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Using keywords in a LinkedIn profile?

Social Media in Job Search

Question:

I know it’s important to use the keywords for my industry in my résumé. How do I do that in my LinkedIn profile?

Answer:

It’s fairly easy to find the keywords for your résumé. You look in the job lead you’re applying for, in the sections that say “Requirements” or “Qualifications.” You use the employer’s own words, putting them in the same order as the job lead does, rearranging your résumé to match the job lead as closely as feasible.

For your LinkedIn profile, it’s a little more challenging. Your profile is more generic; it’s more a description of you than a match to a specific job. You should be following multiple job leads on any day, and you can’t customize everything.

According to Phil Rosenberg, who writes the reCareered blog, “A good profile is a summary of your résumé. It has fewer words, less detail … (It) shouldn’t conflict with your résumé, it should support it.” Rosenberg says that recruiters who use LinkedIn search on the basis of three main criteria: location, job title and industry skills. He recommends you list your residential location; if you are interested in relocating, mention that in your profile too. If your job title is, shall we say, creative or not descriptive of all you bring to the company, list your actual title and then a more conventional one in parentheses. An example would be: Visionary (Creative Director.)

If you aren’t sure what to use for industry keywords, Rosenberg recommends running several suitable job leads through a word cloud tool, such as Tagcrowd.com. Find a couple of job leads that you would qualify for. Copy the qualifications and paste them into a word-processing document. Then copy and paste all the qualifications and paste them into Tagcrowd.com. Click on “Visualize,” and the word cloud will appear, showing the most frequently used words in bold and a larger font. You can safely assume those are the most important keywords. Those are the ones to include in your LinkedIn profile.