How to boost your LinkedIn profile with keywords

IT managers, are you highlighting the right words and phrases to set yourself apart from the crowd and make your profile rise to the top of LinkedIn searches?

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You're a motivated, passionate and highly creative IT professional. But guess what? So is everyone else.

According to LinkedIn, the most overused words and phrases in professionals' profiles in 2015 included motivated, passionate, creative, driven and extensive experience. To stand out — and rise to the top of search results — you need to take a more strategic approach to your LinkedIn profile's content, says Matthew Ripaldi, senior regional vice president in the Houston office of IT recruiting firm Modis.

"It's all about searchability on LinkedIn. You want to make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find you," Ripaldi says. "You do that by loading your profile with words and phrases that they would use to find people with your experience."

One way to figure out which keywords would work for you is to study employers' job descriptions and home in on the most common words and phrases. Then use those terms in your profile. "This will help you get an understanding about what particular companies are looking for, which helps you bring out that experience in your profile," Ripaldi says.

Listing your industry is key, and it's a good idea to use both acronyms and full phrases for terms that relate to your area of expertise, experts say.

"While a job's responsibilities might be similar from one company to another, hiring managers want candidates to have experience in their particular industry," says Ken Daubenspeck, CEO of recruiting firm Daubenspeck and Associates. "If you've been working in healthcare, list that, but also list related phrases like hospital and healthcare provider to cover your bases."

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