For many people, LinkedIn is merely a professional resume, a place to maintain a profile that they look at only during job search times. However, like any social media profile, its value is built when you don’t need it, not when you do. Let’s look at some LinkedIn profile tips and how to use the service to your advantage, no matter where you are in your career.
What LinkedIn Really Is
If you’ve spent any amount of time on LinkedIn, you’ve likely seen the profile views box on your home screen:
Most people don’t pay much attention to it, or give it only a cursory glance. Go ahead and click on it to see what’s inside. You’ll see a rudimentary dashboard of profile views:
Pay attention to the graph! While you can’t run deep analysis of it, it still provides useful information. What we want to see is shown above: an upward trend in profile views.
Profile views are a proxy for searches of your profile.
Why does this matter?
LinkedIn isn’t just a social network. LinkedIn is a search engine for people, and our profiles are part of the index. We invest hours and dollars into SEO for our companies and websites to be found. We barely give a thought to investing in the searchability – in our findability – on a network like LinkedIn.
If you want to be found more on LinkedIn, you have to make your profile more findable in search.
If your profile views aren’t trending upwards, consider adding a Skills section to your profile and beefing up your job descriptions significantly.
The more relevant, targeted, accurate words you use to describe yourself, the better you’re going to do in Profile Views. Let’s look at this profile example I found:
Providing and implementing up to date research on social media tools, strategies and best practices on a daily basis. Writing blogs on a weekly basis on a variety of X Industry topics.
This doesn’t say much. What will they be found for? Social media, and blogging, perhaps.
How could we improve this? Here’s an example:
My job is lead generation, bringing leads in the door using Inbound Marketing methods such as social media and content marketing through blogging. In the first 8 months, I’ve helped to create a 10x increase in the number of inbound leads through organic SEO, social media marketing, content creation, and other marketing methods.
This job description makes your profile significantly more findable.
What else provides findability? In SEO, we focus on keywords. LinkedIn does scan profiles for relevant text, but it has its own keyword engine built in:
Endorsements are essentially its keyword and tagging engine. Ensure your profile has plenty of them. You don’t need a million endorsements on a million skills – just enough that they show up. One endorsement from a friend or colleague for the skills that matter most to your career is enough to make them show on your profile, so work with your friends and colleagues to improve your findability:
By building our profiles with skills as keywords in mind, we build to be found.
Practice SEO for Your Career
Use LinkedIn to be found in search. Even if you’re not remotely interested in hunting for a job, use it to drive inbound traffic to the destinations of your choice, from other social media profiles to your personal website to lead generation for your employer. Use it frequently, build your profile to be found, and you might be found by the opportunity you’re looking for.
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This post both prompted me to update my profile, and think differently about the angle to take – thanks!
Nice post Christopher! You found me on Twitter and it brought me to a quality post that I enjoyed reading and agree with entirely. I’d say social media can be effective! I’m actually managing LinkedIn accounts for a client of mine who’s too busy to do it themselves and they had no clue about the statistic window, it’s a very valuable and often overlooked tool.
I was just explaining this very concept to some folks at work on Tuesday. The piece I didn’t work in was ”
Stop thinking about LinkedIn as a professional resume and start thinking about it like a pay per click advertisement.” I like that, and I think it helps drive the point home.
I think I’m pretty LinkedIn Savvy and I had no idea about the ‘Appearances in Search’ tab. Really insightful advice. The screenshots are great! I look forward to reading more from you.
I thought people already knew this? I guess not!
I’ve focused on Search Appearances and Profile Views since I started using LinkedIn a year ago for my job search…I don’t know that it’s made that much of a difference in “conversions” (if we’re going with SEO lingo). Definitely an increase in search and profile views, which is great, but going that next step to CONTACTING the person is a different issue altogether. Also, are recommendations really that important? I’ve seen a significant number of people recently hired or even a cursory view of those that are employed don’t have very many, if any recommendations – though I think this is because they don’t use LinkedIn as their point of first contact for those jobs, rather as a supplemental.
Good post though, hopefully more people will begin to focus on that area!
I’m a little blown away by cost though, as someone who is seeking a full time position.
Very well said. This will surely change my style in LinkedIn. Thanks for the tips!
It depends on the settings–for various reasons I have mine set so that others cannot see I have been looking at their profiles. Fortunately I can change them temporarily to see the stats graph and then change it back.
I’ve been meaning to step up the profile, add that CTA. And of course, pay more attention to what attention my profile gets – and from whom. Good advice.
Do linkedin views include own’s ‘own’ profile views ?
I don’t believe so.
how can i have a full list of who viewed my profile since I opened the account? thank you!