue. Connecting with recruiters can help candidates get to the top of the list because recruiters often have huge lists. Kohut says that she has more than 5,000 connections because she needs this to find applicants for positions she is looking to fill.
Following these five tips will put a job seeker well on their way to becoming a Red Hot candidate on LinkedIn.
Bonus Tip:
Kohut provided this bonus tip to further separate your profile from the masses. She advises Red Hot candidates to include an email address and contact number on their profile—which very few people do—so that when a recruiter or hiring manager finds you, they can immediately reach you.  Before you groan at all the spam and telemarketers calling during dinner hour, Kohut has a solution. She suggest setting up a separate job search email account on gmail and using Googlevoice (both FREE) to screen these communications.
Millions of people are on LinkedIn and millions are actively seeking work.  Red Hot candidates will follow Kohut’s tips to land that next position by showing themselves to their best advantage on LinkedIn.
A recruiter for 16 years and author of “Absolutely Abby’s 101 Job Search Secrets: A Corporate Recruiter Hands You the Keys to Your Job Search Success,” Abby Kohut has hired, by her count, more than 10,000 people. In 2009 she started AbsolutelyAbby.com where she shares job tips. She can be reached at: http://www.absolutelyabby.com/

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