One of the cornerstones of The Portable YouTM approach to career and work search is that you must describe and advertise yourself using the same language your potential customer uses. At the simplest level, this doesn’t involve analytics or expensive SEO applications or usability studies.
If you are looking for a job, the language of the employment ad and the language used on the employer’s website will serve as good clues to the language you should use in your resumé.
If you have a website, enter some of your key terms in your Internet browser and see what comes up first. Do your competitors use the same language to describe their offerings – or different language?
If you are on LinkedIn – and unless you plan to never leave your current job – you should be) select the best term for a new skill by entering the first few letters of the word or phrase you want to use. Does LinkedIn offer to complete the phrase? If yes, then other people have used that term to describe their skills, and it is more likely to be used as a search term.
Similarly, try entering Keywords in the Advanced Search function. Do more hits come up for “Guru” or for “Expert”? For “Mentor” or for “Trainer”? It is not usually a good idea to give yourself a unique label if you want to be found on LinkedIn, because few employers are ever likely to search on an exotic term.
Yesterday, I was able to show a client how to raise their visibility instantly on LinkedIn. This client is an expert in preparing bids in response to RFP solicitations. I was editing their text on this expertise, and came across the phrase “requests for proposals”. Automatically I corrected it to “requests for proposal” (Analogy: “Canada has had several female Governors General.”)
How many people on LinkedIn know this rule?
How many people on LinkedIn use the written-out form instead of the acronym “RFP”?
If you’re using LinkedIn to help attract employers, clients or collaborators, you need to know this.
I did a simple test on the number of hits for each variation of “request for proposal”.Here’s what I found:
request for proposal – 559 hits
requests for proposal – 657 hits
requests for proposals – 786 hits
request for proposals – 505 hits
RFP – 2586 hits! (vs 778 hits for RFPs)
People had used “RFP” in their profile MORE THAN THREE TIMES AS OFTEN AS any of the expansions!
Carefully matching the language you use to describe yourself and your business to common search terms means that you will be found more often on LinkedIn and through other Internet applications If you are looking for work and want to be found, you know what you need to do next.