I have been working closely with corporate clients lately, optimizing their brand across social media. One of the services I offer is helping people hit the front page of LinkedIn searches. However I’ve noticed an annoying trend recently where people have stuffed their profiles full of key words – kind of like the early cowboy days of SEO.
Here’s an example of a stuffed profile.
Here’s another example:
And on the same profile:
If you are tempted to do this, think about this….
Your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand – or your company’s brand as you represent it. Imagine if your company’s website looked like this. Imagine if your resume looked like this.
What’s the message that you are trying to get across?
Like a resume, the format and presentation of a LinkedIn profile needs to be easy on the eye, and readable. You need to make an argument to hire you. There is no point hitting the top page of a LinkedIn search with your chosen key words, if the only thing these words spell out is confusion.
Key word stuffing makes you look like you’re desperate for attention. If we all do this it becomes a race to the bottom to get up to the top.
So let’s get back to basics with LinkedIn.
If you’re writing your profile, think about what you are looking for when you want to connect with or hire someone. Whenever I’ve searched for professionals in a particular field, I’ve looked for people who look like they know what they are talking about. I’ve looked at their experience. If I haven’t been able to get a handle on what someone’s done and who they’ve done it for because they’ve stuffed the first 10 experience sections full of key words, I’ve moved on.
I respond to an approachable summary, some solid recommendations, some sharing of ideas, and someone who is active in their industry groups. That tells me that this person’s interests, and that they are using technology to keep them abreast of the latest ideas in their field. That’s the type of professional I want to hire.
I don’t want to look at someone who looks like they’re shouting key words at me.