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Don't worry, though: There are ways you can hack your profile to the top of recruiters' LinkedIn search results.
What Do You Want Headhunters to Know You For?
First, you should know what your keyword branding is. That means you need to define the search string that you want to be associated with.
For example, if you wish to be hired as an accountant in Singapore's marine industry and you have SAP experience, you would need these keywords to appear in your profile.
These are some key places in your LinkedIn profile to put those keywords:
Your job title
The name of your employer (you can edit the "display name" of your employer by clicking the pencil icon next to it)
How Do I Get to Level 1?
You need to know how LinkedIn displays search results. It arranges them into three levels: level 1 is your direct connections, level 2 is your connections' connections, and level 3 is your connections' connections' connections.
Users of LinkedIn's recruiting solutions can see everyone in the ecosystem because that capability comes with the package. For people like you and me with free-to-use LinkedIn accounts, the way to get results closest to what the paid users see is to have many connections.
So, how do you increase your number of connections?
Personally, I grew my connections organically from day one. It took me at least four years to reach my current number of 9,000+ connections.
The good news is there is a way to hack this process. The key is to be connected to someone with lots of connections so you will appear on their level 2 results. For readers of this article, that person would be me. Just go to my LinkedIn profile page and send me a connection invite under "others." Enter firstname.lastname@example.org under the email address.
Once I have accepted your request, do the same search again. You should have access to thousands of results now.
Creating a Powerful Statement With Your Profile
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100 percent complete. The completeness of a profile will impact your search ranking. If there are two profiles with similar content, the one with a 100 percent completion rating will rank higher than the one with an 80 percent rating.
LinkedIn makes it really easy for you to know how complete your profile is thanks to its profile level system. There are five levels, with the "All-Star" level indicating 100 percent profile completion:
To attain All-Star designation, here are the details you need to fill in:
- Your industry and location
- An up-to-date current position (with a description)
- Two past positions
- Your education
- Your skills (minimum of three)
- A profile photo
- At least 50 connections
While you are at it, be sure to claim your vanity URL.
Increasing Your Expertise on LinkedIn
Here are some additional resources you can use to boost your LinkedIn profile's search rankings:
- Seminars and webinars on LinkedIn (note that this particular seminar is for residents of Singapore; there are certainly seminars and webinars out there for your region as well)
- Infographics like this one from NTUC U Future Leaders, powered by Black Marketing: