LinkedIn Profile SEO

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for SEO

In case you haven’t heard, LinkedIn has now attracted more than 500 million members – becoming a hotbed of job search activity, with recruiters pursuing desirable candidates and job seekers vying for attention from hiring decision-makers.

With such fierce competition, you’ll need to employ aggressive keyword and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies in order to be found for a choice job.

Here are the best ways to boost your findability on LinkedIn and optimize your Profile for SEO, including search algorithm strategy and keyword adjustments:

1 – Add Keywords Representing Your Top Skills.

Keywords, otherwise known as skills and areas of competency, are not a new concept for job seekers. Resumes are routinely passed through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), where they’re scanned to ensure an adequate match on a set of pre-defined, desirable capabilities.

On LinkedIn, recruiters search for candidates using these same terms found in job descriptions, trying to find talented professionals. By adding these keywords to your Profile, you’ll ensure a stronger match on the strengths preferred by employers.

For example, the following keywords will be relevant to Sales Professional jobs: Prospecting, Customer Relationship Management, Salesforce, or Contract Negotiations. A Chief Information Officer can leverage keywords such as Enterprise Systems, Applications Development Oversight, Project Portfolios, or IT Operations.

To find keywords, first peruse job descriptions and look for common terms. By putting the job requirements into a word cloud application (such as Tag Crowd), you’ll be able to see which keywords are mentioned most frequently. For example, a Plant Manager job description yielded keywords such as Service, Compliance, Quality Regulations, and Safety.

The main reason to add keywords? You’ll never know exactly how employers are searching for candidates like you. Therefore, the more phrases you add on LinkedIn, the more likely you’ll be coming up in search results – improving your chances of becoming a viable candidate for an open job.

2 – Improve Keyword Density.

So you’ve now learned about keyword content and the reasons why your LinkedIn Profile should contain relevant skills, job titles, and competencies for better traffic. However, optimizing your LinkedIn Profile isn’t just a matter of keyword volume: it’s dependent on keyword density.

Density refers to the frequency of keywords relative to the overall number of words on your Profile. The good news? This doesn’t have to be a difficult task. If you want a stronger draw on a skill such as SAP Development, you’d simply add this phrase everywhere possible: in your Summary, Experience, Certifications, and Headline.

Keep in mind, however, that great SEO from just a few skill sets means you might miss out on other traffic. For example, a General Manager skilled in growing companies and managing functions such as manufacturing, sales, product development, and marketing might add only these terms on LinkedIn, but he or she could rank much lower on abilities such as Team-Building, Restructuring, or Mergers & Acquisitions.

It’s best to routinely review the keywords on your Profile and look for more ways to add them in multiple sections. By doing so, your Profile will more closely align with common skills in your field, with better density for each term.

3 – Remove “Fluff” Words From Your Profile.

In addition to boosting your keyword volume and density, you’ll also need to remove words that are not likely to represent your brand or ROI to an employer. For most job seekers, the terms Responsible For, Unemployed, Experienced, Professional, and Highly Accomplished are overused and do not add credibility on LinkedIn.

It also goes without saying that these words won’t help your LinkedIn SEO. By replacing these phrases with terms taken directly out of job descriptions, your keyword density will improve – and you can be taken more seriously by employers who find your credentials online.

4 – Employ Keywords in Highly Indexed Fields for Better SEO.

When deciding where and how to add search terms to your Profile, look no further than the site’s most highly indexed fields: Headline, Job Titles, and Certifications (your name field is actually the top most indexed field). While you can incorporate keywords into any part of LinkedIn, your Profile will have more “pull” if desirable terms appear in these areas.

It’s easiest to begin with the #2 indexed field, which is your Headline (see A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline). Fill in as many of the 120 characters allowed with keywords specific to your career, such as your desired job title, skills, and results, as shown in these examples:

Sales Engineer. Presales Leadership in Cloud, Virtualization, Infrastructure, & SaaS Channels. Consistent 120%+ of Quota

COO, VP Global Operations. Manufacturing Efficiency, Production Quality, Capacity Growth in APAC, US, Canada, & Europe

Portfolio & Project Manager. Rapid Deployment Using Agile XP in Multi-Site Environments. Team Direction & Mentoring

You can then repeat this process for other important fields, such as your Job Titles, where you can add a keyword next to your official title (VP of IT – Infrastructure Leadership or CFO, Global Forecasting & Accounting).

