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Whether you’re actively job hunting or just want people to take notice of you, bedazzle your LinkedIn profile. Build up your LinkedIn profile views and make it a traffic magnet.
More LinkedIn profile views means more people are landing on your profile, and hopefully reading all about you and your good-fit qualities for the job(s) you want.
More profile views means more people potentially sending job leads your way, or otherwise helping you with your job search and career.
Besides being a social network, LinkedIn is a search engine.
People use the site to search for particular kinds of people.
Most of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from recruiters, so they constitute the largest group of people using LinkedIn’s search engine.
Who are they searching for? Potential job candidates for the jobs they’re trying to fill.
They search using keywords such as job titles and skills.
To get more views on LinkedIn – and more potential job leads – your profile needs to be highly visible and findable to recruiters and others.
And you need to keep yourself and your personal brand top-of-mind with your expanding network.
How do you do this?
By employing these two strategies:
1. Build content in your profile that includes the right keywords and keyword density, and be ever-mindful of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Your profile will sit there working PASSIVELY for you – making you more visible and findable, and drawing people to you.
2. ACTIVELY use LinkedIn to stay top-of-mind with people and draw new people to your profile and you.
How do keywords work?
You want to help the right people – executive recruiters, your target employers and others – find you on LinkedIn.
You will draw them to your profile by incorporating into it the right relevant keywords and phrases they search to source candidates like you.
Keywords typically represent your key areas of expertise, or “hard skills”, such as Change Management, Product Development, Emerging Technology Launch, etc.
And your job title is usually an important relevant keyword phrase that people will search.
Strategically placed, the right keywords elevate your search rankings in LinkedIn’s search engine, increasing your profile’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and significantly boosting your profile views.
Once you fill your LinkedIn profile with SEO-driven content, it will sit there passively, driving people to it when they search keywords looking for people like you.
How to use LinkedIn Resume Builder and Jobs to Find Keywords
If you’re like many job seekers, chances are you haven’t fully built out your LinkedIn profile because you don’t realize how important it is, or you don’t know how to do it.
There are many places and ways to find the right keywords to put in your profile.
LinkedIn, in particular is a goldmine of relevant keywords, based on your job title.
My colleague Virginia Franco wrote about some of the slightly hidden ways to use LinkedIn’s Resume Builder and Jobs to find keywords to boost LinkedIn profile views.
I wholeheartedly agree with her in advising job seekers NOT to use this feature to actually create a resume from their LinkedIn profile.
Your resume and LinkedIn profile differ from each other in a number of ways and are not interchangeable.
Instead, use these 2 LinkedIn features to mine the right keywords to add to your LinkedIn profile, so it will land higher in search results.
Using Resume Builder for keywords
Go to your profile:
- Click on “More” at the top
- In the dropdown menu, choose “Build a resume”
- In the screen that opens, choose “Create from profile”
You’ll see the following image with the “Job title” field, which I’ve filled out with Chief Information Officer.
Click on “Apply” and you’ll see in the image below that several keyword suggestions appear in the righthand sidebar of your profile.
Upgrading to LinkedIn Premium will give you more keywords, so this is one good reason to make use of the Premium 30-day free trial.
And, follow LinkedIn’s cautionary advice:
“We recommend only including these keywords in the context of your experience. Do not list them without qualification, or if you do not actually have this experience.”
Using LinkedIn Jobs for keywords
Virginia also pointed out how you can use LinkedIn Jobs to identify keywords (or skills).
Go to your profile:
- Click on “Jobs” in the menu
- In the search field at the top, type in the job title you’re seeking
I’ve used Chief Information Officer once again here.
You’ll see skills listed in the righthand sidebar, just above the “Easy Apply” button. Click on them to get a list of skills that match your profile.
Build Out Your Profile to PASSIVELY Increase LinkedIn Profile Views
Here’s how to build out your profile, keeping keyword density in mind, so it will work for you passively. These steps alone will help boost your LinkedIn profile views:
1. Optimize your name field
You may not realize that, along with your actual name, you can add a total of 40 characters in the name field for your last name.
The name field and your Profile Headline (#2 below) are the most important places for keyword density, because they sit at the top of the web page.
LinkedIn allows the following additions in the last name field:
- Suffixes and certifications
- Former names, maiden names, and nicknames
LinkedIn frowns on adding these things in the last name field:
- Pseudonyms, fake names, business names, associations, groups, email addresses, or special characters that do not reflect your real or preferred professional name
Here’s an example of an acceptable, keyword-rich name extension:
William Jones, PMP, SOX, CSM, CSSBB
2. Build a keyword-rich Profile Headline
If you haven’t changed the default headline LinkedIn automatically populated for that spot – your current job title – you’re not making the best use of that prime real estate.
