When I was a kid we spent hours playing Marco Polo around the pool. Remember that game?
The kid who was “it” closed her eyes and yelled out “Marco” while all her friends scattered around the pool yelling “Polo” while moving around the pool trying to avoid the kid who was “It”. Eventually the kid with his eyes closed honed in on the other kids by listening to the sounds.
Today keywords are the new way we play Marco Polo in recruiting. Hiring managers post jobs describing the vacancy using certain keywords commonly used to describe the position then search LinkedIn and other sites using keywords to find candidates who match the job. Candidates describe themselves in terms that demonstrate that they have the right skills and abilities to do their dream jobs.
When the two worlds collide then the hiring managers and candidates make a match!
Keywords are particularly important in LinkedIn since hiring managers and recruiters search for candidates who describe themselves with the keywords that the hiring managers look for. If you don’t have the right keywords in your LinkedIn profile then hiring managers will not find you. That is a problem.
A client recently told me about a different way to measure whether we are using keywords appropriately in job search using those cool word clouds. The tool is www.TagCrowd.com. I tried it and would like to share it with you.
- Find job descriptions describing your ideal job. I randomly selected three jobs for Product Manager posted at indeed.com that sounded interesting.
- Paste the main areas of the description into a Word Document. Remove extra words like the company name and unnecessary words like “experience” and “requirements”. You can also list these unnecessary words in a box in TagCrowd. This text does not have to be formatted or look pretty. We are looking for words describing the job and the experience needed to do the job.
- Copy and paste the text into the section of TagCrowd labeled “Paste text to be visualized”. You can also upload files or provide a web page URL but I just copied and pasted.
- Click on “Visualize!” In a few seconds you will have a word cloud describing the words that frequently are used to describe your ideal job! At the bottom of the page are options you can click on. You can either do this before clicking on Visualize! or afterwards as a way to refine the word cloud.
- Refine the word cloud by eliminating unnecessary words that you don’t think are key to describing your ideal job. The default finds 50 words but I reduced it to 25 words to clarify my focus.
- Click on “Save As…” under the word cloud. I saved it as a PDF. Then I can add it to my LinkedIn profile as a document, increasing the number of times my
Here is the word cloud for the Product Manager position. Someone looking for a Product Manager position would be smart to include these words in their LinkedIn profile.
I tried this on my own LinkedIn profile. I copied the text of my existing LinkedIn profile and pasted it into a Word document. I eliminated unnecessary words and cleaned it up a bit. Then copied and pasted it into the text box then clicked on Visualize! I reduce the words from 50 to 25 and identified some words that did not add value like “Doctor”, “including” and “offer”. The resulting word cloud showed what I want people to know about me!
You want to have dense keywords in your LinkedIn profile to be sure you show up at the top of the search pages. “Dense” is often viewed as 20+ mentions of a keyword. Keywords for me as The Interview Doctor are “Job” with 37 mentions, “Management” with 27 mentions, “talent” with 29 mentions, “search” with 25 mentions and “coaching” with 22 mentions. “Consulting”, which is my business, only has 10 mentions. This tells me that if I want people to find me about consulting then I better adjust my profile to increase mention of my consulting experience!
Keywords are not a substitute for a well worded resume and profile and definitely not a substitute for networking but having a great LinkedIn profile that supports your goal is a foundation for a good job search.