5 – Review & Optimize Your Keyword Strategy for Results.

If your LinkedIn Headline, Summary, Job Titles, and other sections are drawing the traffic you want, with plenty of employer views and inquiries, then your Profile is working perfectly! If not, you’ll want to swap out keywords and strengthen your Profile for better results, particularly if you’re in an active job search.

If you’ve recently made changes to key fields on LinkedIn for better SEO, it’s best to wait for at least a week to gauge any change in your LinkedIn connections or traffic.

In the meantime, run a search (using the Search feature at the top of the page) for people with similar titles or credentials. Make note of the keywords used in each Profile, and where they appear. You’ll gain insights on potential competitors in your field, as well as inspiration for changes you can apply to your own Profile.

The takeaway? Keyword strategy is an important part of a strong and effective LinkedIn Profile, enabling you to optimize it for SEO and a continual flow of traffic.

By staying on top of desirable skills in your field and adding terms that represent your expertise, you can reap better value from your LinkedIn presence.

Executive Resume Writer

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How to write your LinkedIn Headline

A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline

Far from being just a placeholder, your LinkedIn Profile Headline has an important job to do. If you’ve adjusted it to market you effectively, it can represent your personal brand and become an online promotional workhorse.

The most highly indexed part of your Profile (next to your name), your Headline allows recruiters and employers to locate you, based on the search terms or keywords you specify… so if you’ve filled in only part of the Headline or let LinkedIn populate it with your current job title (the default value), you could be missing out on valuable traffic to your Profile. Don’t let that happen!

Instead, use as many of the 120 characters available in your Headline – ensuring that it represents your career level and personal brand, while distinguishing you from your competition. Try the following formula when you’re stumped for an effective LinkedIn Headline that leverages your industry expertise, achievements, and keywords: Continue reading “A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline”

Did You Fall for These Resume Myths?

No matter how much advice is published on the subject, some myths still circulate about the best way to write your resume. Fortunately, a lot has changed in resume writing and job search – and you can benefit from these new trends.

For example, you might have been told to keep your resume to a specified length or to always exclude certain types of information. Given how much has changed in the job market, many of these “rules” have fallen by the wayside.

Take a look at the longstanding myths and misconceptions about resume writing, then see which of these apply to your own resume: Continue reading “Did You Fall for These Resume Myths?”

How to Choose the Right LinkedIn Photo

So you’ve filled in your LinkedIn Profile information, with solid Summary, Experience, and Education sections. What’s next?

A great headshot that exudes leadership qualities, conveys confidence, and makes employers eager to meet you.

If you’re unsure how to select a photo for your LinkedIn Profile, you have plenty of company. Many job seekers pull in a hastily cropped family photograph or select a picture with a vacation scene, rather than taking the time to use the right LinkedIn headshot. However, just like your best interview suit or a powerfully written Profile, a positive, personality-infused LinkedIn photo can make a great first impression.

These tips will help you avoid a LinkedIn photo disaster (especially the kind that turns off potential employers): Continue reading “How to Choose the Right LinkedIn Photo”

3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly

linkedin profile update

Want to use LinkedIn for your job search, but afraid that your employer will find out?

Worried that your boss or colleagues will react to changes in your Profile?

You probably know there’s no way to make your LinkedIn Profile 100% private; however, these tips will help you update LinkedIn during your job search – without giving yourself away: Continue reading “3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly”

What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?

executive linkedin photoAfter seeing too many executive photos on LinkedIn that look like a hunting party or golf club outing, I have to ask:

What message are you trying to send with your headshot?

Omitting a LinkedIn photo isn’t a good idea, because many users prefer to connect with others who’ve provided an image.

However, if your headshot makes others reluctant to network with you or persuades recruiters to pass you by, it’s worth a second look. Ask yourself these questions to gauge the effectiveness of your Profile photo:

Continue reading “What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?”

How to Write a CFO Resume That Reflects Your Leadership Brand

cropped-financialteam.jpgPursuing your next step up the career ladder as CFO or Controller?

Your CFO resume must connect the dots from tactical details, such as financial reporting or systems, to strategic advisor and CEO partner.

By showing examples of strategic decision-making and forecasting, IT oversight, performance recommendations, and Board influence, your CFO resume will position you to compete against other contenders for a C-suite role.

Here’s how to present your value proposition on a powerful, effective CFO resume: Continue reading “How to Write a CFO Resume That Reflects Your Leadership Brand”