Did you know that 95% of recruiters are on LinkedIn looking for the right job candidates? With LinkedIn’s recruitment tools (LinkedIn Recruiter and Recruiter Lite), it is now easier than ever for recruiters to source candidates in a sea of 850 million users.

As a job seeker, you cannot underestimate how much a LinkedIn recruiter can help you land your dream job. But first, you need to understand how they use LinkedIn to sort through potential candidates and how you can get your LinkedIn profile to appear at the top of their list.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about getting recruited on LinkedIn, plus expert tips from reputable recruiters.

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What are LinkedIn Recruiter and Recruiter Lite?

Although talent sourcing methods differ, almost every hiring manager or recruiter uses one of LinkedIn’s two talent acquisition solutions: LinkedIn Recruiter or Recruiter Lite.

  • LinkedIn Recruiter assists enterprises, companies, and agencies in locating and engaging prospects for their extensive sourcing needs.  
  • Recruiter Lite is a pared-down version of LinkedIn Recruiter that assists recruiters in small-to-medium firms with low-volume employment needs.
LinkedIn Recruiter versus Recruiter Lite

Through LinkedIn Recruiter and Recruiter Lite, recruiters can use keywords and filters to narrow potential candidates and find only the best prospects in the industry. 

How LinkedIn Recruiter search works

LinkedIn Recruiter allows recruiters and hiring managers to find the right fit for open positions by using advanced search filters such as field of study, location, years of experience, skills, job titles, and other keywords. 

Recruiters can also get granular with their search by using the Spotlight section, where they can choose to see only those candidates who: 

  • Are open to work
  • Are more likely to respond
  • Have connections within the company
  • Are engaged with talent brand
  • Have already applied before

Read our full guide here: Job Seeker’s Guide to LinkedIn Recruiter Search

While recruiter’s sourcing techniques vary, virtually everyone uses LinkedIn during the hiring process. You can improve your LinkedIn Recruiter search ranking by optimizing key sections of your LinkedIn profile.

Jobscan’s LinkedIn Optimization tool helps automate this process by analyzing your profile against relevant job descriptions and industry data. Try it now.


94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet job candidates. Optimize your LinkedIn profile and show that you’re a recruiter’s perfect candidate.

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How do you get recruiters to find you on LinkedIn?

To increase your chances of getting to the top of a recruiter’s list, you need to do two critical things:

  • First, you need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized for LinkedIn’s search algorithms by incorporating relevant keywords into your profile sections. This way, you can appear in the search results and increase the chances that the recruiter will open your profile.

How do you optimize your profile to get recruited on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn Recruiter and Recruiter Lite algorithms factor in your profile sections and user activity when generating search results. Because of this, you need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized with keywords that recruiters might look for. 

Here are the most important sections with actual tips from recruiters.

1. LinkedIn Headline

The profile headline is weighted heavily in LinkedIn’s search algorithms as well as recruiter behavior. 

A recruiter is likely to begin their search with specific job titles, and candidates with a matching job title in their headline will appear higher in results.

Read our full guide: 18 Impactful LinkedIn Headline Examples from Real People

Check out this video for specific examples of winning LinkedIn headlines: 

2. Job Titles

The next most prominent piece of information shown in search results is your current and past job titles.

“I would argue that [the job title] is your most important field, and would strongly recommend that you use the [available] characters to its full potential,” writes Levi Lewis, a search engine expert who researched LinkedIn’s search functions during his own job search. 

For example:

Instead of just putting “Project Manager,” you can say “Project Manager, eCommerce Customer Experience for Checkout, Cart, and Post-order.”

LinkedIn Recruiter search - keywords
LinkedIn Recruiter top results for a “Data Scientist” keyword search in Seattle, WA. Top candidates have the job title/keyword in their headline, current job title, and at least one past job title.

Pro Tip: The specific wording of your job titles is also important! Tweak your job title to incorporate common terminology used in your industry or match the exact job title of the position you are interested in when possible.

“With title, there’s not necessarily a standardization,” Jonathan White, a senior recruiter with both agency and in-house experience, told Jobscan. “You can be a front-end engineer, but maybe at your company, they call you front-end developers, software developers, or web developers. There’s a lot of different titles for any given skillset.”

3. Keywords

Past experience can give recruiters and hiring managers a good idea of a candidate’s capabilities, but they are also highly likely to search for specific skills or keywords. Recruiters can do this by using LinkedIn Recruiter’s built-in skills filtering tool or by plugging all relevant terms into the search bar.

Pro Tip: Keywords are the building blocks of your LinkedIn profile. If you want to attract hiring managers, ensure you make use of the right keywords.

“I go into a keyword search and put in different buzzwords that I pull from the specific job description,” says White. “If I was looking for a front-end developer, I would put in Javascript, CSS, HTML, HTML5…”

LinkedIn Recruiter Skills
Skills filtering in LinkedIn Recruiter (Data Scientist).

