Xing Guide 1/3 Optimizing Your Profile – How to Find and be Found by Recruiters

A few readers told me recently that they had no idea that using Xing would be useful for English speakers, but it is. Most of the 12+ Million users on Xing are German speakers and it is a great way to connect with recruiters, hiring managers and HR in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

 

I created a 3-part series about the following topics:

 

In this first guide I will talk about how you can get job offers through Xing because you have a great looking and optimized profile. I will also get into more details about how to find a recruiter that will work actively with you to get you a job.

 

About me page

After you created your basic profile, you should focus on the about me page. This is very similar to the “Summary” on LinkedIn. You have a lot of space to promote yourself and can use many keywords here. Write a brief summary as you would do in your CV about your skills, personality and what you want to achieve.

Focus on why you believe people should hire you and what makes you unique. This could be a very unique skill or a way of thinking or acting that differentiates you from the crowd.

 

Haves

In this section you should use as many keywords as possible and describe what skills you have and what you are able to do. This is a section that many recruiters search for when looking for candidates. They type in geographical parameters and then look for skills in this section. 

Tip: Use keywords, separated by commas instead of sentences.

 

Wants

Here are the things that you are looking for. If you are looking for a management position, write it in here. If you are looking to work in a specific industry, mention it here.

Same tip here: Use keywords, separated by commas instead of sentences.

 

Interests

This is a more personal section. You can mention your hobbies here as well as non-profit organizations you are working with. If you do a lot of activities in your free time where you gain experience for your career, mention it.

I have had corporate clients in the past that actually decided to hire a candidate over another in IT because he mentioned to have his own server farm at home and counts it as his main hobby. It can be very beneficial to mention things like these for some employers.

 

Professional experience

Here goes your CV. You can copy and paste the sections from your CV or customize them. Make sure you mentioned many keywords – If you are looking for a job in Java Development, your keywords are “Java Developer”, “Java Development”, “Java Programming” and such.

It should include as many details as possible to give a detailed overview of your experience. Other than that it is also important to take care about nice design.

 

Keywords

I already mentioned keywords in some places. It is very important that you put keywords anywhere you can to be found. If you are not sure which keywords to use or where you can include them, go to the advanced search and search for your main technology or position title. This is what the recruiter will be searching for. Open the first profile that pops up and use the insights to optimize your profile. Use a similar about page, haves and wants and also the professional experience.

One of the most overlooked areas for keywords in the position title. If you are currently unemployed, don’t write “Currently looking for a job”. Nobody will find you like this. Type in your last position title or some technology or industry keywords.

 

Search actively for recruiters to connect with

If you are looking for a recruiter to actively promote you and work with you, this section is for you.

Many of my readers asked about how they can get in contact with recruiters to actually making sure, they get a good level of service. It is one side to apply for a job with a recruiter, it is something completely different if the recruiter actually actively promotes you and tries to get you a job.

My teams in Bern and Basel work differently than most of the recruitment agencies I know. For full time positions, we reach out to potential candidates and offer our current job openings but also offer our services of actively promoting the candidate throughout our network of corporate clients. We have very specific requirements that every candidate we work with has to fulfill. This is because we have specialized in these areas.

The criterias are:

  • Fluent in German
  • Excellent reference letters from past employers available in a written format
  • More than 2 years experience in any of these areas:
  • Software Development – Either Java or .NET
  • System Engineering – Either Microsoft or Linux

 

These are the main criterias we qualify the candidates for.

 

How can you find a recruiter with criterias where you will fit in?

First of all it is very important that your profile looks great on Xing. It does not have to be perfectly optimized for keywords but it has to represent you in a very professional way. Once this is done, start looking for recruiters in the advanced search option.

Select your country and region, where you are looking for a job and type in “recruiter” or “recruitment consultant”. You can add additional keywords like the technology you are in, industry or functional terms and do some test searches. Pick some recruiters who you think could fit your search criteria and send them a message.

It could look something similar to this:

 

“Hi Marco

I came across your profile on Xing as I am looking for a recruiter to work with actively. I would rather work with a few or even just one recruiter instead of many, to minimize administrative workload for both sides.

In terms of positions I am looking for XY, CG, ZJ and XYZ within the CXY industry. My preferred region is XFF. I speak fluent English and basic German.

Are you the right person to talk to or do you know somebody that would be able to help me with this request?

Thank you very much in advance to taking time to give me a quick feedback.

Best Regards

Daniel”

 

You can of course use your own messages to approach recruiters. When you do, make sure you are transparent with your intentions and ask for a referral if this is not the right person to talk to. Write to a couple of recruiters but don’t overdo it by approaching 50 at a time. You want to work with only 1 or 2 recruiters that really provides you with service and have the network of contacts and knowledge to promote you actively.

 

To find out more about how to get in contact with the right people for your job search, join the Job Search Academy!