As covered in Part One, LinkedIn offers a valuable method for validating your networking efforts with Profile Stats Pro, which is accessible on the sidebar of your LinkedIn Home Page, under the heading "Who's Viewed Your Profile?"
Clicking on this link takes you to the Profile Stats Pro page, and if you have a paid or upgraded membership to the site, you'll be able to see both a list of users that have browsed your Profile, plus a list of Top Search Keywords (and other analytics) for your search results.
Here's where things can get more complicated, as the Keywords themselves can have significance to your job search, or can be an indicator of something more mundane.
Keywords are ranked in order of frequency used to find you, with percentages shown that represent the slice of your views for that term. For most people, Keywords will fall into these categories:
There's no way around it: the more well-known you are both inside and outside of LinkedIn, the more often someone will search for you by name.
If you have a common name, the Top Search Keywords list will often show the name as one of the top 10 terms, with increasing percentages if there are dozens of other John Smiths in your zip code or occupation.
If you've tuned your Profile for keyword or Search Engine Optimization as a job hunter, the Headline (the phrase you can add under your name) should contain the job title, industry, or skill keywords you are targeting in your next role.
Therefore, if you are seeking a position as Operations Director and it appears in your Headline and several other places within your Profile, you'll see it near the top of your Search Keywords–but only if recruiters or other employer contacts are actively seeking candidates at this level.
Your job title can be one of the most common sources of keyword searches, especially if it is an in-demand occupation (such as Oracle Database Analyst or Cloud Solutions Engineer).
The job titles that you enter into your LinkedIn Profile work history section are ranked higher for searchability than other terms within the profile, except for your Headline.
As an example, if you're an Oracle Database Manager and have listed this title in both your Headline and in your Job Title, chances are very good that it will appear as one of your Top Search Keywords.
Your background may contain sought-after skills that employers crave, making your Profile a sure target for anyone searching on these Keywords.
Therefore, a SAP Business Manager who has included this technology skill throughout his work history and Job Titles may see a large percentage of hits for "SAP" –even if he is planning to pursue a career move as a Program Manager.
Employees of large corporations that draw job seekers will often find that the names of the companies will pull in large numbers of hits. Anyone who works for Google or Microsoft has probably encountered this phenomenon, which is not likely to change soon.
In the same manner, employees who've worked together on large projects, such as the Exxon-Valdez cleanup, will find that these initiatives become career-defining in online searches. Former colleagues, reporters, and curiosity seekers may all approach you for different reasons.
Unless LinkedIn starts to provide the capability to filter out specific keywords from searches on your Profile, you'll find that searches can be triggered on nearly any phrase –whether you expect it or not.
This can happen with anything from single words to frequently searched questions within LinkedIn, especially those common to job search activity. Unless these words take up a large percentage of your hits (more than 5%), they may not be worth removing.
If you have the paid upgrade to LinkedIn, be sure to look at the Keywords and percentages behind your Profile Stats Pro page from time to time. Doing so can give you an idea of how findable you are for your chosen field, and can also help you to make tweaks to your Profile content.
Back to Part 1, How to Leverage the Visitor Stats in the Free Accounts.
Job-Hunt's LinkedIn for Job Search Expert Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Director of An Expert Resume, is an award-winning executive resume writer, national columnist, author, LinkedIn and SEO enthusiast, and past recruiter. Laura is author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips and Strategies to Access the Hidden Job Market. Follow Laura on Twitter at @ResumeExpert and on LinkedIn.