Everyone wants to be found by recruiters on LinkedIn. Many of us have found prior positions with recruiters. 90% of all companies and almost all 3rd party Recruiters search LinkedIn for keywords appropriate for the job or industry when searching candidates.
So how can you get found to speed your job search?
The 3 secrets to getting found are 1) understand what keywords you should use on your LinkedIn profile 2) using keywords in the 4 major sections of your LinkedIn profile that are searchable and 3) use multi-word keywords instead of single-word keywords.
Secret 1: How do you even know what your keywords are?
It’s really great to know what to do with LinkedIn keywords once you know what they are. What are they? To first tackle discovering your keywords, find 6 job descriptions from any job boards including Handshake, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. Make sure these job descriptions are representative of your career goals. Please make sure you pick job descriptions that match:
- Your seniority (e.g. entry-level)
- The rough size of the company (e.g. startup, mid-size or Fortune 500)
- The appropriate job title for your industry or industries
Once you have your 6 representative descriptions, copy and paste the wording for each into a word counter website like wordclouds.com and copy the most frequently occurring words that the website identifies.
For https://www.wordclouds.com/, find and click the “Wizard” button as I show below.
You will then see the following:
Click “Type or paste text” and paste every word of each of 6 job descriptions; then click “Close”. Wordclouds.com will automatically count the frequency of each word and produce a list.
To access your list, Click “Word list” and your top words will appear with their count as shown below.
Note the number of times each word is used (Weight) and the word itself. Clearly “job”, “responsibilities”, and “experience” will show up, but please ignore these.
For the top 20 words, make sure they appear multiple times in your LinkedIn Profile. The #1 count word should appear the most with the 20th count word appearing the least.
Secret 2: Putting Your Keywords in the 4 Secret Places
While you should never sacrifice great content for keywords, placing keywords in the 4 secret places is essential. LinkedIn has a complicated algorithm to determine when you appear when a recruiter or any other professional does a search. We know with high certainty that the following areas are the major ones eligible to be searched:
- Headline (below your name)
- About section
- Experience section
- Skills & Endorsements section
Each section has restrictions in terms of the number of characters allowed; therefore, use keywords carefully. For a list of the restrictions, please check out LinkedIn Restrictions. Also note LinkedIn is constantly making changes so the exact character count could be slightly different than outlined in the above link.
The rest of this section will focus on the Headline and the About sections. We will save Experience and Skills & Endorsements for another blog.
Your headline is generally the second item people see after your picture. One should be able to read your headline and
know exactly what your value add is to an employer. This section was recently expanded to accommodate 220 characters including spaces, up from 120 for some users.
If you don’t customize your headline, LinkedIn will default to your current job title and company name.
Secret 3: Use Multiple Word Keywords