Your LinkedIn profile is an essential job search tool to attract companies. You want your resume and your LinkedIn profile to tell a consistent story. However, while you can modify your resume for each job that you apply to, your LinkedIn profile remains constant.
That’s why it is so important that your profile is focused on your future career aspirations. To accomplish this goal, you want to understand as much as possible about what employers are looking for in the general types of position that you are looking for. You also want to leverage some basic SEO knowledge.
Use Appropriate Keywords
The best way to be found by employers is to use keywords that they are most
likely to search for. If your profile doesn't come up in search results, you
may be losing out on job opportunities. These keywords should be scattered
throughout your profile to tell the LinkedIn search engine that they are among
the most relevant.
Most of your keyword choices will be based on nothing more than common sense and your knowledge of a given industry. But study job descriptions carefully just the same to see the skills and responsibilities that are relevant in the jobs you are seeking.
List Skills that are Relevant to a Future Employer
Instead of simply listing the skills that you use in your current job, it’s advantageous to include skills that are most relevant to your job search. For instance, if you are looking to become a software developer, you should point out that you have experience with Agile development or understand the concept behind it. If you have this knowledge, you want to mention it, even if you haven’t used it in your previous job. Of course, you won't want to list any skills that are obsolete or that an employer in your chosen field wouldn't find to be valuable.
Overcome Job Title Confusion
Some job titles are company specific and won’t be understood by the hiring managers or recruiters you want to reach. Titles like Customer Evangelist or Viceroy of Research may be fun. But they are not brilliant SEO titles.
As long as you are not exaggerating your actual position, select a job title that accurately reflects the job you have. When in doubt, you can place both your literal title and the title you want to communicate in parentheses. I don’t care if your company considers you an “HR Ninja,” if you are performing the job of HR Manager, you should put that in your LinkedIn profile.
When you talk about your previous experience, emphasize why that role makes you a good candidate for a targeted job opening. For instance, if you were the sales manager at a firm, focus more on what you did to increase sales in the way that job descriptions are seeking.
Spending time to refine and craft a targeted LinkedIn profile improves your odds of connecting with the right employers. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile may result in helping recruiters and hiring managers reach out to you more often.