When you’re in active job search for your next c-suite executive job, networking gets the job.
Getting out there, reconnecting with your network, and bringing new faces into your network are critical activities. LinkedIn helps you do that.
But landing a job also requires positioning yourself online to be found. LinkedIn helps you do that, too.
Executive recruiters and hiring decision makers at the companies you’re targeting routinely search online to find candidates like you.
How do they search?
They search on relevant key words and key word phrases.
They especially like to search on LinkedIn, where they know they’ll find plenty of top-level talent. Will they find you there?
Merely HAVING a LinkedIn profile doesn’t mean they’ll find you.
Your entire profile needs to be loaded with the relevant key words and phrases they search for on LinkedIn, but your LinkedIn headline especially needs to be SEO (Search Engine Optimization)-friendly.
Because your LinkedIn professional headline sits high up on the web page, any relevant keywords you place there will be more readily found by search engines than the content below it.
Having the right keywords there (and in your “Summary” and “Skills & Expertise” sections, which also sit high on the web page) can quickly and easily lead the people you want to find you right to you.
Once you have a 100% complete LI profile, according to LinkedIn’s criteria — AND those all-important relevant keywords in your headline — your profile will likely land higher in search results for those keywords.
If you haven’t changed the default headline LinkedIn automatically populated for that spot, based on the information you’ve completed for your most recent job, here’s what your headline looks like:
CEO – [Current Company]
Improving your headline doesn’t mean loading it with anemic phrases like “results-oriented”, “hands-on” and “forward-thinking”.
Instead, create something like this:
CEO, COO, President – Global Manufacturing Turnaround Management – Lean | JIT | Demand Flow Technology
Get the idea?
You can pack quite a punch with the 120 characters allowed. Use as many of the characters as you can, while keeping the headline comprehensible.
More relevant keywords = more likelihood your profile will be found.
Here’s how to change your LinkedIn professional headline:
- On the menu at the top of your profile, hover over “Profile” and click on “Edit Profile”.
- Look next to your name and click on the tiny blue “Edit” link.
- The second block of fields is the “Headline”. Fill in your juicy new, keyword-rich headline and hit “Save Changes”.
Your new LinkedIn professional headline will immediately be indexed in LinkedIn’s search engine, waiting for people to search those keywords.
Once your completed LinkedIn profile is picked up by Google (and the other search engines), when people search your name to find out more about you, your LinkedIn profile should land high in search results, and your professional headline will show up in the search result.
Keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile, along with containing all those good key words, needs to be a good read. Merely loading it with a string of keywords and neglecting to create interesting content may sabotage your chances to be noticed and considered for the kind of job you want.
Don’t know what keywords and phrases are the right ones for you? You probably didn’t do your industry and target company research.