How to be found by recruiters

I started to learn Frontend development a little less than a year ago now, but I’ve been working in HR & Talent Acquisition for over five years and specialising in the second one for the last 2.5 years.

I’m currently a Technical Sourcer at MongoDB. It’s a really cool company, with an awesome culture and talent. In my current role, I’m helping to build the teams that are shaping the future of databases and make the developer experience seamless for so many people (including myself) and companies.

As you might be thinking, we look for talent in different places. The obvious one, LinkedIn. There are also other places to source such as Stack Overflow, Github, Medium, Dev, Slack, the list is endless if you are creative enough!

I’m going to focus on LinkedIn, and I’ll show you how it works so you can understand what would be the best way of positioning yourself out there so recruiters can find you. To do this I’ll show you how LinkedIn Recruiter works.

There are two ways to look for people, and they could be done separately, but usually, the best way is to combine both of them to get the best results.

1. Boolean searches:

If you have ever worked with databases, this works pretty much the same way, using, “ ”, (), AND, OR and AND NOT (you can do that in Google as well).

An example of a boolean search would be:

(“software engineer” OR “software developer” OR “senior software engineer”) AND (“c++” OR “c/c++” OR “c and C++”) AND NOT (Java)

So as you have guessed, this search will return C++ or C developers that don’t have Java mentioned on their profiles. That’s why it’s essential to mention all the keywords across your profile.

A boolean search can be as complex as the recruiter wants to do it and can include location if you are open to work or any other trait that could be appealing to an employer.

2. LinkedIn Recruiter filters:

At the end of the day, LinkedIn is a database and a pretty big and complex one! First, here’s a picture of the main search area:

Basic search

Now, let’s review the main sections one by one:

1. Spotlights — That is probably the one you are most familiar with (even if you don’t think so), as if you are/have been actively looking for a new job, it will appear there under the “Open to work” tag.


If you really like certain companies, I recommend you to follow them, so if the recruiters want to look for people who are already aware and engaged with the brand, they could find you easily.

Finally, you would be under the “Are more likely to respond” category if you are an active community member.

2. Job titles — I might repeat myself a lot with this, but people think their profile will stand out if they use cool names, but that will actually do the opposite, and they won’t come up in any search. Title suggestions are there for a reason. Use them!

The three dots on the side will gather together all the possible combinations available for Software Engineer that LinkedIn provides.

Job title

3. Locations The same I mentioned above applies here. It’s also important if you are open to relocating to set this up, mention the places you would be open to relocating and be open to remote work.


4. Skills and Assessments — If you haven’t completed your skills section on your LinkedIn, stop everything you are doing and do it! You can find some time to do the Assessments after, but this is really important as well. If you are a junior candidate proving you know the basics.

Skills and Assessments

5. Companies — If you are a Junior Engineer, there’s not much to worry about. This is for recruiters to look at people coming from particular companies, which also applies for the “Industries” tag so that I won’t go into much detail over them.


6. Schools and Year of Graduation — If you have completed a degree or are taking it, this is important and would be used to find people who are nearing the end of their degree or just finished.


7. Keywords — Here, it’s allowed to use a boolean sear and just keywords, and it would bring up any other keywords that couldn’t be found on the other fields.


8. Employment type — If you are open to a contract or an internship, make sure you select it on your work preferences if you are open to work.

Employment type

9. Profile languages — If you are multilingual, it should be reflected on your LinkedIn as well. Many companies look for other languages and English, so if you are relocating to a different country, make sure you have your profile in both your mother tongue of the country you are moving to.

Profile languages

As I mentioned above, when searching, recruiters will be doing both. You should make sure when building your profile that you could be found either way. To do this, remember:

  • Use the keywords to be found.
  • Use LinkedIn predetermined job titles and skills.
  • If you are open to working, make sure you include as much information as possible in your search.

If you are a senior engineer and (I’m sure about this) you are getting many messages about jobs that don’t match your skillset, you might want to configure your profile, so you are not coming up in every search performed.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin 😄




Associate Software Engineer @ Genesys | Career switcher

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Carolina Cobo

Carolina Cobo

Associate Software Engineer @ Genesys | Career switcher

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