This spot is custom-made for SEO and, with the 220 characters and spaces allowed (more with Mobile), you can pack a powerful punch.
Use as many of the allowed characters as you can, while keeping the headline comprehensible.
This is not the place to put phrases like “Open to Network” or “Seeking Opportunities in XYZ”. People are not likely to search these terms and they use up precious space for keywords. Move those to your About section.
Here’s an example of a keyword-rich profile headline:
Chief Data Scientist for the Fortune 500 | Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Product Development, Thought Leadership
And here’s the same job seeker, with his headline ramped up to include some of his personality (or personal brand):
Chief Data Scientist for the Fortune 500 | Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Product Development, Thought Leadership | My mantra for business survival in the technology sphere: Unlearn. Transform. Reinvent.
Avoid the 3 big mistakes that screw up your headline.
3. Personalize your LinkedIn URL
If the URL looks something like this:
Change it to this, or something similar:
Get rid of the mess of numbers and letters at the end. This may not impact your SEO very much, but it’s a good idea to have a clean, searchable name associated with the URL.
4. Pump up your job titles in the Experience section
Along with filling out the narrative part of the Experience section with as much content as possible, you should add keywords to your job titles themselves.
Of course, you must use the same job title on your profile that you’ve used on your resume and elsewhere, to avoid sending up red flags that you’re exaggerating or misrepresenting yourself.
But LinkedIn allows 100 characters in this field, so you can add relevant keywords to each actual job title.
For example, this job seeker’s actual job title at one company is:
Senior Technical & Business Project Manager
But she can add a few choice keywords to improve SEO:
Senior Technical & Business Project Manager – Capital Markets Risk Management, MBS Disclosure
5. Build out the About section
The About section allows for 2,600 characters and spaces. Because it sits very high on the web page, this section is big search engine bait. This is your opportunity to build in plenty of content with relevant keywords.
Another thing about the About section, think of it as a chance to tell your personal brand story. Using your most important keywords and phrases, create a biography around what makes you a good fit for the employers you’re targeting.
But don’t just rely on keywords. You also want to make this, and other narrative sections, an interesting read. Make your About section dazzling. Generate chemistry by giving a feel for your personality and what makes you tick.
6. Fill in the Skills section
Add in your top skills (or areas of expertise) in order of importance. These skills represent your most important keywords and keyword phrases.
According to job search strategist and former recruiter Laura Smith-Proulx, this section:
“Has evolved into an SEO tool that can draw serious traffic, but only if it’s used correctly.
The terms you add to Skills factor more heavily in your LinkedIn searchability when you are endorsed for them. Therefore, it makes sense to add keywords and obtain (and accept) endorsements on them.
A caveat: ensure the terms you add in this section are really keywords. Given a choice between a “hard skill” (such as “Project Management”) and a character trait (such as “Leadership”), employers may prefer to search for specific competencies.”
And a high number of endorsements for skills representing your best talents supports your personal brand and adds credibility to your candidacy in job search.
7. Complete the rest of your profile
Improve your profile visibility and findability by fully populating any applicable profile sections. The more content in your profile, the more relevant keywords will likely be in your profile, and the more likely your profile will rise to the top of searches on those keywords . . . leading more people to view your profile.
LinkedIn says that users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.
There are a number of LinkedIn profile sections you’re probably neglecting:
- Volunteer Experience
- Honors & Awards
- Test Scores
I particularly want to call your attention to this narrative section, a somewhat hidden and little-used gem, where you can add plenty of content.
You’ll need to add a Projects section to your profile itself, before you can make use of it. Access it in the “Add profile section” in the menu at the top of the page, when you’re in “view profile” mode.
Since each Project is tied to a particular job of yours in the Experience section, a project becomes a powerful way to add more content to that job if you’ve used up all the space allowed for each job description in the Experience section. You essentially get double the amount of space for each entry in the Experience section.
You can get creative with Projects. For example, if you worked on a challenging project, write up a description of it with the details. Tell the story of:
- How it all came about,
- The situation you walked into,
- What needed to be done,
- What wasn’t working,
- Exactly what you did to fix things, and
- What the various outcomes were.
As with the About section, as you’re adding in content to this section and making adjustments, pay close attention to what appears to viewers, without having to click on “see more.”
