With more than 414 million users, LinkeIn is the largest professional social network. And, getting bigger by the day – making it the biggest pool of talent online too. When it comes to LinkedIn, we’re all little fishes in a big pond. Which means, if you want to be contacted about great business and career opportunities through LinkedIn, you need to stand out. However, that’s where many users are making a critical mistake.
99% of Users Fail To Optimize Their Profile
Most of LinkedIn’s members don’t know how to optimize the content of their profile so they can be found. It all comes down to putting in A) the right words, and B) the right amount of words. Here’s why…
No Keywords = No Visibility
LinkedIn is a search tool. Just like Google, if you want to find what you are looking for, you need to put in specific keywords to narrow down the search results. For example, if I’m looking for a marketing professional with social media experience, I would put in “marketing” and “social media.” The LinkedIn platform then searches through all the candidates with those skill sets and looks at how many times those keywords show up throughout their profile. This is known as, “keyword density.” The more density you have for the search term, the higher up in the search results your profile goes. [This quick video explains it all.]
Your Headline is Prime Real Estate
In addition to keyword density, your headline is critical to being found. If you have the keyword in your headline, LinkedIn sees you as an even greater match and pushes you further up the search results. Thus, placement of keywords matter as much as density.
And, Don’t Forget Those Endorsements
Many people have dismissed the Skills & Endorsements section of their LinkedIn profiles, assuming they don’t really mean much. Unfortunately, they’re wrong. The number of endorsements you get for a skill set counts towards your keyword density for that term. Therefore, the more endorsements you have, the more likely you’ll show up in the search results of someone looking for that skill set.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Spending time optimizing your LinkedIn profile is worth it. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the better your results will be. Remember, the number of LinkedIn users is only going to get bigger, creating more competition in search results. The longer you put off optimizing your profile, the lower you’ll show on the list – if at all.
By J.T. O’Donnell for Inc.com