Business

How to get a job without really trying

Posted July 30, 2018 12:22 p.m. EDT

Phone calls from recruiters. LinkedIn InMail messages. Signing bonuses. Some workers always seem to be in high demand.

Sure, they likely excel at their jobs and are highly qualified. But a few simple steps can help anyone get on - and stay on - recruiters' radars.

Hook them with your LinkedIn profile

A strong LinkedIn profile is key to catching the attention of recruiters.

"LinkedIn is the new r-sum-," said Sam Wholley, a partner at recruiting firm Riviera Partners. "We don't really work with r-sum-s very often."

Your profile should be a quick snapshot of who you are, the value and experience you can bring to a company, along with specific examples of your work.

A summary section of at least 40 words increases your chances of turning up in a search, according to Brendan Browne, vice president of global talent acquisition at LinkedIn.

"This section gets a lot of eyeballs," he said. "It is pretty much the first thing recruiters see."

The experience section should go into more detail with specific examples of accomplishments, work samples and any rich media like videos and articles.

"A recruiter needs to look at the profile and very quickly be able to absorb who you are, what you do and what makes you different than everyone else out there with that title," said Viveka con Rosen, author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day. "The more you can differentiate yourself and speak to future employers, the more likely a recruiter is going to spend time on that profile."

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The skills section is also important, according to Browne, who suggested having at least five relevant and specific skills listed. "This is a big section recruiters focus on," Browne said.

Adding a photo to your profile can also increase your exposure. A profile with a photo is viewed up to 21 times more than those without an image, and receives up to 36 times more messages, according to Browne.

Stay in the know

You never know where (or who) your next job offer is going to come from.

Staying in touch with former bosses and coworkers, going to industry conferences and networking events can all increase your chances of staying top of mind when positions become available.

But be picky about where you choose to spend your time.

"There is a lot of noise out there with networking events. It can be easy to be sucked into things that add no value," said Wholley.

Related: A guide to making friends at work

It's also important to have a good sense of what kind of jobs are out there so you know what employers are looking for.

Create tailored alerts from various job search websites to stay up-to-date on open positions. Then fine-tune your profile to attract more recruiters.

"Let these opportunities land in your inbox," said Vicki Salem, a career expert at Monster.com. "Keep yourself aware of what is out there."

Master an elevator pitch

Sought-after candidates tend to have an elevator pitch that effectively - yet succinctly - tells people about themselves.

They can rattle this off when meeting new people to open up any potential doors down the road.

But it needs to be short: say who you are, what you are looking for and what experience and skills you bring to the table.

"Speak confidently, don't let your voice go up at the end of sentences and seem excited and confident," said Salem.