Along with being an essential tool for executive job search, LinkedIn plays an important role in overall career management. Did you optimize LinkedIn for your job search and career?
I’ve found that many executives have a “build it and forget it” mindset with LinkedIn. They put up a minimal profile, and never revisit it, and never take advantage of all the things LinkedIn has to offer.
They don’t seem to realize that LinkedIn is a primary destination for people who are sourcing and assessing good-fit job candidates and people to do business with.
That means executive recruiters and other hiring professionals are all over LinkedIn, looking for candidates like you.
And that means that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays a big role in making your LinkedIn profile more findable by the very people you want to find your profile.
To boost SEO for your profile, it needs to contain the kinds of keywords and phrases that people sourcing candidates like you are using, when they search LinkedIn for candidates.
If your profile is less than stellar and doesn’t contain enough of the most-searched relevant keywords for your particular circumstances, you may be overlooked for great new career and business opportunities.
Checklist to Optimize LinkedIn for Job Search
The checklist below just scratches the surface, but it’s a good start.
To fully optimize LinkedIn and leverage all it has to offer, get my Essential LinkedIn Guide for Today’s Executive Job Search. (It includes a much more extensive checklist than the one below.)
Build Out Your LinkedIn Profile
- Create a keyword-rich profile headline, instead of leaving the default, which is your most current job title.
- Make your contact info easy to find. Put it in the “Contact info” spot that sits under your name, at the top.
- Customize your LinkedIn URL to include your name and a relevant keyword or certification acronym.
- Upload a professional photo to your profile. Profiles with photos get more views.
- Know who you’re targeting and build keyword-rich content designed to resonate with them.
Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile
- Add images and videos in the Featured section. Generate chemistry!
- Be ever-mindful of Personal SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keyword density in your profile content.
- Check Privacy and Settings to be sure your profile is set to allow anyone to see your public profile.
- Make sure all of the content in your profile has been well-proofread and contains no grammatical, punctuation or spelling errors.
Build and Engage Your LinkedIn Network
- Consider getting LinkedIn Premium, especially if you’re actively job-hunting.
- Build your connections to at least 500, to boost your LinkedIn search ranking.
- Develop a strategy and scripts to connect with people you don’t know, who will be important to network with.
- Connect with executive recruiters and hiring decision makers at your target companies.
- Include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume and in your email signature and website (if you have one).
Conduct Research and Market Intelligence
- Study the details on LinkedIn (company) Pages of your target employers. Use them to assess the company and to identify employees.
- Look at the profiles of employees of your target employers. Connect with them and scan their profiles for market intelligence and relevant keywords to boost your personal SEO.
- Search job listings for your target employers in LinkedIn Jobs. A wealth of information about the company is provided in these descriptions.
Keep Your Personal Brand Top-of-Mind
- Post relevant updates regularly, say, once a week or so. Include hashtags and tag people, for better impact.
- Comment and react to other people’s updates.
- Join and participate regularly in LinkedIn Groups to demonstrate your thought leadership and subject matter expertise.
- Write articles for LinkedIn’s long-form publishing platform, sometimes called Pulse.
- Reach out to your network regularly to see how they’re doing, offer support, and pass along something of interest to them.