We spend a lot of time and space on this weblog talking about the need to network and how important your online profile is. In fact, today we sponsored an Experts Connection webinar with social media expert Glenn Raines talking about how to create professional social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google. As part of that process, it is becoming increasingly important to stand out from the crowd. Hiring managers and recruiters are using social media outlets to find fresh talent, and they are using proactive search terms. That means you need to keep your social media profiles fresh as well.
According to the latest poll from LinkedIn, users continue to use the same hackneyed adjectives in their profiles. “Creativity” is the most overused buzzword for 2011, followed by “organizational” and “effective.” The problem with all these buzzwords is they do not differentiate you or your expertise. Everyone can make claims about vague capabilities like “creativity” and “effectiveness.” And such platitudes don’t promote searchability. No hiring manager is going to search for the term “creativity” or “effective.” They will search for nouns, such as “sales manager,” “telecommunications,” “top seller,” “Ruby on Rails,” and other specific terms that will help narrow their search. In his Experts Connection presentation, Glenn Raines noted that you need to keep your keyword density at 3 percent if you want your profile optimized for the search algorithms.
So don’t waste precious space on adjectives that are meaningless, actually less than meaningless because they just make you part of the herd. Try to use terms that differentiate you, and your expertise. Identify key phrases and terms that speak to your expertise and your profession. Think like a hiring manager. How would you find, well, you? What search terms would you use to find a hot property like yourself? If you can describe yourself as you want others to find you, you can build a solid social media profile without falling prey to buzzword bingo.