Leveraging LinkedIn to Maximize Yourself in Search Results

Ever wonder what to do with your LinkedIn profile once you create it?


Leveraging LinkedIn to Maximize Yourself in Search Results

Granted the vast majority of people who visit this website are programmers and I fully recognize this truth.  The reason for this article is to help shed some light into a very popular website – LinkedIn.  There are 75 million current users on the site, and that number is growing.  One issue that LinkedIn acknowledges is that a vast majority of users really don't know what to do with the site (their profile) after joining .  Or put another way, people create profiles and are left thinking "now what…."  Let's see if we can change this perspective.

For starters LinkedIn is searchable by Google.  Say for example you Google your name- there is a high probability your name will appear near the top of the organic search results.  In light of this we can carry that "Google mentality" into our LinkedIn account.

More and more people are starting to find jobs through LinkedIn.  People making hiring decisions are beginning to realize they power LinkedIn offers.  And I for one know of a high ranking corporate executive who was recently offered a job because of the way he wrote his LinkedIn profile.  You see, his profile was written so that people searching with specific terms would find him.  In short, he used keywords throughout his profile.  Other people searched for these key terms, found him through the search results page, approached him with a job opportunity of which he eventually accepted.  The point to make note of is they found him; he was not searching for a job.    So what is the secret?

LinkedIn has some interesting mechanisms at work behind the scenes. Knowing these mechanisms will help your profile have high rankings in search results.  LinkedIn likes to have these three conditions met:

·         A minimum of 100+ connections (300 is better).

·         Activity.  By this I mean go into your profile and post an update, connect with someone, write notes, join groups, comment, etc.  The main thing to realize is that whenever you make a change to your profile it will get broadcast to your entire network.  This is literally instant viral action.
Even if you change the wording in your profile be re-arranging some terms this counts as a change and will show up on others  profiles.

·         Make sure your profile is 100% complete.  Failure to do so may hurt you a bit in search results.

Once the above criteria are met you start to tip LinkedIn's algorithm in your favor. 

How to "optimize" you profile?

The trick here is to apply some basic SEO principles.  Ask yourself the following question- how would people find me, or what terms would a potential employer search for me by?  Once you have identified these key terms add them throughout your profile.  NOTE—do not use such tactics like "keyword-stuffing" – this is not good and besides LinkedIn knows this trick.

Added bonus from LinkedIn

In the coming weeks LinkedIn will be rolling out a new piece of software that will show you the "key terms" people are using when they look at your account.  This is a really cool instrument that can really help you optimize your profile.

Hope this helps.  For the record I am a LinkedIn Pro member.

~Dave