November 5, 2014
Recent statistics show that 94% of employers use LinkedIn to find job candidates. Within that group, 95% use keywords to find the job candidates. (To read more about recent job trends that will affect your employment search click here) To put yourself in the best position to be found by an employer, it is critical to use the best keywords for your LinkedIn profile.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the unique, job-specific words used by employers to find job candidates. Below is a list of common keywords:
- Your target job title
- Current and previous job titles
- Job-specific skills
- Relevant tools/techniques that you are certified to use
- Software relevant to your job
How do I know which keywords are best for my LinkedIn profile? To find the best keywords, you must do some research using your ideal job descriptions. Use three job postings that you are targeting and review the job description of each. Make a list of the most common descriptors of required skills and job tasks within them. Carefully narrow down the list until you have five or less keywords to use in your LinkedIn profile. Another research method is to see how those currently in your ideal job have listed their keywords in LinkedIn.
If you are having trouble narrowing your list of keywords, a great tool can be found on Indeed.com. It will show how frequently the key word is used and the trend in usage since 2006. Compare your keywords and keep the keywords that are most commonly used.
Where in my LinkedIn profile do I list my keywords? The most common place to list your keywords is in the “Headline” section of your LinkedIn profile. Keep your list to five words or less and do not use the slash (/) between words but rather a space with a line (|) between words. It is also important to use your keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile. For example, your “Skills” section should be a list of keywords specific to the type of work you want to do. The more endorsements you have for a skill the higher it potentially comes up in an employer search. If you want to add new skills and you are looking for work in that area, it is important to have some friends endorse you so you can get those numbers up for the skills you are trying to highlight. You can also include your targeted job title and top job skills in your “Summary” section. The use of your keywords in your “Experience” section is also beneficial.
For more information on keywords read the Susan P Joyce article “Be Found To Be Hired.”