A LinkedIn profile has many different sections, but LinkedIn’s Search Algorithm likes some of them better than others. Keywords in your Name, Headline, Company Name, Job Title and Skills rank higher in the search results. This is why it’s so important to have a 100% complete profile. If these key fields are blank or filled with generic terms, then you fall to the bottom of the search rankings. Think about which search terms are most important and relevant for your business / career and then search LinkedIn for those keywords. If you don’t show up on the first page of results, update these key sections (Headline, Job Title, Skills) to include those relevant terms and then search again. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you shoot up the ranks! (Side note: LinkedIn allows you to choose up to 50 Skills. If you’ve selected anything less than 50, you’re putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage. Why give your competition a free head-start in the race?)
Just like companies build their brands, it's important for you to build your professional brand online. How do you stand out from others in your industry? What makes you marketable? Why should someone pay you six figures?
Personal websites are great for this, but they often come with extra costs — and hours and hours of building and finessing. LinkedIn is a simple way to put your name on the professional map. Upload a professional profile picture and write a powerful summary that emphasizes your strengths and showcases your personality. When recruiters, employers, co-workers, and managers peruse your profile, they should be able to gain a strong understanding of who you are and what skills you bring to the table.
An optimized LinkedIn profile can have far-reaching effects. BrandYourself recently analyzed 100,000 profiles and found that LinkedIn was the social network MOST often appearing at the top of Google search results. This means that opportunities (job offers, clients, business deals, etc.) could be pouring in from both LinkedIn as well as external searches from the web. Make sure that your profile is optimized to bring opportunities your way and to be sure that your audience likes what they see when they get there!
The amount and type of data stored by LinkedIn is mind-boggling when you really think about it and there are infinite ways to slice it and dice it. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer, client, or future employer and search away… How do YOU look? Can they even FIND you? Now you’ve got the knowledge to make those changes and use LinkedIn’s powerful search tools to your full advantage!