Whether you’re using LinkedIn to find your next job, search for top talent, or establish a personal brand, there are several things you can do to help the real you rise to the top.
Your LinkedIn profile is likely the first result when someone searches for your name (according to our friends at Forbes). With a growing user base of over 364 million registered LinkedIn users, it’s harder than ever to position yourself as that coveted first result. Back in 2008, people would’ve easily found you, but times have changed. You have to do everything right, or else when that recruiter or prospect comes calling, you risk getting lost among other candidates. Here are some ways to make sure you’re rising above the crowd.
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Have a Complete Profile
The number one way to rank in more search results is to provide more information with a complete profile. LinkedIn does a great job prompting users to fill in each section with details. Ensure your profile strength says “All-Star.” Take some time and ensure these details are filled in before moving on.
While you can add up to 50 skills on your profile, keep in mind that this will make your profile a bit of a mess. It’s best to focus on the skills that you truly excel at; this way, people are more likely to endorse you for skills that they know you are capable of. You also never want to be asked to elaborate on skill that’s clearly not among your strengths. If you’re not sure which skills to add, consider picking some of the top 25 skills people got hired for.
Make a Compelling Headline
Aside from your name and location, only your headline makes the cut in Google search results. Make sure you’re putting the right message out there.
There are simple ways you can turn a bland headline into a more engaging and memorable one. One way to do this is to explain your job in a way that shows how you solve problems:
Sales Executive at Shoe Company
Enabling people to put the best foot forward by connecting them with the right shoes
My mom would approve of LinkedIn’s search algorithm, because it follows a classic bit of maternal advice: “you are the company you keep.” You’re more likely to show up and rank higher if you have more quality connections. As with most things, there are diminishing returns; for example, going from 5 to 250 connections will really impact your ranking while going from 600 to 1500 might not make a difference at all.
Link back to your profile
The more people visit your LinkedIn profile, the higher up your page is going to appear in search results. Include your custom profile link across your other social profiles. Not only will this help drive traffic to your profile, it will also make sure you’re taking every opportunity to make valuable connections!
Your Job History
A large portion of your LinkedIn profile contains details of your current and past jobs. Use this space to not only highlight your expertise and employment record, but also include important keywords. Hint: Use keywords that appear in job ads for positions you are currently in or looking to compete for. It’s like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the search algorithms.
Don’t forget LinkedIn is called a “social network” for a good reason. It’s easy for most users to beat out those dusty accounts that were used once, never touched again, and have since been collecting dust with a single connection. Linkedin has been putting increasing importance on being engaged. Whether you are replying to updates from your connections, asking and answering questions in LinkedIn groups, or sharing and creating posts—all these tactics will not only drive profile views back to yourself, they’ll also make you more likely to appear at the top of search results.