With more than 225 million business individuals now on LinkedIn, there is a growing trend to ensure that a LinkedIn profile is not only created professionally, but can also be discovered by search engines such as Google. As a result of the public nature of the majority of users’ LinkedIn settings, an increasing number of individual profile pages are appearing in search engine results – particularly when searching for, validating or screening the information and expertise of potential candidates.
LinkedIn advise that in order to ensure your profile is displayed in search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo, your profile can be made visible by adjusting your settings, sending out at least one invitation to a business colleague or friend and adding as a minimum, one connection.
In order to ensure your profile is visible you will need to amend your settings. The process should only take a couple of minutes and can be found by going to your profile avatar (picture) in the top right corner and choosing ‘Privacy & Settings’ as an option. Here you can amend who can see your profile picture (‘Change your profile photo & visibility’ and ensure your settings are ‘Everyone’) and ‘Edit Your Public Profile’. Users have a tick list of profile content which you can opt for everyone to see.
LinkedIn recommend users to ensure their profile is updated regularly (at least every month if you are wanting to be top of results), as well as checking all additional sections have been correctly filled in. These sections include:
- Attaching a headshot as your profile photo - This should be a professional business photograph. Users should remember that all profile images are searchable on search engines, especially in Google Images. Therefore care should be taken on the choice of image used, perhaps choosing to reflect a corporate element for a business networking site – here are 7 pictures you should NEVER use.
- Completing your Headline - This is the wording which is shown next to your profile picture and name on LinkedIn. Some people like to customise this to fully reflect your role and act as an aide to stand out from your competitors – it’s shown as a summary in all search results. Here are 10 LinkedIn Headlines that stand out from the crowd.
- Writing a short description to include in the Summary box - This is similar to a summary of a CV and is meant to be a couple of paragraphs detailing you and your role – make sure you spruce it up!
- Adding industry specific key words under your job history - If you work within a business sector which has unique industry key words, recruiters will search on those requirements and therefore your profile will show in search results.
- Entering each of the skills & expertise you possess - This acts as an additional section to add industry specific skills. Care should be taken however to ensure that you only accept skills from individuals endorsing you which are relevant to your business area.
As LinkedIn are constantly changing and updating their offering, a number of optional areas have recently been introduced to complete such as:
The option to complete the project name, date, project URL, description and to add all team members relating to that project. This feature could be useful if you are a contractor and working regularly on project-based work. It could be an excellent way to demonstrate the structure, workflow and expertise required for the project.
You have the ability to enter any other languages spoken and the degree of fluency of said language. This could be beneficial if you are interested in moving to work overseas.
Individuals utilise this section to mention any publications or editorials written, including the title, publisher, publication URL, and ability to add any other authors. If you work within a niche business area and have written publications on your areas of specialism, this will give recruiters and hiring companies’ visibility of your knowledge and expertise within your industry.
If you belong to any industry organisations, there is the option to enter the organisation name, position held, occupation, time period and any additional notes. Again, for a recruiter this is very useful especially if you were to work within a niche industry or sector. It will help position your profile as a stronger match on any keyword searches being carried out by recruiting companies.
LinkedIn also gives you the option to add honours & awards, test scores, patents, certifications and any volunteering & causes you work on.
If you want to be discovered by recruiters on LinkedIn, you should ensure that you have completed the following checklist:
- Is your profile being kept up to date?
- Have you entered all the relevant information to your current job?
- Have you completed your skillset?
- Have you ensured that both your profile and picture are visible to ‘Everyone’?
And finally and perhaps most importantly, ensure the contact details in both the contact box and your profile are visible and up to date.