LinkedIn is the monster.com of the 21st century, and more than 85% of employers will “source” (find) people through LinkedIn. There are now more than 200 million people on the site, and this article will show you how to make sure that you show up in the searches relevant to your job search.LinkedIn offers many opportunities to include appropriate keywords for your job search and career. It is smart to take advantage of that opportunity, given LinkedIn’s popularity among recruiters.
Determine the Keywords You Want
Identify the 2-3 keywords that are most important to you. For example, if you are an Applications Developer then you might want to have both Senior Programmer and Applications Developer as core keywords.
However, you can take this a step further by indicating your areas of specialization, so you might want to add “mobile applications” or “financial applications” to the list.
Be careful with management titles as a CIO in one firm is a Director in another, depending on the size of the firm, so use those titles only if it is the only one you want. A good tip is to include generic titles like: Senior IT Executive | VP IT | CIO.
Where to Use Your Keywords
Now your job is to get these keywords into your LinkedIn profile as much as you can. Having said that, there are certain parts of the profile that carry more weight.
1. Your Location
Last, but not least – make sure the location in your LinkedIn Profile is accurate. Basic, but very important. Companies search for qualified candidates by geography, so make sure your location is correct – either your current location, or where you are planning to be located for your next job.
2. Your Professional Headline
Probably the most important place to start is your Headline. Most people are not optimizing this as much as they should and there are a number of subtle tricks you can do here.
Here are 120 characters of prime real estate. You can have titles and/or a description of your talent. Beyond the keywords, you also want to communicate your key differentiators.
Some good examples include:
◾ Applications Developer | Senior Programmer | 10+ Years Specializing in Programming Mobile & Web-Based Applications
◾ Senior IT Executive | CIO | VP of IT | Global Experience | Consistently Deliver a High ROI on the IT Investment
◾ Network Administrator | Network Engineer | Systems Administrator | Virtualization | Cisco Network Administration
◾ Help Desk | Technical Support | Desktop Support | Escalated Help Desk Support to Thousands of Users Globally
Sometimes you just want to stuff the same title in the headline as much as you can.
◾ Network Administrator | LAN/WAN Network Administrator | Senior LAN Administrator | Certified Network Administrator
3. Your LinkedIn URL
If you have /pub/ in your LinkedIn URL, then you MUST personalize it. Of course you can try to get just your name, but with 200 million users, that is unlikely.
So, instead of having www.linkedin.com/in/johndoe1990 as your LinkedIn URL, try www.linkedin.com/in/johndoeapplicationdeveloper. Just another way to get better keyword recognition and, in particular, if someone does a Google search for LinkedIn application developers, you will be sure to show up.
4. Your LinkedIn Summary
Here you have up to 2,000 characters to describe your background, and you want to get these keywords in here as much as possible. There are a number of various theories about how to do a profile and my overall philosophy is that it should NOT be the same as your resume. Rather, it should be enough to express your value proposition and whet their appetite so they will want to call you.
Although LinkedIn eliminated the Specialties section they used to have, you can still include something similar in your profile. This would look like:
Network Administration Tools
Cisco Network Administration
Windows Network Administration
Linux Network Administration
The LinkedIn Summary is often ignored or used minimally. Don’t make that mistake!
5. The Experience Section
Another important area to drive keyword density is in your title and your experience description.
NOTE: If you are unemployed, make your current position look something like:
Position: Senior Network Administrator Experienced in Global Network Administration
Company: the Next Career Opportunity
This will appear as Senior Network Administrator Experienced in Global Network Administration at the Next Career Opportunity.
Important Tip: Even if your job title does not have your keyword in it, you can always add to it.
For example, if you are a Vice President of IT, you might want to add more to it as follows:
Vice President of IT | Senior IT Executive
User Support IV | Desktop & Technical Support
LinkedIn also allows you to put some narrative here about the position, so describe what you are looking for. Again, an opportunity to add more keywords to your LinkedIn Profile.
Getting keyword optimization in LinkedIn is easy, and the impact is almost instantaneous. See how these tips help you get noticed.
* Originally Published on Job-Hunt.org **