So then. LinkedIn. The business person’s platform to exist in and connect. There are no Facebook-pics-of-the-party-we-trashed here. Oh no, we most certainly do not transmit tantalising titbits like we do on Twitter.
On LinkedIn, we talk business, and we mean business.
The beauty of LinkedIn is that it’s the most eloquent tool to use when you are looking for a job. LinkedIn is your friend, baby. Embrace him, give him a virtual hug and thank him for all the wondrous connections you are about to make. (or perhaps LinkedIn is a her…. Not the point here though, is it?)
This post is all about action, action, action. My shiny gift to you today is a step-by-step guide to literally change your LinkedIn profile. You can read through it a few times and come back to it if you need to do some prepping before you start the editing journey. It’ll be here when you’re ready. No time like the present though, right?
So, let’s shimmy on down and get right to it.
Who’s trying to find you?
These are the chaps and chappettes that want to find someone like you on LinkedIn. Let’s call these people your targets. They are potential employers, or recruitment consultants, that will use LinkedIn to find new candidates. They may even be professionals in your industry looking to connect with the awesomeness that is you.
Figure out and write down who your targets are – these are the people you will be building your profile for.
The golden key to key words and phrases
Now you know who will be searching for you, get specific about what words they are using to search for you. Write down all the words and phrases that come to mind. These are your key words and key phrases that we will use when we update your profile – this is on its way later down the page.
Be specific. What are people searching for to find you? Are they using specific words for skills, industry, or location? Are they searching for job titles? Are they using ‘project manager’ or are they using ‘Agile project manager, Manchester’?
When it comes to searching for perfect candidate, your targets are getting as specific, or even more specific, just on job titles alone.
Now, onto the job descriptions. What words will your targets use to search for here? Clients you have worked with, products your business has launched, systems you use or specific skills you have? List all of these too. Your target could be searching for ‘Agile project manager Manchester Visio MS Project’.
Write down all of these too. Chances are they are already on your CV (and if they’re not – shame on you! But we can fix it together…)
No, we are not talking personality questionnaires, endless morning affirmations and chanting to the gods in a grass skirt. I’m asking you to literally search for yourself in LinkedIn. It’s on the top right of the screen. Type the words your targets will be using to search for people and press the cute blue search button.
Do it right now, honey – I’ll be here when you get back.
So then, how’d you do? Where did you rank? In the top 5? On the first page? No?
Well, there is p-ah-lenty we can do to change that.
Remember the key words and phrases you compiled that are specific to what your target is searching for? These are your secret weapons to increasing your rankings in a search result. The more these are used throughout your profile, the higher your chances of rocking the pants off that search result.
Shimmering your magic word dust
Armed with your key words and phrases, it’s time to sprinkle them across your entire profile.
Headline (or title that appears under your name at the top of the page), job titles, summary and job descriptions – all are reviewed by LinkedIn when a search is done and are used to rank the results in order of relevance. This is where the key words should be.
Time to get to editing. Make changes, using key words and phrases, to the following parts of your profile:
Current and past experience (add key words in each of your work experiences)
So basically, your entire profile! Consistently using the words and phrases your targets are using to search for you will improve your ranking in the search results, since your entire profile page is queried.
What if you want to change jobs and you’re doing something different now? Fret not, dear reader. Write what you want to do, using key words, in your summary section.
What transferable skills do you have from the jobs you have done that will be insanely useful in the job you want? Add these to job descriptions of previous (or current) jobs.
If you’re not using the correct words, how is the knight-in-shining-new-job-armour going to find you?
Find yourself again
(Still no chanting or grass skirts).
Once your profile is glowing with the delicious updates you have made, it’s time to search again. Using the same words you used in the first search, type them into the search box.
Search ranking improved? High five, yo!
- If you don’t have a profile picture up, add one – now. People relate to people, not a LinkedIn icon. Make it respectful, now. This ain’t no Facebook pic for your friends.
- Update your contact info – email address and phone number if you want to add both.
- Are there spelling mistakes and other errors? Clean up that mess – or better still, ask a trusted comrade to proof-read it for you.
Now that your shiny new profile is ready to rock your target’s world, don’t be shy and wait for them to come to you – go out and get ‘em.
- Join industry groups
- Participate in discussion and get to know the crowd there
- Completing a questionnaire? Leave a comment so other praiseworthy participants know what you think
- Who do you admire and respect? What groups are they part of? Join them. Get your face out there and get known.
- Want to know them better? Shoot them an email and ask them if they will meet you and share some of their yoda-moves for how they got to where they were.
If you’d like some personalised LinkedIn time, drop me a line and we can grab a (virtual) drink, talk it through and find a solution.
Or if you want even more deets on what LinkedIn can do for you, Lewis Howes is doing some damn-fine LinkedIn teaching. Worth having a snoop round his site (that wasn’t an affiliate link, btw).
As a tiny takeaway, I did this for my profile a couple of months ago. I moved from page 3 to page 1 in the search for ‘prepaid card project manager’. The ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ stats changed from 7 times in the past 7 days for search results, to 32 times. Take a look:
Needless to say, I received a good few calls from my targets. I ended up accepting a job using a different channel (subject for another post methinks), but the interest-in-me-on-LI-rate peaked quite nicely. Rip-roaring success if I must say.
So there you have it.
- Find key words
- Beautify your profile with them
- Connect with some go-getters
- Sit back and watch the ecstatic emails roll in.
Have we met before? No? Then get with the go-getters and grab some inspiration by downloading the official Your Work Is Your Life manifesto – grab it here
If you’re digging this, get your teeth into these: