Up until recently I used Linkedin like almost everyone else, I had a profile there and sometimes I’d visit one or two of the discussion groups. To be honest it didn’t do me much good until I came to realize how to maximize my visibilty. Now I get contacted by about one recruiter per week with an interesting job offer.
I decided that I wanted to share this with as many as possible, it’s actually rather simple once you know how. That’s why I put together this FREE E-book. It’s a 4 page PDF that you’ll get through quickly, it has 3 simple steps to maximize your visibility in Linkedin in less than an hour. As this article became very popular I decided to publish it in full here instead of in the PDF. If you like it or if it’s useful for you, please consider linking here.
There is a recruiter on Linkedin searching for someone like you right now, the sheer amount of jobs offered to me after going optimizing my profile is stunning. Granted my personal career is a bit different from most as I have a very rare skill set, however, all that I did can be applied to your own profile.
Hacking the Linkedin Search
For a long time I used Linkedin like everyone else. I had my profile there, sometimes I glanced quickly at one of the discussion groups. Nothing much happened. Once in a while a Linkedin recruiter would contact me, I have some rather unusual skills and head hunters have to do a lot of searching to find people like me. Still, the results of my Linkedin profile were small and almost always more or less useless. It stayed like that until I realized that Linkedin is a search engine like all the others and search engines is what my speciality, it can be gamed like any other.
Recruiters use the search at Linkedin a lot; it’s a great way for finding good candidates for almost all jobs. Of course, showing up in the search result will not get you the job, you still need to have the right qualifications, a good profile and probably do interviews. Showing up in the search results will make the recruiter look at your profile though and that increases your chances. The more of them that find your profile, the more job offers you get, no matter what your starting position is.
As you can see on the picture above (it’s data from my own profile) all of a sudden I started to show up when people searched for people with my qualifications. The reason is changing my profile on October 16. From October 16 I started getting at least one interesting contact per week, compared to maybe one in 2 months. There was at least one recruiter contacting me wanting to interview me for an interesting job per week!
How do you do this?
Luckily, this is rather simple, you can do it yourself and it will probably take you less than an hour. The reason for this is that the search engine on Linkedin is crude, compared to Google it’s 10 years behind. The algorithm is very easily manipulated and that is what we are going to do. We’re going to make sure that the search engine on Linkedin will consider you the most relevant and important person whenever someone searches for people with your skills.
A technique called Keyword Stuffing
If you used search engines 10 years ago you’ll recognize this even though you might not have realized at the time what it was. Older search engines used to count the number of mentions of a keyword on a page and just show the one mentioning it the most in the top of the search results. Did you ever search for some interesting keyword just to end up on a spam page with a 10.000 word text block in the footer when using Altavista or Webcrawler? That’s what we are talking about.
We’re of course not going to spam like that, you don’t want a spammy profile no matter how much traffic it can get you. We need to find a combination of a high density of the keyword in the text and still have an interesting profile.
Finding the right keywords
Finding the right keywords to show up for is the first step. Depending on your goals I’d recommend one of two ways. The first one is the very simplest but it also performs a bit worse than the second.
The first method is simply to take a look at peopler with the same job as you, see what they call themselves. Are they Online Marketing Managers or Marketing Specialists, do they call themselves Plumbers or Plumbing Mechanics? Find as many possibilities you can and select the most common ones. Those are the ones to go with.
The second method will take some time, not too much work though, and will cost you a little. Register for a pro account on Linkedin, this gives you access to your search data as Linkedinwill tell you how often you’ve showed up and on what phrases. Combine this with method one but use all the keywords you can find that are relevant. Totally bomb your profile with them as in the example above. Wait for a week or two and you will know how much every keyword is used. Once you have this data you can close your pro account and clean up your profile again.
Get those rankings
The idea behind optimizing for the Linkedin search engine is very simple: The more you mention the exact keyword, the higher your position in the search result. If you want recruiters looking for Reasearch Assistant to find your profile it just has to say Reasarch Assistant enough times. Some places on the profile counts for more than others but just making sure all important instances mention your keyword will usually get you there. Make sure to use the exact keyword or phrase as many times as necessary.
Edit the descriptions of your jobs so that you can fit the specific wording in and check with the search engine if it is enough. Another big difference between the Linkedin search and a modern search engine like Google is that it gives you instant feedback, make the change, see if it helped, change a little more, check again. Google would have you waiting for quite a long time but the search results on Linkedin are updated within the minute. Keep doing this, search and see your position, if it’s not good enough add the keyword at yet another spot, check again. Do it until you have a good position and then move on to the next interesting phrase or word.
The last step – reach
As you probably know Linkedin sorts on who’s connected to whom. You will not show up in search results if you have no connection to the one searching. Luckily it is enough that you’re connected in the third degree, you know Matt, Matt knows Linda and she knows Luke that is searching – you show up. Groups works too, if you are in the same Linkedin group as the person searching you’ll also show up.
To reach enough interesting people you can chose on or both of two methods. The first method is just connecting to people in your niche that know a lot of people, that increases your reach fast. The other method is joining big groups related to your business. My
experience is that a combination works best.
It’s actually not harder than this, now it’s just to get started. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. And of course, a good start is to adding me on Linkedin.
If you’ve tried this guide and get offered jobs
If you have tried my technique and you can see a noticable change, in appearances in search, visits to your profile or Linkedin recruiters contacting you about jobs, please leave a comment below as I’m interested in hearing your story.