Fix My Job Search: I'm Ready for My Next Career Step and Want to Be in LinkedIn Search Results

By Wednesday, August 7, 2013 1 Permalink 46

I got the question below in response to my post on Four Things You Should Know About LinkedIn From the Recruiter Perspective:

Thank you for the helpful tips. I have a few questions pertaining to job titles on LinkedIn.

If someone wants to advance to the next professional level, what should the individual write on his or her LinkedIn profile to make the profile appear in searches results? For example, if a manager is seeking career opportunities as a director, what should the manager write, and where should the statement appear on the LinkedIn profile?

I’ve heard some people advise writing “Director” as the individual’s job title or headline while others advise against it.

Personally, I think it is unethical because it isn’t true. Is there an ethical way to appear in searches without misrepresenting oneself?

Some individuals have written “Open to career opportunities as a Director,” but this statement is long and is cut off on the “People You May Know” page and feeds. If this statement is written in the Summary, will the individual appear in searches for directors (or whatever job title the person writes)?

Thank you in advance for your response.

I’m going to answer this in a roundabout way. I think it’s necessary here.

Recruiters on LinkedIn are looking for people that have the skills and experience listed in the job description. They don’t really go on there to find folks who are looking to take the next step. Usually, they want people who are already there in terms of years and what they’ve done. With that said, I’d be less focused on a profile headline that conveys you’re looking for the next step, and more focused on highlighting the skills, experience, and appropriate titles for previous roles that make it easy to see you’re ready. In your headline, you can say Sr. [Job Title] or Experienced [Job Title]. No need to put Director if you aren’t one or “Aspiring Director” because it instantly confirms you are not one. If you must, you can put a line at the end of your professional summary that says “Currently seeking managerial level opportunities including roles such as X” and leave it at that. That will at least give you the keyword hit.

A good recruiter will search a range of titles including the titles for jobs just below and just above the one they’re looking to fill (keeping in mind different companies use different titles, which is why I recommended the general title route). For instance, I’m looking for a Documentation Manager at my current gig. The step below that is Sr. Technical Writer or Technical Writing Lead. I don’t just look for people with the title “Documentation Manager.” I also look for people with the Technical Writer title that have years of experience. They will more than likely be interested in the title change and have the core experience we’re looking for.

Also, you should know that headline or job title alone doesn’t make people rise to the top of search results. There are other factors to LinkedIn’s algorithm including endorsements for skills, keyword density, number of connections, etc. that determine where people fall in the search results.

Hope this helps!


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