ACTIVELY Draw People in To Boost LinkedIn Profile Views
Now that you’ve fully loaded your profile with content containing the right keywords, and you’ve highlighted your personal brand, LinkedIn will passively draw people to you,
It’s time to get active on the site.
Build a personal brand communications plan to leverage the LinkedIn features that will keep you top-of-mind with your network, and compel new people to view your profile.
8 more ways to boost LinkedIn profile views by ACTIVELY using LinkedIn to stay top-of-mind with your network, and draw people to your profile:
8. Keep expanding your LinkedIn network
You may be concerned about accepting invitations from people you don’t actually know, or sending invitations to people you don’t know at all, or don’t know well.
Here’s why having a lot of LinkedIn connections is a good thing:
The more people you’re connected with, the wider you’ve cast your net for opportunities, the more people you’re staying top-of-mind with . . . thus the more likely more good-fit opportunities will come your way.
And, the more connections you have, the more people likely to share or like or comment on anything you publish on LinkedIn – updates, posts, Pulse articles, comments, etc. This spreads the word about your personal brand and unique value, potentially leading more people to view your profile.
And, once you reach the 500+ connections mark, your profile ranks higher in search results, making you more visible and findable.
9. Join LinkedIn Groups
Beyond expanding your network, joining relevant Groups can improve your profile SEO. Group names typically include your relevant keywords and phrases. Search engines will pick up those keywords as they crawl your profile.
10. Get more recommendations
Along with a branded, well-written LinkedIn About section (and other sections), recruiters and hiring professionals are attracted to candidates who have persuasive testimonials on their profiles.
If you have no LinkedIn Recommendations, or anemic ones, they may question your good fit . . . or simply not be impressed enough to contact you.
Good recommendations support your personal brand and ROI to the employers you’re targeting. The true measure of your brand to future employers is reflected in what those who know your work the best have to say about you – co-workers, peers, top management, team members, Boards of Directors, vendors, customers, etc.
And LinkedIn experts have suggested that having 10 or more recommendations can boost your profile’s search ranking.
11. Use your LinkedIn profile URL elsewhere in your brand communications
Create inbound links by including your LinkedIn profile URL in these places:
- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts
- Email signature
- Resume contact information
- Personal website
12. Share updates on your profile
Sharing or posting updates is a relatively quick and easy way to stay top-of-mind with your network – which should include employees at your target companies and recruiters, along with your various professional contacts.
Get into a routine of posting updates once a week, or at least a few times a month.
Ideas for LinkedIn updates:
- An online article, blog post, or white paper you’ve published, or one that mentions or quotes you
- An online article, blog post, or white paper, written by anyone, that is relevant to your niche
- An event or seminar you’re presenting or attending
- A new project you’re working on
- A promotion, transfer, or new assignment
- A comment you’ve made on a relevant blog that demonstrates your subject matter expertise
- Professional development, training, or new certification
- A significant accomplishment or contribution to your company
- Activities with your networks or LinkedIn Groups
- An important seminar or event you’ll be attending or have attended
- A community project you’re working on
13. Publish articles on LinkedIn’s Pulse
Writing articles on LinkedIn’s Pulse publishing platform will draw people to your LinkedIn profile and keep you top-of-mind with your LinkedIn network. Each time you publish a new Pulse post, it lands in your LinkedIn stream where your followers and others will see it.
Similar to running your own blogsite, publishing on Pulse builds your personal brand . . . demonstrating your subject matter expertise and thought leadership, and communicating your personality and good-fit qualities for the employers you’re targeting.
14. Comment on others’ Pulse articles and updates
When you see Pulse articles and updates from your network that are relevant, and of interest to you, write a meaningful comment. Or react in some way.
You can be sure seeing your comment will prompt many people to view your profile. Your thoughtfulness can also lead to more solid connections on LinkedIn, and potential leads.
15. Use hashtags when you comment
Whenever you post an update, publish Pulse articles, or comment on others’ articles, use hashtags.
Hashtags are used to categorize relevant keywords and phrases. They are a way to label themes or topics in social media messages, to categorize them and make messages with these keywords easier to find and follow online.
In other words, hashtags used with keywords make them show up more easily in search. If you post an update or comment using hashtags, people looking for information about those keywords will be more likely to find your messages and view your profile.
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Peggy Wagner says
Great practical advice!
Meg Guiseppi says
Peggy, many thanks for your kind comment! I hope you find the post helpful.