As all job seekers now know, a well-written and complete LinkedIn profile is essential to maximizing LinkedIn’s application to your job search efforts. Below are some tips on fully optimizing your profile.
Profiles on LinkedIn are structured like a traditional résumé. LinkedIn uses the words you use to describe your work experience and education as keywords. So by applying the correct terms in your profile, you can increase your positioning in the search results.
Search results in LinkedIn are also based on your connections. So while it is important to make a lot of connections, you don’t want to spam people. (Don’t connect with people just for the sake of having a lot of connections. That’s like giving your business card to everyone at a party.) But to connect with people you know.
Now it’s time to start populating (filling in) your profile.
Look at other LinkedIn profiles for folks who have your same job title. See what they’re including in their profile that is getting them ranked highly using LinkedIn’s search algorithm.
How can you find the profiles of individuals on LinkedIn who do what you do? Use a Google search as a fast way to retrieve similar profiles.
1. Go to Google.com
2. Type in this search string: “Site: LinkedIn.com” “your job title.”
3. Replace the phrase “your job title” with your job title or keywords or terms related to your job or industry.
Initially you can focus on the top 10 search results (some of them will be job postings; some will be individual profiles; others will lead you to a category of professionals). Visit each of the top-listed profiles and take note of how they are representing themselves — in particular, the headline they use to describe themselves, the keywords they include, and their Featured Skills & Endorsements.
Like other social media sites, LinkedIn uses search to help connect you with people you know — or people you should know. For this reason, optimizing your profile (so it ranks well in search results) ensures that your profile will be found.
Finally, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — a well-written professional résumé will give you most of the content you need to create a compelling LinkedIn profile.