Sales job security can be tenuous so it pays to keep all your options open. This article provides some tips on how you can stay visible to sales recruiters on LinkedIn — whether you are job hunting or not.
As a top performing salesperson, you already understand the value of being connected on LinkedIn. You know that a strong social media presence is essential in attracting the right recruiters that can open doors to a hidden job market. And, you know that access to the hidden job market will benefit you in achieving your career goals.
Research shows that approximately 65-75% of LinkedIn members are passive candidates and 15-20% are ‘Tiptoers’ – those who are casually looking for another job. On the other hand, active job seekers make up 5-20% of the total talent market. With over half of these employed job-seekers indicating they are satisfied with their current roles, it is evident that employed professionals understand the benefits of being open to recruiting opportunities.
Lou Adler, author of Performance Based Hiring, conducted a survey on the job market and found that 85% of jobs are filled through networking and recruitment efforts – making LinkedIn an invaluable tool to getting hired.
Further, according to a study conducted by the job matching website The Ladders, in today’s work economy, half of all jobs are not advertised publicly. That means it’s more important than ever to network on social platforms like LinkedIn.
Even if you are not actively job hunting, LinkedIn can keep you visible to recruiters and in tune with the hiring scene in your industry. Recruiters are always networking, so maintaining a strong working relationship with them can be beneficial to your long term strategic career goals. Even if you’re happily employed today, it’s likely that at some point in your career you will seek a change – so knowing what opportunities are out there is critical.
In the same way the best salespeople understand the value of this social platform, top recruiters rely on the power of LinkedIn for their own prospecting and networking goals. According to Jobvite’s 2015 Recruiter Nation survey, 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates. In fact, only 4 percent recruiters don’t use social media as a part of their recruitment efforts.
LinkedIn has become an invaluable tool in the B2B sales recruitment process because it’s where recruiters research, identify, and attract top sales talent. Further, LinkedIn affords recruiters access to some of the most proactive and well connected talent in sales. Having a LinkedIn presence indicates that you understand the power of networking, a valuable sales skill.
How Top Salespeople Optimize their LinkedIn Profiles
As the largest professional network in the world, LinkedIn is a powerful tool to advance your career. Taking advantage of the LinkedIn’s reach begins with a professional, well-crafted profile. It must be clear and concise and provide valuable information to the reader. Great salespeople optimize their profiles with keywords that highlight your sales skills and achievements and an updated summary of your sales career milestones.
Sales recruiters are looking for results like attained quota percentage, close rates, new customer acquisitions, and lead conversions. Recruiters want to know what percentage of quota you have attained, and who you did it for. Here are four ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
1. Use keywords
The summary is the first thing people see when they visit your profile. Highlight your experience and qualifications in your headline and summary to ensure you rank high in search results. For example, if you are an Account Executive in Software Sales with Client Management experience, include these terms in your summary, not only in your work history. It will make it easier for recruiters who are researching candidates with these qualifications to find you. The LinkedIn ranking algorithm emphasizes keywords in the headline and summary of your profile.
Recruiters use specific roles and job titles when inputting their search terms. They will also want to know about your customers – both past and present.
2. Join Sales Related Groups
Joining relevant sales groups will show recruiters that you are actively involved in the sales industry. It can highlight that you are looking to expand your contact base and willing to enhance your selling skills.
If you join groups related to your industry, other members are able to contact you by bypassing the 1st connection requirement set by LinkedIn. This streamlines the process of connecting with others. Not only are group members able to reach out to you without being a connection, but you are also able to showcase your expertise to a wider audience.
Here are 7 must-join sales related LinkedIn groups:
- Inside Sales Experts
- The Sales Association
- Sales Best Practices
- Sales 2.0
- Sales and Marketing Alignment
- Sales Gravy
- B2B Sales, Marketing, Social Media & Lead Generation
3. Build Connections and Engage Your Community
Rather than simply joining sales related groups, top salespeople engage in them on a regular basis. A simple way to do this is to comment on an article a recruiter or fellow sales professional has published or shared. This demonstrates thought leadership, displays engagement, and creates a more natural relationship should a recruiter ever reach out to you.
As you progress in your career, developing and maintaining a professional network can expose you to lucrative job opportunities. Sharing your ideas and thoughts on the selling process through posts and comments will help recruiters get to know you better. That may put you near the top of the list when they are looking for qualified candidates for particular open positions.
4. Include a Professional Photo
Your profile picture should be professional and simple. Profiles with a photo are viewed 7 times more frequently than profiles with no photo, so it’s an important element in optimizing your digital presence for networking success.
When developing your LinkedIn profile, be mindful of how quickly first impressions develop. Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov conducted research on how long it takes to develop a first impression. They found it only takes 100 milliseconds to form an impression of someone just from looking at a photo of their face. This is based primarily on two factors—how competent and trustworthy you come across to others. Research published by Photo Feeler, a website that provides feedback on how you are perceived in professional profiles, also found that these two factors improve other’s perceptions of you.
Your profile photo is the first step in establishing credibility and trust. Dress professionally, keep the background simple and clutter free, and show a natural smile. Shots from mid-body or shoulders are best. Avoid black and white photos or pictures with excessive color saturation.
Create a Powerful First Impression and Get Noticed by Recruiters
Nearly one in four professionals engage in professional networking on a monthly basis, even while satisfied in their sales roles. This can include maintaining an updated resume, researching potential job opportunities, or engaging with a LinkedIn group or on other social media. Recruiters spend a good deal of time on social media so it’s a good place to be found and recognized for your sales experience and expertise.
The overall impression created by the content and look of your LinkedIn profile will set the tone for how others interact with you. It’s in your best interest to make the first impression a lasting one.
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