Editor’s note: at Talent Connect Las Vegas next month, Ajax Workforce Marketing will offer their popular ‘Pimp My Profile’ stations to help conference attendees maximize their presence on LinkedIn. Here Ajax VP Craig Fisher shares his tips for optimizing your profile – and those of your colleagues too.
A funny thing happened when I made some changes to my LinkedIn profile recently. Several people sent me notes right away congratulating me on my new position. The notes themselves were not surprising. But the speed with which they arrived was new. And I didn’t actually have a new position. Not really.
I should explain that I regularly experiment with the titles and other areas of my own LinkedIn profile to test for traffic and effectiveness. As it was that day, I was adding keywords to the back end of one of my job titles in my LinkedIn profile. I find that if I put strategic keywords after (or in place of) my official title, I get more clicks and better search engine optimization (findability) for the terms with which I want to be associated. I change these keywords from time to time to get re-noticed by my target audience.
Here are examples of what I mean:-
Ajax Workforce Marketing
VP, LinkedIn Training, Social Media Strategy and Marketing
Ajax Workforce Marketing
Recruiter Hiring the Top Software Developers in Phoenix
The new title in each of these examples is more descriptive, filled with keywords that will come up in search results by your target audience, and will showcase your actual message when your network is notified about your “New” title.
So I got messages from my network congratulating me on my “new” title surprisingly fast. It turns out that LinkedIn is rolling out a new notifications system that utilizes icons at the top of your profile or home page letting your know about update activity from your network. (If you don’t see the icons when you log in to LinkediIn yet, don’t fret. It will roll out to everyone in due course.)
How can you take advantage of this new feature to get your message, product, service, job search, or job opening noticed by your network? Here are my top tips
Know how to turn your activity broadcasts off/on. If you are going to re-vamp your whole LinkedIn profile at once, turn off your updates! You don’t want to bombard your network with your profile updates if you are making multiple changes. Hover over your name at the top right of your profile and click “settings” then “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts”. Turn them back on when you want people to see your updates again.
Add keywords to your headline and job titles. If you want a strategic message to show up in notifications as a profile change, consider adding some key words after your job title. For instance, if you are a recruiter for ABCD Corp, you might update your title from “Recruiter” to “Recruiter Hiring the Top Software Developers in Phoenix”. Two things will happen. 1) LinkedIn will post the notification on the updates page and new notifications icon. 2) Your network will get an email that day or week with your update included.
Think content, context, consistency. It’s okay to change your titles, headline, interests, specialties, and other areas of your profile as long as the keywords and messaging you use are consistent with the context of your profile and your story. You probably shouldn’t change your title to CFO if nothing else in your profile supports that title.
Utilize workforce marketing tactics. Imagine if several people on your team included these keywords and brand-supporting messages in their LinkedIn profiles? Your whole company would start to come up higher in search results for those terms. More people would see your message, check out your profiles, your company pages, your job openings, etc.
For more tips on optimizing your profile, visit me and my teammates from AJAX Workforce Marketing at the Profile Optimization Station at LinkedIn’s Talent Connect conference in Las Vegas, October 10-12. Hope to see you there!
Craig Fisher is VP Sales and a global consultant with Ajax Workforce Marketing. He uses cool tools to help make social business more effective and efficient for sales and recruiting. He writes about his exploits at Fishdogs.com and @fishdogs on Twitter.