Want to optimize your LinkedIn profile for visibility?

Wondering which sections of your profile are most important?

In this article, you’ll discover how to use your LinkedIn profile to make a strong first impression with prospects and connections.

Keywords and LinkedIn Overview

Your presence on LinkedIn is dictated by the proficiency of your LinkedIn profile, your network, and how easy it easy for is to people to find you. The more accurate your keywords, the more likely you are to reach the top of search results.

For instance when prospective clients are looking for your services, often they’ll look to see who is in their existing networks rather than using Google and going through the ads and content in the search results trying to find some “social proof”.

By seeing how top persons position themselves, you can use them as models to position yourself. Do a search for people with a job, education, or skill set similar to yours and see how they’ve worded their profiles or how they put their experiences in context.

Use that insight to adapt your profile to make it clearer to others.

For best practise, choose 4 primary keywords to mention in key areas throughout your profile, and 4-8 secondary keywords for moderate usage.

Top places to include keywords

Finding the right keywords for your profession or purpose is one thing, another thing to know is the how to put the right keywords in the right places so that the profile is 100% visible. There are several web tools available that you can use to research the most effective keywords.

When you have your chosen keywords, search for these phrases in LinkedIn and review the first few profiles. See where the key phrases are placed; the best places are the headline, summary, and specialties. You should do likewise, and don’t forget to include keywords in job titles and job descriptions.

Remember there is a line to avoid crossing with the use of keywords. You have to learn to include keywords in a natural way that enhances search rankings without looking spammy and hurting your image. If you go overboard, it may help you rank higher in LinkedIn search results, but it will look so redundant and spammy that it might create a bad impression.

Do not put your keyword in your LinkedIn name. It’s possible to throw some extra words in as a middle name or in the last name section and LinkedIn won’t reject it, but again it looks spammy.

Expanding Your Connections

Expanding your network is essential on LinkedIn whether you want to move up in your industry, look for a new job, start your own company, or achieve some other goal. LinkedIn provides a fertile ground to reach like-minded and well-connected professionals who share a common interest, experience, or group membership.

The site also provides several online mechanisms to reduce the friction of communication, so you can spend more time building your network instead of searching for the right person.

First and foremost, LinkedIn helps you identify and contact members of other people’s professional networks, and best of all, you don’t have to contact them via a cold call, but with your friend’s recommendation or introduction. (See Module 4 and 8, respectively, for more information.) In addition, you can find out more about your new contact before you send the first message, so you don’t have to waste time figuring out whether this is someone who could be beneficial to have in your network.

You can also meet new people through various groups on LinkedIn, whether it’s an alumni group from your old school, a group of past employees from the same company, or a group of people interested in improving their public image.

You can connect with other like-minded members, search for specific group members, and share information about the group with other members. You can join up to 50 groups. Bear in mind that some groups will be global. It’s best to look for local groups with a minimum of 500 members.

5 keys to building credibility with endorsements

Each LinkedIn user can have up to 50 skills that can be endorsed by his network. It is crucial to arrange skills in order of importance as the top 10 endorsed skills appear on your profile page, under the Skills & Expertise section. Also, good idea would be to move skills & expertise section closer to the top of your profile. Either just below your summary or after your experience section

Giving and Receiving Endorsements on LinkedIn

Recruiters, hiring managers, CEOs, investors, and more are very interested in what you know and LinkedIn allows them to quickly access that information. Understandably, the people who know you best are the people in your network, who have observed your work firsthand and can speak to the quality and degree of your skill set.

LinkedIn has devised an easier way for users to identify what skills they think their contacts have, and this system is called LinkedIn Endorsements.

Endorsements are an easier way to recognize someone’s skill set.

While a recommendation can be a thorough and positive review of someone’s job, endorsing a particular skill can show the community very quickly what skills someone possesses.

Endorsements are a great way for you to highlight important skills.

When you’re looking for a job or thinking about your career, having your key skill set show up as endorsements on your profile signals to recruiters and hiring managers that not only do you have the skills to do that job, but other people believe in your skills enough to endorse you. Just like with LinkedIn recommendations, people are more likely to believe other people’s testimony about your skills than your own assertions.

Endorsements are independent of any specific position.

When you write a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn, it is tied to one position. When you endorse someone’s skill, it’s tied to that person’s entire profile, not just one job that was held any number of years ago.

Endorsements are faster and more specific.

It’s much easier and more precise for your contacts to endorse your specific skills than to write an entire recommendation. Many of your contacts can only speak to certain skills anyway, and with LinkedIn Endorsements, they can acknowledge that with just one click.

Because of the ease and speed of endorsing someone’s skills, coupled with the fact that LinkedIn offers lots of prompts for you to endorse people’s skills, there is a very real trap you need to avoid: blindly endorsing skills the other person may not possess (and others endorsing skills of yours they can’t verify you possess).

It’s important that your endorsements are authentic, so put some thought into giving and managing your endorsements.

Watch the video below to learn more about creating an awesome LinkedIn profile in 2021.

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Nathanial Bibby is the Founder of LinkedIn marketing agency Bibby Consulting Group, 2x winner at the Social Media Marketing Awards for Best Use of LinkedIn 2019-2020. Nathanial is the creator and host of LinkedIn Heroes, Monday Night Live & The Nathanial Bibby Podcast. The Social Media Marketing Institute ranked him #1 on the Top 20 LinkedIn Experts in the Asia Pacific region.