Increasing search appearances is an ongoing process. Each LinkedIn member receives search results customized specifically for them, based on their LinkedIn network (connections) as well as what LinkedIn calls “relevancy to the searcher.” You can successfully optimize your Profile and increase search appearances by consistently doing the following:
1. Do NOT have a “private” Profile. Make your Profile public, both on and off LinkedIn. Many recruiters search LinkedIn and view Profiles without being logged in to LinkedIn so they won’t see your Profile unless you approve the setting which allows your Profile to be viewed by those who are off LinkedIn.
2. Use your professional name. Your name on LinkedIn is an important keyword. Use the exact version of your name from your LinkedIn Profile in your job applications and resumes.
3. Find and use the best keywords for you, particularly job titles and technical qualifications. Use these keywords in your LinkedIn Profile Headline, Experience, Skills, and Summary. Add relevant degrees and other certifications so your LinkedIn Profile will appear higher in Google search results. Many recruiters search LinkedIn Profiles using Google. Most people stop at dates and job titles wasting an ideal opportunity to promote their experience and important keywords. Highlight the experience and accomplishments that align with your current career goals.
4. Carefully choose appropriate Skills and get endorsements for them. Your LinkedIn Skills are a major search option, usually the first search criteria a recruiter chooses. Have as many relevant skills out of the 50 available as possible. LinkedIn members with more skills are contacted up to 33x more often by recruiters and other LinkedIn members. Choose the best LinkedIn Skills for you and your career and collect endorsements to prove you have them.
5. Have a robust, complete, and focused Profile. It’s your personal marketing portfolio.
- What would an employer like to know about you?
- What skills and experiences do you have that an employer would need?
- What are your most important or impressive accomplishments?
- Why would an employer hire you?
- Why would someone want to work with you?
Focus your Profile on the job you want next as specifically as possible so that it contains the right keywords for you.
6. Be well connected. Unless a recruiter is paying to use LinkedIn Recruiter or doing a search for a person’s name, LinkedIn search results include only the people who are connected to the searcher as first, second, and third degree connections inside LinkedIn. The more connections you have, the greater the likelihood that you will appear in someone’s search results, even if they are a third degree connection. Search results are not sorted by the degree of connection, so a third degree connection can be the top entry in search results. Clearly, if you have a limited number of connections, your visibility in LinkedIn is extremely limited.
7. Include your current (or your target) location. Employers usually want someone who is local so the person can be interviewed easily, start quickly, and avoid the expense of a relocation. This makes Location one of the most important and often used search criteria for recruiters looking for qualified candidates, inside and outside of LinkedIn. A country name is not a useful location on LinkedIn. Be more specific, with at least a state, and preferably a city and state (or area name, like “Greater Boston Area”). When a recruiter is looking for a candidate in the Boston area, LinkedIn members who are in other locations are not visible, including those who are in “The United States.” Yes, Boston is in the USA, but the important keyword for this search is “Boston.” Not surprisingly, Location is also a main search criteria in LinkedIn Recruiter. More than 30% of recruiters will use advanced search based on location. Use your current (or target) Zip or Postal Code which LinkedIn will usually translate to a specific city (from the Zip/Postal Code) or to a general region (like “Greater Boston Area”). You’ll be able to protect your privacy while providing LinkedIn with a very valuable element in their search algorithm. If your goal is to move, use a Zip/Postal Code for your target location.
8. Include a professional headshot photo. Members with photos receive 21X more Profile views and up to 36 times more messages.
9. Be consistently active on LinkedIn. The less active and visible you are on LinkedIn, the lower your name will appear in LinkedIn search results. Make career relevant posts. Share good information from solid sources. Ask good questions. Make good comments on the posts of others. Be polite, positive, and professional. “Tag” people who are relevant or would be interested in your posts by typing the “@” sign followed by their name. Be sure that your spelling and grammar are perfect. Keep your Profile current. LinkedIn members with “up-to-date” positions are discovered 18 times more often in searches by recruiters and other members.
10. Share your LinkedIn URL. Make it very easy for people to find your LinkedIn Profile by adding it to your digital business cards. Be sure to include your LinkedIn URL in your resume and job applications, so that employers will see it when they do their research. Don’t forget to put it in your e-mail “signature” at the bottom of all of your e-mail messages. If you have visibility on other websites (e.g. professional associations and/or business directories) or publish articles on other websites link the about-this-author blurb to your LinkedIn Profile (known as “back links”).
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