I want to give you an example of this in action, so you can understand how to apply these principles for yourself.
If you search on LinkedIn for “executive search” in Australia, my profile will appear at the top of the search results.
And if you search for “career coach” in Australia, my profile will again appear at the top of the list.
Please take a moment to do this search, putting “executive search” and “Australia” into an Advanced search (located at the right of the search bar at the top of the LinkedIn page). As you’ll see, I am currently ranked No. 1 in Australia.
Does this mean I am the best executive search consultant and the best career coach in Australia?
No, it doesn’t. (Although I really do strive to be.)
What it means is that my profile has been search optimised, so that if someone is looking on LinkedIn for either executive search or career coaching, my profile will come up in the results.
Then, hopefully, my profile does an excellent job of describing my skills and experience, convincing a prospective client to get in touch with me.
But there’s a catch.
As I’ve said before, you can’t just fill your profile with nothing but keywords. LinkedIn can delete your profile if you do, and it will also be immediately obvious to anyone looking that you are trying to “scam” the system.
That will not create a good impression of you.
If you click on my profile after you’ve done the above search, you’ll see the search terms are highlighted in yellow in my profile. You can instantly see how often the keywords “executive search” appear throughout.
But you’ll also notice that the keywords are used in context, in proper sentences. The wording makes sense. I haven’t just filled with my profile with executive search executive search executive search executive search executive search executive search executive search executive search.
Please do this search on yourself.
Think about the keywords that you want to rank highly for. Then put those into the search field and narrow the search to your location.
If you’re not appearing in the first one or two pages, you need to review your profile content and find appropriate ways to add the keywords into your job titles and narratives.
Then run the search again to see the improvement. Repeat until you’re on the first page or two.
(Note: you might want to turn off the Activity Updates/Broadcast function, so you’re not sending out a large stream of updates to your network about changes to your profile. You’ll find this setting in the Privacy and Setting area in the menu under your thumbnail photo at the top right of the LinkedIn page.)
Don’t forget Groups and Recommendations.
Belonging to relevant LinkedIn Groups is also a factor in the search algorithm, so make sure you join the groups for your profession, industry, qualifications, education and area.
Groups are also important when you’re reaching out to build your network, so take the time to search for the ones that relate to your career goals.
Recommendations are also a factor in the ranking.
You’ll notice that I currently have around 48 recommendations, which really helps my ranking.
To get more recommendations, first approach your former managers. As a recruiter, I always want to hear from someone who has managed a candidate. You can also approach your colleagues and clients, both past and present. Make sure you offer to provide a recommendation in return.
Endorsements also play a role in the search ranking and that’s going to be the subject of my next article. Please follow me so you don’t miss it.
I’m sending you my best wishes for your job search success.
Richard Triggs is the Founder and Managing Partner of Arete Executive, one of Australasia’s leading executive recruitment companies. He has championed the practice of helping people to “headhunt their own job” and you can find more advice about this in his book Uncover the Hidden Job Market (available from Amazon). You can also follow Arete Executive on LinkedIn ofr useful information and resources.
Richard has an organically built network of over 20,000 connections on LinkedIn and you are warmly invited to join his network.