My friend Andrew Ronningen, a retained executive recruiter and partner with a great guy, Doug Franchot, of Frachot Associates, met me for a meaningful connection lunch last week. I asked Andrew if he would share tips on how executive job seeker candidates can help recruiters be successful. He was thoughtful in his answers.  See if you are doing these things on your LinkedIn profile:

1) KEYWORDS, keywords, keywords – recruiters search for keywords from the job descriptions.  Be sure that your LinkedIn profile is updated with keywords for the positions that you are targeting. TIP: Update keywords in your Interest area each Sunday.  I do and I come up higher in searches.

2) Add SKILLS – include technical skills that are listed on job descriptions. TIP: Add up to 50 skills.  Recruiters with premium service get the top 24 LinkedIn profiles with top keywords skills searched pushed to them.

3) Ensure that the INDUSTRIES that you have experience in are listed in the profile. TIP: Change your Industry targeted each week.  You’ll come up in different searches.

4) Add the ZIP CODE, city and state where you choose to live.  Andrew said that he often starts a search within 25 miles of the zip code of the job he’s targeting. TIP:  Change your zip code each weekend if you’re targeting different locations.

5) Add COLLEGES and HIGH SCHOOLS – Andrew often searches for colleges and high schools as many executives are interested in returning back to their hometown areas. TIP: If you don’t choose to add your high school to your education then put it in the Interest area or under awards, if you have them.

6) Add AFFINITIES to your profile – Andrew often searches for an executive candidate that my like to return back to their home community.  An affinity might be the name of a MLB, NFL, National Football, or other college or high school team, leadership style, fraternities, sororities, associations or groups. TIP: You can add this to the Volunteer, Associations, Causes, Organizations or Interest areas and it will be picked up in search.

7) Get RECOMMENDATIONS – a LinkedIn recommendation can show characteristics not called out in the job descriptions.  These can justify or solidify a candidate. TIP: Recruiters do look for back scratching (you give and they give you one).  The first sentence of a recommendation is important.

8) Add MEDIA RICH FORMAT – recruiters like to see examples of candidate’s work. Andrew likes to see thought process.  Often they can see the strategy and tactical skills with examples like reports, PowerPoint documents and whitepapers. TIP:  If you don’t have such documents recreate a PowerPoint presentation to show process, strategy and thought leadership.

9) Number of CONNECTIONS matter – get more than 500+ connections.  This ensures that if you’re in a sales role that you can hit the ground running. TIP: Be sure your connections are people you know, like and trust that know, like and trust you.  Make sure the connections are in the Hubs that you are targeting.

10)  Add GROUPS – recruiters join and leave Groups based on their targeted search.  It’s important to participate in Discussions, recruiters take note of people starting and commenting in Discussions. TIP:  Ask a smart, insightful question in a Group.  When answering, be resourceful and add value.

11)  Use INMAIL – Andrew uses InMail to connect with potential candidates.  Check LinkedIn and respond via InMail quickly. TIP: If you do not respond within three days the InMails are returned to the recruiters.

12)  PERSONALIZE INVITATIONS – Always personalize your invitation to a recruiter.  Mention someone that you know in common or why you choose to connect. TIP: Don’t click the blue circle with the + sign or connect through a mobile app as these tools don’t allow for a personalized message.

13)  BE OPEN TO LISTEN – If you receive a call or email from a recruiter,  be open and listen to the opportunity. TIP: Even when you are not in search be courteous and reply to the recruiter.  You never know when you will need their help.  Recruiters remember people who help them.

14)  Add a CURRENT position – even if you are not working have a title and industry in the Current position.  This way you will come up in searches.  TIP: Also add your Board Positions, Associations and consulting opportunities if you have had them. Recruiters want to know what you’ve been doing.

15) Add a GREAT PHOTO: LinkedIn statistics show that you are 7 times more likely to be clicked on if you have a professional picture.  TIP: Andrew suggests that executives should dress as professionally as possible for the photograph.  A Shirt and tie and suit is always appropriate.


16) Remove the words RESPONSIBLE FOR – recruiters are interested in quantifiable and measurable results, not just responsibilities.   TIP: in the Experience area under description be sure to add your key accomplishments and measurable results.

I am proud to say that Andrew and I were colleagues at Carlson Marketing Group where he was a successful executive and general manager.  Everyone loved working with Andrew – from colleagues to clients.  He always had a unique approach – he listened, asked great questioned, cared and thoughtfully created solutions that client’s loved – and he and Doug have taken that approach at their firm – a partnership based approach between employer and employee.

Andrew said that he always looks in his resume database first.  He invites you to send your resume to him at Frachot Associates. If you do, BE HELPFUL, if you are contacted by a recruiter and you are not the perfect candidate suggest other people in your network. TIP: Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn and keep your Connections open, when in job search.

Good luck to you, my friends,

Anne Pryor