One of the great beauties of LinkedIn is that it’s a search engine. Millions of people are using LinkedIn search every day to find other professionals both for jobs and to provide products and services. If you structure your profile right so that you show up in the right searches, you’ll find that the right job (or client) just might come to you easily, instead of you having to go out and find them. In this article, I want to talk about how to do just that. Make your profile very search engine friendly.
The first thing you need to do is to figure out how someone would search for you. You can get some small amount of help from LinkedIn’s analytics, especially if you have a paid account. What might be more useful, though, would be to go to Google and start typing in phrases you think someone might use. Look at the suggested searches that Google suggests. These are searches that have already been done by someone else on Google. And, it’s just as likely that someone’s doing these same searches on LinkedIn. Find a few that make sense for you, and then note down the actual phrase used. These phrases, by the way, are called keywords.
Once you’ve narrowed down to two or three keywords, you’ll want to optimize your profile for them. That starts with the headline. You’ll want to squeeze what you think should be the primary keyword into your headline, all without making it sound weird. The next thing you’ll need to do is to use your main keyword, and perhaps a couple related keywords, in your profile summary. Make sure it reads well, though! You don’t want to sacrifice readability for optimization.
Now that you’ve got your keywords sorted and your profile optimized, you want to make sure that it “sells” to an interested visitor who lands on the page. Start with a good, professional head shot for your picture. Next, you’ll want to beef up your recommendations and skills. The only thing you might want to do after this is to experiment with different keywords to see if you’re showing up in more or fewer searches.