You probably know by now the importance of LinkedIn in your career.
If not, here’s a quick primer. LinkedIn is a brilliant tool for building your personal brand and credibility, and it’s indispensable in any job search.
If you want to be shoulder-tapped for your dream job, having a strong LinkedIn profile is a must.
But what you might not know is how hard it can be to show up on the first page of search results. And, as with a Google search, if you’re showing up on the second, third or fourth pages, you may as well not have a profile at all.
If your ‘Who’s viewed your profile?’ stats are looking a bit sad week after week, it’s time to make a few changes.
Tip: Before you start editing your profile, be sure to turn off updates to your network - that way your connections won’t be notified of every change you make. You’ll find this on the right hand side of your profile:
Complete your profile
Just like other search engines, LinkedIn uses an algorithm to rank results. While no-one can be exactly sure of the details, it does seem that the algorithm gives a special weighting to completed profiles.
What this means that even if you have the same relevance to the search as another person’s profile, if theirs is 100% complete and yours isn’t, they’ll rank above you in a search result.
Having a complete profile means you’re 40x more likely to receive opportunities, such as job offers, mentors, or new business.
To achieve All-Star status, make sure you complete the following:
- Your industry and location
- Current position, including description
- Minimum of two past positions
- A minimum of three skills
- At least 50 connections
Pick a good photo
Just having a profile picture, period, means you’re more than 7x more likely to appear in a search.
If you can, get a professional head and shoulders taken. If not, at the very least make sure it’s in good lighting, and that it’s crisp, friendly and closely cropped. The ideal size is 400 x 400 pixels.
Bonus tip: Consider using a plain, but brightly coloured background, as it will help you to stand out much more in a search result.
Use the right keywords
Think like a marketer and do a bit of keyword research to understand exactly what words people are using to search for people like you.
Take a look at people in your industry who rank well for profile views:
- From Home, click on ‘Number of people who viewed your profile in the last 7 days’ (top right)
- Choose ‘How you rank for profile views’ (top right)
- Click on ‘Your connections’ (top left)
Take a look at anyone with a similar profile to you who ranks highly. What keywords are they using in their headline and summary?
If you want to get really clever, you could use Google’s free keyword planner. This isn’t connected to LinkedIn search, but it does give you a good general idea of popular search terms around your occupation in your area.
Once you have a small list of top keywords, be sure to use them in your headline, summary and experience.
Pay attention to your headline
The text below your name is prime real estate and the LinkedIn algorithm appears to give it special weighting.
Your headline defaults to your current position and company, but you should always customise it. Use those keywords you identified and feel free to be creative.
Finally, be sure to include your city - it will make you 23x more likely to show up in searches.
Make your profile public!
If you want career opportunities to find you, you need to make your profile public. Seems obvious, right? But you’d be surprised how many people set their profile to private and wonder why they’re not showing up in searches.
Build your connections, join groups, and contribute
All the tips I’ve given you so far will help you to show up in searches. But very often, job opportunities come about because someone’s seen your profile by chance.
The more quality connections you have, groups you join, and conversations you’re a part of, the more likely this is to happen. So be sure to lock in 10 minutes a day to focus on connecting with your network, posting relevant updates, and contributing to group discussions.
These tips should help you be approached on LinkedIn more often. Don't forget though, that sometimes great job opportunities are closer than you think - check out our job board for the pick of Auckland's best accounting and finance jobs.