Your LinkedIn profile is key to promoting your professional credentials online and relies heavily on search results to drive people to your information.
It’s a great idea to invest some time in optimising your LinkedIn profile because many companies use a tool called LinkedIn Talent Solutions to search for candidates via keywords, location, industry and a number of other parametres.
To stand out from the millions of other LinkedIn profiles, you’ll want to make sure you’re maximising your relevant keywords.
Here are the top 5 places to use keywords for a powerful LinkedIn Profile:
1. LinkedIn Name Field
Along with your actual name, you can add a total of 40 characters in the name field. This allows you to add post nominals relating to your education, professional certifications or industry memberships.
According to LinkedIn Help, the following additions are acceptable in the name field:
- Suffixes and certifications
- Former names, maiden names, and nicknames
The following are NOT allowed:
- Personal information (email addresses or phone numbers)
- Symbols, special characters or numbers
- Anyone’s name other than a real person
Here’s an example of a keyword-rich name extension that’s completely acceptable:
Jeff Turner, MBA, PMP, MCIPS
2. LinkedIn Professional Headline
Your Headline is of primary importance – the keywords in the headline play a major role in your search results ranking. Plus, headlines are the most prominent highlighted element in a long list of search results, so you want yours to stand out.
LinkedIn automatically populates this field with your current role, but its far better to craft a headline that’s keyword rich and will resonate with those you want to impress. LinkedIn allows a headline of up to 120 characters. Make the most of this allotment by adding keywords that get you as close to the character limit as possible.
This is not the place to add phrases like “Open to Networking Opportunities” or “Seeking Next Assignment”. They use up precious space for keywords. Move those to your Summary section.
Here’s an example of a keyword-rich professional headline:
Senior Project | Programme Manager | Manufacturing > Process Design > Six Sigma
3. Current and Previous Job Titles
LinkedIn allows 100 characters for each Job Title so you can add keyword rich “functional descriptions” to improve your search results.
For example, say your current job title is “Project Engineer” and you’re working in the automotive industry and engaged in new product development using Six Sigma methodology.
You can add a few choice keywords to get better search results. For example:
Automotive Project Engineer – New Product Development, Six Sigma
4. Add a current position (even if you’re not working)
Many recruiters conduct searches based on the “current job title” field. If you have no current job title (with the appropriate keywords), you won’t show up in their results. So try to add a current role, even if you’re not working.
Ideas for doing this include:
1) moving relevant unpaid work or volunteer experience into the “current job” slot and
2) creating a job called “Continuing Education” and listing relevant courses you’ve recently taken while not working.
5. Organisation Name
If you like to spell the organisation you worked at differently than the way LinkedIn recognises it, defer to LinkedIn’s spelling. That’s because LinkedIn will have you show up in more searches if it recognises the organisation. You’ll know if you’ve entered the organisation name correctly if its logo shows up on your profile.
Finally, it makes sense to have as complete a profile as possible. Add a powerful, keyword-rich summary section that highlights your background, major accomplishments, and your goals. Write it in the first person and make it personal. Similarly. If you don’t fill in the job descriptions sections, you’re missing another opportunity to improve your chances of appearing in recruiters searches by way of the additional keywords.
Don’t underestimate the power of keywords! LinkedIn is driven by search. 97% of recruiters and hiring managers now use LinkedIn to find, vet and approach candidates so if the keywords are lacking relative to your competition, you won’t come up in search results.
Getting it right requires hard work and plenty of thought.
At ABCV Solutions we can help you stand out both offline and online. Leveraging all the tools at your disposal is increasingly important in today’s competitive job market, and our professional team can work closely with you to ensure you get the exposure you are looking to achieve whether that be via a powerfully written professional CV or fully optimised LinkedIn profile.
Contact us today to find out more ABCV Solutions
About the author…Amelia Brooke is the Founder of ABCV Solutions, the UK’s only CV writing company 100% dedicated to the engineering sector. She has a passion for words and grammar, and an instinctive ‘feel’ for people that allows her to always find the right pitch, online and offline.