Getting a call from a recruiter is like getting asked to the prom. It doesn’t matter if the offer is sub-par; it’s always flattering to be asked. But there’s a lot of advice about how to get a prom date and not very much on how to attract recruiters.

The best way to encourage recruiters to call you is to understand how they do their job. So I talked to a few recruiters and came up with five things you can do to look attractive to recruiters.

1. Post to sites with good search tools.
Recruiters like to visit sites that aggregate resumes and offer specific search criteria, says recruiter Matt Millunchick. Blogs are difficult to search but social networking sites like MySpace and LinkedIn facilitate keyword searches. Be sure to fill in profiles thoroughly on these sites so that your resume matches more searches.

2. Choose your friends carefully, and then monitor them.
Recruiters will put up with a little quirkiness in an online profile but don’t worry only about what you post yourself: “Be careful about what photos of you are available and what and your friends post about you,” warns Millunchick. Recruiters will find everything. Recruiter Mark Jaffe told me he has a full-time employee with a master’s degree who researches candidates. “The two of us work like the FBI looking at persons on interest.

3. Be a thought leader.
Recruiters use Google to find the articles you’ve published, says Millunchick. So write some. Many sites are eager to get well-written content for free. If you feel totally lost in the article-writing world, Article Marketing Niche Blog can show you how to do it.

4. Use the scientific method.
The importance of keywords on your resume cannot be overestimated. John Sullivan, recruiting advisor and professor of management at San Francisco State University, told me that he advises his students to post three different resumes in an online database and see which receives the most responses. This is a way to continually hone the keyword effectiveness of your resume.

5. Do great work at the job you have.
The higher up you get, the less likely it is that a recruiter will troll the Internet. Jaffe told me he relies on word of mouth to find senior executives. “We follow candidates like my sixteen-year-old son follows all the details of baseball players. We look at minor leaguers, we look at who’s coming up, and we track people who we see as nascent superstars.”

He adds, “If you’re doing a really, really good job at work, we’ll find you. Once you try to get our attention you are turning that dangerous corner where you start looking like a used car salesman in gold chains.”