by Ed Britton
Using LinkedIn as your online resume is a way to use cutting-edge technology for an out-of-date strategy. You know all those LinkedIn 'skills and expertise endorsements' that seem kind of trivial? Well, LinkedIn takes them seriously for their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you want people to find you for the right reason, you have to describe yourself properly and find people to endorse you.
Describing your profile in a unique way and having your LinkedIn connections confirm your skills will go a long way. Try this: profile your personal brand/niche, then optimize your LinkedIn SEO.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Do an advanced search for your possible titles, remembering to select all the boxes under 'relationship' so you get maximum returns. (Originally, my title was 'International Career and Leadership Coach, Capacity Building'. Leadership Coach returned 588,524 hits; Career Coach 216,834; Capacity Building 460,121. Yeah, I didn't feel very 'niched!') I experimented a bit with search words and settled on the title, 'Capacity Building Coach for International Careers'. Then, I searched 'Capacity Building Coach' and guess how many hits I got? Just one – me!
2. In 'Edit Profile' go down to 'Skills and Expertise' and weed out the skills that don't relate to your brand/niche. You are not selling these skills, so they just create noise. Then, add any missing skills to the list that will help your personal brand. (For example, I deleted 'Teacher Training' and added 'Capacity Building’.)
3. Finally, send a LinkedIn message to your connections familiar with your work, and ask them to endorse you for three skills that are particularly important to your niche. (But only if they feel they are informed about your expertise – no fake stuff!)
Try sharing this strategy with your contacts and finish with a request like: “Please help me by going to my profile and endorsing my three chosen skills. They are: (insert your three skills).”
Done! You are now a LinkedIn SEO expert!