Keywords make the biggest impact on LinkedIn search ranking when they appear in a profile headline or job title, but they can also be placed in job descriptions and the LinkedIn profile summary

Skills and keywords listed in your “Skills & Endorsements” section are searchable but not weighted as highly as keywords in other sections.

Tips on how to optimize LinkedIn profile to get noticed by recruiters

Jobscan LinkedIn Optimization scans your LinkedIn profile and analyzes it against three or more job descriptions you provide, adding a level of keyword personalization missing from general advice and best practices.

4. About Section or LinkedIn Summary

Your LinkedIn summary or About section is a great place to incorporate relevant keywords. These keywords could be industry-related or experience-based. However, a mixture of both would be helpful, depending on your experience. 

To boost your LinkedIn profile’s visibility, use keywords in your profile summary that a hiring manager could type into a search box.

Read our full guide: How to Write a Powerful LinkedIn Summary: Examples and Tips

5. Location

Recruiters aren’t only looking for the right skills. They’re looking for candidates who are likely to accept the job offer. Because of this, some recruiters are more likely to target local candidates at the beginning of their search.

“When I searched for candidates in LinkedIn Recruiter, I’d typically begin with the location,” says White. “I’d keep it under a 20-mile radius. Sometimes I would even [search within] five miles.”

LinkedIn Recruiter location filtering

You can’t qualify for localized searches without adding your location to your LinkedIn profile. 

Pro Tip: Specify which cities you’re willing to relocate to in your “Career interests” settings. When logged into LinkedIn, click “Jobs” in the top navigation bar. Then, click “Career interests” under the search bar to update your location preferences and other settings.

LinkedIn Jobs career interests location setting

6. LinkedIn Profile URL

Having a custom profile URL is beneficial to ranking in LinkedIn search results. When a hiring manager using LinkedIn Recruiter or Recruiter Lite searches for keywords you have used, a custom URL can help your profile rank higher.

For example:

A default URL looks like this: www.linkedin.com/in/john-doe-08b73111b/

You can create a custom profile URL by changing the default URL to: www.linkedin.com/in/john-doe-san-francisco/ 

Or

www.linkedin.com/in/john-doe-project-manager/

Creating a custom URL also looks better when included on a resume and helps your LinkedIn profile carry more weight in external search results. If a recruiter or hiring manager googles your name and position, a custom URL can help improve your profile’s rank.

What else is keeping recruiters from finding you?

Here are a few more things that keep recruiters from finding your LinkedIn profile, plus tips from experts.

1. Lack of measurable results
White: “Bullet points are good, but knowing what you really did and accomplished is even better.”

2. Unexplained job hopping and temp gigs
White: “If they have changed jobs every year for the last five or six years, what’s gonna keep them here?”

3. Incomplete education info
As with location, forgetting to include your complete educational information (including grad date) could cause you to be filtered out of search results right off the bat.

4. Not enough connections
Lewis: “The more common connections you have with a searcher (recruiter or hiring manager), the higher your profile will be in the results when they search words relevant to your profile.” Recruiters can also specify degrees of connection in their searches. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the more likely you’ll be a 2nd-degree connection to a recruiter.

Key Takeaways

Here are important points to remember:

  • Landing your dream job through LinkedIn is possible only if your LinkedIn profile is optimized for LinkedIn Recruiter’s search algorithms and the recruiters themselves.
  • Improve your profile’s performance by strategically including key information in all the right places.
  • Incorporate relevant keywords that recruiters would search for in your LinkedIn profile sections.
  • Indicate your location in your profile and specify locations you are willing to relocate to.
  • Regularly update your LinkedIn profile even when you are not actively looking for a job. 

Check out Jobscan LinkedIn optimization to receive tips tailored to your profile and job search.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is LinkedIn Recruiter?

LinkedIn recruiter is a talent acquisition solution that assists enterprise recruiters in locating and engaging prospects for their sourcing needs. 

What is Recruiter Lite?

LinkedIn Recruiter Lite is also a talent acquisition solution, but it assists individuals working in small-to-medium firms with low-volume employment needs.

What does LinkedIn Recruiter do?

LinkedIn Recruiter allows recruiters and HR professionals to source job candidates more effectively by using advanced searches and filters.

Is LinkedIn recruiting worth it?

Yes. LinkedIn is the #1 professional networking site, with over 57 million companies and 850 million users on the platform. If a recruiter wants to easily scout candidates, LinkedIn is the best place to start sourcing.

To rank highly in a LinkedIn search, you need to optimize for:

  1. LinkedIn’s search algorithms, which consider a variety of LinkedIn profile sections and user activity to rank results
  2. Recruiters who have their own preferences, tendencies, and tricks to compile lists of top candidates.

How do you reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn?

Connecting with a recruiter can help you in your job search. You can reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn by simply typing “Recruiter” or “Headhunter” in the LinkedIn search bar. Click the “People” tab to further narrow your search. You may also specify which industry by adding the word in the search bar.

How much does LinkedIn Recruiter cost?

LinkedIn Recruiter costs roughly around $8,999 per year. A monthly plan would cost $825.

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