If you have a premium account on LinkedIn, you can see who looks at your profile, and if you haven’t heard from that person, you might assume that they saw something in your profile that made them decide not to reach out. If you see multiple views from different recruiters and no outreach, you might start to worry that there is an outright turn-off on your profile. What do you need to fix to improve your chances?
Your marketing – whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, your resume, your networking pitch, or something else – can always be improved. You should always review your marketing as your interests change, you gain more experience or update your skillset or as market conditions change and you want to appeal to different types of companies or industries. It is good practice to identify ways you can improve.
That said, there might not be anything wrong with your LinkedIn profile, just because someone views it and then you don’t hear from them. As a longtime recruiter, I have done hundreds of LinkedIn searches. Sometimes I click through to the profile if the headline is enough to make me think the person is a fit for my opening. Sometimes I contact that person if the profile has something in it to make me think the person is relevant to my search. But when I do not, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with that profile.
Here are four reasons I have viewed a profile but then decided not to reach out:
1 - I got to your profile because of one set of criteria and then the search changed
At the beginning of a search especially, it’s hard to know exactly what the employer prioritizes. Of course, they give me their best guess, and I work off that to start. But once the search is underway, and I start introducing candidates – particularly when we start interviewing candidates – the criteria becomes more nuanced.
For example, I am working on an executive-level search right now where the priority is operational experience. However, the person also needs a track record of building from scratch, anticipating growth needs or changes in circumstance, and other more strategic experience. The balance of operations and strategy is something that gets clearer as backgrounds are considered. So in the beginning, I’m looking at a much wider net of profiles, but as I learn more about what my client needs, I contact just a subset of that very broad list. That has nothing to do with your profile, just the client's need.
2 - I did reach out, and you missed it
I can’t tell you how many times I get a message from a potential candidate months after I originally messaged them, saying that they “just” saw my message. Sometimes they’ll add that they don’t normally check LinkedIn, or they have their notifications turned off or they didn’t realize that the email connected to their LinkedIn is something they don’t check that often.
Check your own settings and your habits around unsolicited emails and calls. Is your email attached to your LinkedIn profile current and something you regularly check? Do you have notifications turned on, and do you actually read the notifications? When you get emails from people you don’t know, do you review them to see if it’s a legitimate opportunity? When you do get that unsolicited call or email, do you respond in a timely manner, or do you only respond when you need something? (Unresponsiveness is a big pet peeve for recruiters. Don’t just take my word for it – you can see interviews I conducted with various recruiters on what works and doesn’t here.)
3 - Your profile matched a keyword but didn’t have enough of it for further consideration
Sometimes your profile gets swept up in a specific search tied to a keyword, but there isn’t enough of a match upon further review. For example, I once did a search for a designer who needed to have knowledge of After Effects and animation software. I actually found the hire within the company’s existing candidate database, but something this specific is also searchable on LinkedIn. If I got to your profile and saw that After Effects was used many years ago and not since, I may decide not to call if I have many other candidates with more recent experience.
It could be that you mention After Effects in just one role, but I see others who have used it consistently in their career. Or you listed it as a skill you have, but it’s not named in any of your jobs, so it doesn’t look like you have used it substantially. Depending on how many other candidates I have and the quality of their experience, I may not go any further with your profile because it matches a little but not enough.
4 — You’re still on the radar but haven’t been called yet
In the above example of having some After Effects but not enough, I still might call you. Let’s say that it looks like there are other candidates with more relevant experience so I set your profile aside (reason 3). But then, as the search gets underway, it becomes apparent that After Effects is but one criteria and actually there are other things the employer prioritizes, so they’ll go lighter on the After Effects for someone heavier on…team management experience or B2B marketing knowledge or some other criteria or [INSERT other criteria the employer wants]. Jobs are usually not just decided on a single factor.
In this case, you might have seen that a recruiter checked you out two months ago and then crickets. But, if you have that management experience or B2B marketing, etc., you might still get a call. At this point, the search might have been handed off to another recruiter and so it looks like you were dismissed by the other recruiter, but actually you weren’t.
Given that a lack of outreach isn’t necessarily a bad sign, why don’t you reach out directly?
If you’re interested in getting to know that recruiter – say, they specialize in your target industry or role so it makes sense you should know each other – reach out directly. Let them know they popped up on your LinkedIn feed and since you run in the same circles, it makes sense to connect. Offer to help them on their searches – recruiters LOVE that.
Of course, you should be prepared for the recruiter to accept your invitation and even to schedule an exploratory interview. Time your outreach for when you’re prepared to introduce yourself effectively.