Now that a compelling LinkedIn Profile is a must for any successful job search, you’ll find that the influx of job-hunting competition can pose a problem.
Recruiters and employers are constantly using the site to find top talent, and you’ll need to quickly rise to the top of their searches, with even more keywords and search terms used in your Profile to create strong traffic (also referred to as LinkedIn SEO).
However, the concept of filling a LinkedIn Profile with keywords can seem confusing or even dishonest. Will keyword-loading your profile make a difference? Don’t employers see right through these techniques?
Yes and no. If you do it right, the search terms or keywords you use can mean a significant bump in your hit rate from site visitors on LinkedIn.
And if you choose your keywords carefully, you’ll make it much easier for employers to locate you as their #1 choice!
Here are 3 straightforward techniques for getting more keywords into your LinkedIn Profile – and generating desirable traffic in your job search:
1 – Use employer’s lingo.
Referring to your expertise in different language than that of employers won’t help others locate your skills. Therefore, you’ll need to undertake some research on desired job targets, and also pay attention to the commonalities among other user Profiles – before updating your own.
For example, a Chief Technology Officer or IT Manager need only look at competing Profiles to see the types of technologies or terms that are garnering attention (Big Data, business transformation, outsourcing, business intelligence, etc.).
An Operations Manager will also find numerous examples of job descriptions on major job board aggregator sites (such as www.indeed.com) that show the skills employer believe they need.
You’ll want to ensure that your Profile contains a good cross-section of terms that fit your expertise, plus those that represent the job you want. These keywords should show up in various parts of your Profile, rather than just listed in one paragraph, to focus the reader on your ideal position and generate better hits.
2 – Populate every section available.
Your best bet when using LinkedIn to be a findable candidate is to add as much (pertinent) data to your Profile as possible… making it more likely that your account will come up as a match for various combinations of skills.
You’re using the Summary, right? Adding job titles and achievements for each position in the Experience Section? There’s a lot more to it than just these basics.
Consider adding keywords as “headings” within the description of each job, adding extra punch to the Experience section.
For example, an IT Director could specify:
Led enterprise-level project….
Supervised 12 developers….
Managed negotiations for 2 outsourcing contracts…
Collaborated with offshore teams…
These strategies allow you to insert extra keywords as category headings, while describing particular accomplishments related to that specific skill.
You’ll also want to add as many keywords as possible to your Skills & Expertise section – and use the suggestions that pop up as you add each new term (as these typically have heavy use from both employers and other LinkedIn users).
3 – Sprinkle your desired job title throughout your Profile.
Many people don’t realize that their target job title (CFO, IT Manager, Regional Sales Manager, etc.) can be added in numerous “corners” of a LinkedIn Profile.
Here’s how it works: you decide to add a paragraph in the Contact section (yes, this area allows for more than just checking off boxes about being contacted for job opportunities!), and add more keyword content to perk up your Profile’s search value for your target job.
As an example, a sales leader might incorporate “I’ve continually honed the ability to investigate and prospect revenue opportunities. In the role of sales manager, I’ll also be intent on training my sales teams to do the same” into the Contact paragraph, which boosts rankings for terms including sales and sales manager.
You can also use the Interests section to describe your ideal job, and how your hobbies or personal interests are related to this goal.
An engineer, for example, could mention an electronics hobby as proof of his interest in becoming a Product Engineer or Senior Staff Engineer – effectively increasing his hit rate for these terms by introducing them into the Profile.
It doesn’t take more than some ingenuity and insight into your desired role to add more keywords to your LinkedIn Profile! You’ll generate more traffic and benefit from recruiter searches on these terms – winning a better shot at that coveted interview.