Some people have told me they've received the new and improved(?) LinkedIn desktop interface. I personally don't have it yet, but I've been able to check out how it looks and works by looking over the shoulder of some of my friends who have it.
I'm going to withhold my full, detailed review of the changes until I have it myself, but based on my review thus far, including your most important keywords on your profile continues to be a very important strategy. LinkedIn's search algorithm rewards you for including your critical keywords in multiple places and especially in particular spots—and who doesn't want to come up higher in the search rankings!
Follow these simple guidelines to improve your ranking on both the old and new desktop interfaces.
What are your most important keywords?
Simply put, your keywords are the words that you think someone would use to search for you online, regardless of whether it's a general internet search site like Google, Bing, etc., a job search site like Career Builders or Monster, or a professional networking site like LinkedIn.
Depending on your objective for using LinkedIn, it could include words that describe you professionally, categories or brand names of the products and services you and your company provide, software you use proficiently, and so on.
My Keyword Worksheet (below) will help you identify the best words to include on your profile.
Where should you put keywords on your LinkedIn profile?
The simple answer is everywhere you can—and the more times the better—but be sure your profile remains easy to read. Just listing a particular keyword over and over, with commas in between, will not only be hard to read but potentially confusing to the reader. In addition, LinkedIn has warned that this type of "keyword stuffing" will not be tolerated—and you sure don't want them to penalize you by moving you down the search results list.
I've learned from working extensively with my LinkedIn clients over many years that there are three spots on your profile where you definitely want to include your most important keywords—your Headline, Job Experience Titles, and the Skills section.
To learn how to most effectively include keywords in these three sections, take a look at one of my client's profile—Scott Owens, managing director of BluTinuity, a firm specializing in business continuity and disaster recovery.
Experience Job Titles
Trust me on this one. Whether someone is searching with the old or new version of LinkedIn, if you follow this keyword strategy, you'll come up significantly higher in the search ranking, just like my client Scott Owens.
To identify your most important keywords, review or download my Keyword Worksheet below.