Recruiters are all over LinkedIn. Here's how to ensure they find you first. [Part I of a series]

Guest blog by Kim Benedict, Director, Sales and Operations (and LinkedIn guru!) here at Head2Head

Editor’s note: Here at Head2Head, we’ve been using LinkedIn for recruiting for more than 5 years, and are now recognized as the Canadian experts in using LinkedIn for research, sourcing, and building long-term relationships with top talent.  Kim’s guest blog below is the first in a 3-part series on how candidates can leverage LinkedIn most effectively.

(Are you a recruiter?  We also host (free) webinars on using LinkedIn for recruiting.  The next webinar is scheduled for August 13 – click here to register.)

A new airport is opening in Dubai, and they’re looking to hire an HR professional with travel and training experience.  It’s your dream job and you’d be perfect for it – but when their recruiter starts scouring LinkedIn for candidates, will they find you?

Recruiters are increasingly leveraging LinkedIn to connect to both passive and active candidates (in fact, our recent survey indicated that 70% of recruiters consider LinkedIn their #1 social media tool for finding top talent).  Understanding how they’re are using it is the key to ensuring they find you first.

Top 5 ways recruiters use LinkedIn to connect to A-list talent:

Recruiters us LinkedIn’s Reverse Reference function to find people who have worked at a particular organization and/or on a specific initiative within that organization, such as and SAP implementation or HR transformation.

LinkedIn allows you to use your connections to access a vast network of people.  Recruiters leverage this by using their connections – and their connections’ connections – to find people who have the skill set and experience they’re looking for.

Currently LinkedIn has 43 million people in its network and is growing at a rate of 1 new member a second.  Given the size of the talent pool recruiters with often look at your recommendations to assess and select A-list players.

Recruiters search industry specific groups as well as alumni associations on LinkedIn as part of their targeted selection process.

Recruiters use LinkedIn inmail campaigns and their status bars to broadcast opportunities.

Next week: 5 ways to ensure that recruiters find – and get excited about – your LinkedIn profile!