Just like the resume, no matter how fitting you are for the job, your LinkedIn profile has to get in front of the hiring manager or recruiter to have a chance.
Here are five tips to help optimize your LinkedIn profile and improve your ranking in employer searches.
1. Make your profile public.
Under Privacy & Settings, make your LinkedIn profile visible to the public. If it’s not set to be public, employers and recruiters won’t have access to see your information unless they become a connection.
2. Make it keyword relevant.
While applicant tracking systems look for keyword matches to determine a resume’s ranking, your LinkedIn profile also gets ranked for relevancy based on search terms. The more relevant your profile is to the search term the hiring manager or recruiter puts in, the greater the chance it will show up within the first two pages of the LinkedIn search results. For example, an accountant’s profile will benefit to have other relevant keywords tied to it like tax planning, auditing, compliance, certified public accountant, and so on.
Here are the key areas where you can optimize your keyword density.
The resume has the Profile Summary title to highlight exactly what you’re capable of. It’s no different for your LinkedIn profile. Your Professional Headline, which appears with your name in search results, must make a statement. By default, it will list your most recent job title, but change that – use it to say exactly who you are and what you have to offer. For example, instead of Accountant at XYZ Company, have it read Tax Adviser for small businesses with over 15 years of success in IRS audits, tax planning, and tax preparation. Notice how we got the keyword “tax” in there three times.
The Summary section is a major driver for keywords. Make sure this section is completed to define your value proposition and plant it with the appropriate keywords in context.
Your work experience will include information on your job titles, which serve as keywords, but also work in appropriate keywords to the description of your experience. Take caution with job titles that aren’t mainstream. For example, if your job title is Organizational Communication, Learning and Design Advisor, you may consider something that is more keyword-friendly for your profession like Corporate Communications / Internal and External Communications Advisor.
Specialties & Skills
Increase your profile’s ranking in search results with the help of the Skills & Endorsements section. This is where you should have all the relevant keywords, skills, technologies and tools relevant to your profession included. Catch all the relevant terms by entering a job title in the Skills section and selecting the relevant skills. Getting Endorsements to your relevant skills will also help optimize your profile.
3. Add associations, affiliations, and certifications.
Being connected and affiliated with industry groups and other relevant groups for your profession expands your profile’s relevancy. Adding in relevant certifications you have received will also help, particularly when recruiters are searching for talent with specific skills.
4. Build relevant connections.
Expand your network of connections to include others in the same profession and industry. Hiring managers and recruiters are more likely to view your profile over others when they see you have shared connections with them.
5. Stay active.
The activity you conduct on LinkedIn can help increase your profiles visibility. Commenting on articles, voicing your thoughts and opinions in group discussions, and sharing information are all activities to increase your interaction with others and improve the visibility of your profile.
Many employers and recruiters depend on LinkedIn to find talent, so make sure your profile is properly set up and optimized.
About the author
Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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