How often are you told you need a LinkedIn Profile that is keyword rich, then you read an article on LinkedIn that tells you, “Stop Using These 16 Terms To Describe Yourself“? The main thrust of the article is that the keywords generally are cliches and should be left out of your branding vocabulary. However, keywords are very necessary in terms of being found on LinkedIn. Whenever I read an article like that, I try to take the time to read all the comments because there will generally be a debate! This particular article, though, has over 3,000 comments so that is probably not going to happen this time.
One common reality that many readers mention in this debate is the fact they won’t even make it to the interview without the keywords/cliches in the resume so the search engine brings it up to the person who decides on the viability of the candidate.
Words are tools. Tools can be poorly made and fall apart the first time used, or finely crafted and used by generations to build things. The goal isn’t the tool, although tools can be very beautiful. The goal of a tool is its usefulness in helping the user achieve their goal, what ever it is. But even the best tool cannot do anything without the user’s skill.
When you look at our LinkedIn Profile Development service you see how an expert views this debate: you need both the keywords/cliches and the humanizing factor. The keywords often are cliches, but an experienced wordsmith knows how to use them to get past the computers to the people. If all you have is cliched keywords, the resume stops here. It’s that human factor, the individuality brought out by a skillful resume/profile writer, that connects with the person reading about you.
There are too many profiles out there for a person to read all of them. That’s what search engines are for! And search engines are computers looking for keywords. The words are tools we use to get you to the person’s notice and to bring your “brand” to the front, where all that makes you unique can shine. That’s the “humanizing” factor and the other leg your online branding stands on.
Use the words that make up your online brand/presence wisely. Remember that you need both the keyword/cliche AND the individual spark that makes you recognizable.