Practical LinkedIn for us Africans – Keywords II: Q&A

As an active recruiter (I am the owner of HIREghana –, my associates and I come daily across through several hundred of LinkedIn profiles via our candidate sourcing searches and via our very own professional networking too. And we see a lot of things that seem to be common to African profiles, so I decided to write a series of articles aiming to offer my very own humble opinion in the form of advice. This is the four article one in a series of postings to come over the next weeks/ year.

Following the publication of article on LinkedIn Keywords yesterday, I received a few questions by email; I am answering all these questions here since they add value to all.

Q1: What can I do when I get unwelcome / unwanted endorsements?

You can do 2 things:
-Either hide the endorsements, or
-Rearrange the order of endorsement-appearance.
Q2: How do I hide endorsements?
For Example, your mom who is a famous singer has endorsed you for your Nuclear Health Physics skill.

  1. Go to “Edit Skills” when editing your profile and then
  2. Select “Manage Endorsements”
  3. Choose the skill you want to hide endorsements from certain people
  4. Deselect the corresponding endorsers
  5. Click on “Save”

Q3: How do I re-arrange endorsements?
Almost same as above- let\’s say you want to rearrange the last 12 endorsers for a given skills so they do not appear visible when one looks on your profile (unless they click on that specific skill: then they will get a popup dialog window that shows all endorsers):

  1. Go to “Edit Skills” when editing your profile and then
  2. Select “Manage Endorsements”
  3. Choose the skill which you want to re-arrange and deselect the 12 endorsers whom you would like to have featured
  4. Click on “Save”
  5. Repeat the above but add those 12 endorsers back and click again on “Save”

I used the number 12, because LinkedIn displays the last 12 endorsers for any endorsed skill.

Q4: How many endorsements should I have per skill?

There are no real guidelines for job seekers. The Rule of Thumb is that every one of your Top 10 Skills should be endorsed by at least 10% of your connections.

If not, either you are an Open Networker so the majority of your connections do not really know you or you are someone who current and ex- colleagues and classmates are happy to connect but they hesitate to endorse.

This rule does not apply for very specialized skills or very senior skills. E.g. if you have let\’s say 2.000 connections and your skill is Greek-Ga Translator or Head of CEO Office, it might be hard to have 200+ meaningful real endorsements.

Q5: Is there a LinkedIn Keyword Tool?
Not yet. The closest thing to help you decide which keyword to use, is to go and check the trends relating to that keyword on: This is just a suggestion not an absolute solid advise – there might be other tools like this out there. The good thing with this URL is that it allows you to visually compare trends in more than one skill area: for example try to search using this \’string\’ in the search input bar: \”Direct Marketing\”, \”Digital Marketing\”, \”Facebook Marketing\”

Another suggestion – which I have not yet tried myself, is to use Google AdWords. While this tool is primarily meant for pay-per-click advertising research, it is also a vital tool when you are performing a keyword research for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because it provides a ballpark- estimate of the number of searches for specific words or key phrases.

Q6: Is there a Keyword Optimization Strategy?

Yes: Go daily (ok –frequently will also do) through your profile\’s headline, summary, current and past work experience, skills, projects and interests sections and evaluate / adjust your keywords in these areas.

Think about what keywords best describe you as a professional or even best describe your business, and then add them throughout your profile in these seven areas.

Also, include the skills which most in demand (see Q5 above) for the job you want next (e.g. singing marketer or project coordinator, etc.) – even when they are not the skills which you utilize daily in your current job.

Q7: Is there a List of Ideas on finding Keywords?

Here are just a few suggestions:
Check for job trends using

Look at the LinkedIn Profiles of people in roles similar to the ones you want

Certifications & Licenses relevant to your profession

Certifications or other proof of professional or industry knowledge (e.g. PMP, ITIL, Basel, SCOR)

Job-specific, profession-specific, and industry-specific tools and techniques, including software and hardware (hardware is not just PCs- it could be heart monitors or special diagnostic equipment)

Also look at legal compliance requirements and regulations e.g. GAAP, IFRS, SOX, etc.

Industry, professional, and technical standards (e.g. PCI, or ISO 9K or ISO 14K or …so many ISOs)

Use Google AdWords- By default, Google will give you the number of searches based on an exact match type, but it will also display broadly related keyword ideas.

Q8: Can you \’trick\’ the LinkedIn Algorithm?

Well, yes you can. There are two new trends:
-Either write extremely long descriptions of every work experience and also create a minimum of 10 projects with again rich long text, OR

-at the \’end\’ of your professional experience, you create a fake job-entry and for its description you add a huge list of keywords.

Look for example at some of these profiles, so you could understand what I am referring to: Sure these tricks can get you on top of a search, but when a person looks at your profile, s/he might get turned off – it creates a sense of aesthetic nausea and possibly might leave a bitter feeling.

Once again: Keywords, Keywords, Keywords.
I trust that by reading this and my article of yesterday (which I strongly suggest that you do please), you are now convinced that your proper LinkedIn Keywords- usage is indeed a golden opportunity to elevate yourself above all the thousands and thousands of LinkedIn users.

Even if you are not an active job seeker at present, please have a high impact effective keyword usage, even for the rest of us who will appreciate and enjoy to quickly read and understand who you are.

So, please make it easier for the right people to find your profile and connect with you.

Good Luck.


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