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.