Is Professional in your LinkedIn Headline?

If the word Professional is in your LinkedIn headline, you need to consider removing it.

If you are a professional singer, dancer, actor, sports figure, OK, you can professional dancerleave the word in your headline. But if you have any level of notoriety on a professional level, you probably aren’t using LinkedIn to help you advance your products and services.

One of the things that I advise in my LinkedIn workshops and one-on-one coaching is to remove the word professional from your headline. It is a dead give away that you are in job search mode. My thought pattern is this – if you were employed and were using your job title as your headline, does your job title say “National Sales Representative Professional”? If you are currently employed are you no longer a professional at what you do, when you were a professional when you did not have a current position?

Instead I suggest that you employ the keyword tactic. If you want to read more about this, read this article that I published. Using keywords helps you in the search algorithms and doesn’t make you look like you are looking for your next opportunity.

Other words that you should consider removing from your headline, especially if they are the majority of your headline, include:

  • Seeking next opportunity
  • Targeting XYZ Roles
  • Actively “anything”
  • Seasoned
  • Determined
  • Experienced

All of these words are a dead give-away you are in job search mode.

I also recommend that you don’t use them in your summary until, at the very most, if at all, the last sentence.
linkedin-keywords-2

Participants ask, what do they do about having a current job. Put it in your profile so that your profile gets to All-Star status, but grab and drag it below a job that is in your career field.

Remember that when you do land your next position and update your profile that you don’t lose all the effort you put in to update your headline with keywords.

If you need to work on your profile, give me a call. We can work in-person or via a webinar.

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Ask for recommendations

Recommendations will help you get to All-Star status!all star status on LinkedIn

If you have ever attended one of my LinkedIn classes you have heard me speak about the advantages of placing your personal branding keywords in your profile to help you show up more prominently in searches done without using your name. One of the lesser known areas that can really benefit that search algorithm is your recommendations. LinkedIn wants you to have three recommendations from your connections. Many times, people will write a recommendation for you, but they are based on what they want or choose to say.

Let’s see how you might make these recommendations work to your “keyword” advantage. Afterrecommendation1 you determine what your keywords are and you have placed them in your profile in the right places, the additional area you want to include is the recommendation. Follow these steps:

  1. Select a keyword upon which you want to focus.
  2. Select a person that knows you well enough to write a recommendation about your expertise in that keyword area.
  3. Find the recommendations section on your profile.recommendation2
    1. Hover over Profile in the menu bar,
    2. Select Edit Profile,
    3. Scroll down to the Recommendations section,
    4. Hover over the section to recommendation3reveal the “Ask to be recommended” button.
    5. Click it.
  4. Follow the steps in the Recommendation sequence.
    1. Pick a position
    2. Pick a person
    3. Select relationship
    4. Select person’s position
    5. Write your message
  5. The message should never be the generic message generated by LinkedIn. Whenever possible always try to personalize any of those messages. For the purpose of your recommendation, you are even going to offer them some suggested language. Why make the person have to add more work to their busy day when there is really nothing in it for them to write you a recommendation. Here is my suggestion – Use the keyword that you want to highlight in the recommendation. Write 2-3 sentences about how you demonstrate that keyword. If you need help tooting your own horn, work with a someone who knows your work. It is very difficult to sell yourself. Think about what you would write if you were writing your own performance review.
  6. Repeat this process to request a review from different individuals to cover each of your most prominent keywords.

In most cases, the person will use your words in the recommendation. In one situation when I was working one-on-one with a client, we used this technique and the person from whom we requested the recommendation went above and beyond what we had used in the request and wrote a couple of paragraphs.

I would also recommend that as you add a new skill, or as your recommendations “age” you may want to request recommendations to keep the keyword fresh on the top of your list of recommendations. A good rule of thumb is obtain a new one every four to six months. Remember, if you pay it forward, it will come back to you!

 

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Using a Boolean Search

How can you take advantage of a Boolean Search?

All of the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing let you enter keywords you select to find the topics you are researching. This works the same way in LinkedIn and many other platforms. If someone doesn’t know your name, but enters the words for things you provide, will they find you?

I do a great deal of work with job seekers. Since LinkedIn is my passion, it is only natural to spend time teaching job seekers how to make the most of their profile. One of the suggestions is to make sure that their profile is able to be found when the right string of keywords is entered into the search parameters.What are your keywords?

When teaching hands-on LinkedIn classes, I demonstrate how recruiters may enter six or seven keywords to limit the number of search results they obtain when seeking candidates. The goal the recruiter is seeking is 3-6 people who have all of recruiters keywords entered in their profile. You can use this same technique searching for a recruiter or a potential client.

I recently found this article from Beyond.com about using the various Boolean search patterns. While this article was written for job seekers, it is transferable to business owners to understand how someone may find them when doing a search. I don’t want to start an entire discussion on SEO, but understanding how Boolean search works will help you make sure that the right keywords are listed on your various webpages and social media profiles.

Please contact me if I can assist you with your LinkedIn personal or company profile. I am happy to consult with you in-person or through a webinar to help you optimize your LinkedIn or social media presence.

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Word Cloud and Keywords

Word Cloud and Keywords

We have figured out by now that keywords are the way to find things on the internet.  Use a web browser and “Search” for what you need and that browser will render results based upon:

  • Ads that people pay for to increase their visibility. They use a process called pay-per-click or PPC to drive traffic to their website.
  • Organic results based upon how the website has set-up their back-end data, in-bound links and how people have searched in the past.

A great article that I just read includes 60 tools to help you find keywords for your website. If you have a website, I encourage you to check out the list and try a few of the tools.

Using a PPC approach could become costly.  Unless you can track your lead source, you may be spending money without results.

Organic results can be improved by social media engagement.  We can talk more about this option if you would like to improve your presence.

Both of these opportunities are fine for people with business website.  What I would like to discuss now is how do you find the keywords to represent you, especially if you are in job search mode. When I teach LinkedIn sessions either in a class or one-on-one, I recommend using keywords in your personal profile.

My suggestion would be to use a word cloud tool. A word cloud as shown to the right is aThankful grouping of words into a shape or a random shape that highlight the most important words. I used this particular one in an article on Thankfulness I wrote around Thanksgiving a few years ago. This tool could be very useful for a job seeker to find the keywords that they need to include in their resume or in their LinkedIn profile.  Take a look at this article to see a few of the options that you can use to create a word cloud. I have used a couple of them, but I think Wordle.net might be the most versatile.

Watch the video below to see how you can combine several job descriptions into one word cloud to find the keywords you should be using in your resume and on your LinkedIn profile.

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