Is Anyone Reading Your LinkedIn Profile?
By Helene Cavalli on February 14, 2013
Are you paying attention to how often your LinkedIn profile is viewed or how often you appear in searches? If you’re not seeing results, you’re not capitalizing on the full value of LinkedIn. The objective is to capture attention and build your network. One strategy is to create a profile that will rank high in search results when someone conducts a search on specific key words associated with your function and industry.
Unfortunately, many people create profiles that fail to incorporate the right key words or rely heavily on overused buzz words, rendering them unfindable and undifferentiated. The recently released 2012 list of overused LinkedIn buzzwords provides users with some valuable insight into how to make sure they don’t sound and look like everyone else. According to LinkedIn’s analysis of more than 187 million profiles, the most often used profile buzzwords include: creative, organizational, effective, motivated, extensive experience, track record, innovative, responsible, analytical, and problem solving.
What can you learn from this study that will help raise your visibility? Here are a few questions to consider when evaluating your LinkedIn profile:
- Only declare what you can demonstrate. Your profile should reveal what you’ve done by outlining accomplishments and achievements. Back up assertions of “creative” or “innovative” with examples that illustrate these traits.
- Emphasize verbs instead of adjectives. Words like “developed,” “reduced,” and “increased” carry more impact than descriptive words. Instead of identifying yourself as a “problem solver,” provide an example that illustrates your problem-solving skills.
- Don’t overstate a “given.” It’s unnecessary to use words such as “responsible” or “motivated” as descriptors. Hiring managers see these qualities as a baseline. Again, let your accomplishments tell the story.
- Understand your audience. Think about the specific terms that your target audience uses to find professionals like you. Add keywords to the 3 high-traffic fields of your LinkedIn profile: your headline, profile and job description. Monitor to see if you have a measurable increase in the number of times you appear in search results and profile views. Continue to monitor and refine.
Research shows that hiring managers and recruiters are flocking to LinkedIn, conducting targeted searches for potential candidates that are yielding very effective results. Your goal is to be found. Use words that will hook your audience so they read your profile and can quickly establish if you are someone they need to connect with.
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