7 Great LinkedIn Tips from Recruiter and Career Strategist Gary O’Neal

By Angela Loëb

I think Gary O’Neal is a LinkedIn guru.  He really knows his stuff and proved it during his presentation to the Austin Career Developers Network on Tuesday.

In case you don’t know him, Gary is a recruiting specialist and career strategist in Austin, Texas, where he does recruiting at HigherTech Consulting and is president at Talent Branders.  

As a recruiter, Gary seems to pretty much live on planet Linkedin.  He said that 60% of the hires he’s made in the last year or so have started and ended on LinkedIn.  As a career strategist, he provides an excellent perspective for job seekers.  He helps you see how to leverage this helpful tool so recruiters can find you.

When it comes to LinkedIn, here’s what Gary says…

… about key words:
1.  Flood your profile with key words.

2.  Put skillsets in your headline rather than your title. Don’t use the LinkedIn recommended “at” in the headline… as in Career Consultant at Great Occupations. When Gary searches LinkedIn, he uses skills as key words. Headlines are optimized and easy to spot in the list that pops up when he searches.

3.  Do a sort by key words and see how you do in the search list.  Where do you show up?  If you don’t show up near the top, you need to do some more tweaking.  Remember, putting your key words in the headliner is best.

…about being unemployed:
4.  It doesn’t matter to recruiters whether you’re unemployed or not.  However, they will conduct a search using “Current” in the advanced search options so they can weed out those who come up on the search with key words matches but who are not recently in the role needed.  So this means you would be best served by having a current work experience on your LinkedIn profile.  Put your name in the company field, put the title you’d be doing as soon as you’re hired and, if you want to, you can put something about what you’re seeking or what you’re up to while you’re job hunting in the description field.  You can always leave the description field blank if you’d prefer.  The point is to show up on the search.

…about target companies:
5.   Follow companies to get their updates.

6.   If you’re still trying to compile your list of target companies, pick one company you’d like to work for and find them on LinkedIn under company search.  Click “Check out insightful statistics about…” and then scroll down to see a list that shows where employees of that company worked before and a list that shows where they left to go work.  See if there are any new companies there that you’ve not heard of or thought of and then add them to your target list. 

…about being easy to contact:
7.  Put your phone number and/or email address in your headline. This is how Gary does it…


Angela Loëb is an author, speaker and co-owner of Great Occupations. She and her partner, Jay Markunas, help people make successful career transitions through workshops, “pajama learning” webclasses, personalized consulting sessions, as well as through The Job Search Boot Camp Show. Find out more at www.greatoccupations.com.

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