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How do executive recruiters and hiring decision makers at your target companies find good-fit candidates like you?
In a word . . . keywords.
They go to the LinkedIn search engine and type in various relevant keywords and phrases that match the kinds of candidates they’re seeking.
Get a handle on your LinkedIn profile SEO to draw more people to your personal brand and value offer.
All of the content in your LinkedIn profile should contain the most-searched relevant keywords specific to your targets, and supporting your executive brand and the value you offer them.
But the content in certain sections – typically those that sit higher on the web page containing your profile – rank higher with LinkedIn’s search algorithm.
Strategically placed, the right keywords elevate your search rankings in LinkedIn’s search engine, increasing your profile’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the likelihood you’ll be found and considered by them.
I’m not including the LinkedIn Summary section in my “Top 3″, because most people seem to know that they need to load keywords into that section.
I’m focusing here on 3 LinkedIn profile sections that people rarely use to their best advantage.
3 Key Spots to Add Select Keywords for an Optimally SEO-friendly LinkedIn Profile
1. LinkedIn 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, which allows most people enough room to add a bit more.
This is a great place to add in any relevant certifications that people are likely to search to find candidates like you.
If you can fit the actual name of the certification, go with that. Otherwise (and if you want to put several certifications there), use the acronyms.
2. LinkedIn Professional Headline
If you haven’t customized the default headline LinkedIn automatically populated for that spot (your most recent job title), you’re not making the best use of that prime real estate.
You can pack quite a punch with the 120 characters allowed. Use as many of the characters as you can, while keeping the headline comprehensible. More relevant keywords = more likelihood your profile will be found.
This is not the place to put phrases like “Open to Network” or “Seeking Opportunities in XYZ”. They use up precious space for keywords.
Here’s an example of a keyword-rich professional headline:
Senior Project, Program Manager – Process Design, Financial Analysis, IT & Data Systems, Risk Exposure, Six Sigma, Agile
3. LinkedIn Job Titles
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 here, 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 he can add a few choice keywords to improve SEO:
Senior Technical & Business Project Manager – Capital Markets Risk Management, MBS Disclosure
Be aware that LinkedIn may change the functionality or usage regarding the “Top 3” I’ve noted here, so check the Help pages for updates.
More About LinkedIn and Executive Job Search
Top 10 Ways to Build Your Online Personal Brand with LinkedIn
Use LinkedIn Wisely in Your Executive Job Search
3 Reasons I Won’t Connect with You on LinkedIn
Do Executive Job Seekers Need LinkedIn Premium?
7 LinkedIn Things You Should Do . . . But Probably Don’t
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Stephen Q Shannon says
Meg consistently pin points valuable information in concise fashion. Know that I am bigoted and biased in her favor. She also is receptive to additional ideas or thoughts. How golden is that!
For example today Meg inspires me to recommend before you follow her SEO (keywords) ideas to a “T” you tweak your privacy settings to prevent LinkedIn software from announcing (broadcasting) to the world, what you have done to optimize your LI profile. Not cool. Not sure how to do that? Interact with Meg, she will let you know if she has not already addressed it in an earlier blog postings. I’m thinking she has and I missed it. sQs Delray Beach FL aka – Village By The Sea
Meg Guiseppi says
Steve, rarely have commenters on my blogs consistently been so gracious with their support, and forthcoming with valuable information. I greatly appreciate your words of wisdom!
As you said, it’s a good idea to adjust the privacy settings, before you make changes to your LI profile. If you’re in a confidential job search, it is critical to do.
And yes, I did mention this in an earlier post, “How to Use the New LinkedIn for Executive Personal Branding – Part 1” — https://executivecareerbrand.com/how-to-use-the-new-linkedin-for-executive-personal-branding-part-1/
Many thanks, Steve, for jumping in and adding value by commenting here regularly.