I previously wrote about the death of the verb and the rise of the noun, so I won't explain that here. But if you haven't read that post, I suggest you do so.
I'm often asked, Well, if I need nouns, how do I know what nouns to use? Here is a simple list of some great places to begin growing your keyword list.
Use Your Brain
I'm not being cheeky by saying that. I think we often overlook our own common sense because the online tools are so convenient.
Sit down with a blank paper and come up with as many industry specific nouns as you can. Don't judge what happens, now is the time to get as big a list as possible. Later, we'll hone it down.
Use Related Job Descriptions
I always tell people job boards are good for at least one thing...finding job descriptions to mine for keywords. Companies will often (not always) include the keywords they look for when screening resumes in the descriptions.
Find 5-10 related job descriptions (doesn't matter what location) and pick out the nouns that seem to be recurring. Add them to your list.
Read the Book!
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a book every year called the, Occupational Outlook Handbook which you can download for FREE. It lists out job descriptions for each category of job.
Find your job description and mine for nouns to add to your list.
Use Google's Keyword Tools
Another great place to brainstorm for keywords is Google's keyword tool. Now that you have a longer list of possible keywords, begin to plug them into Google's Keyword tool. It will produce a list of keyword terms that are being searched. This indicates the current popularity of the term and possibly it's viability in your social media profiles.
Make Your Top 10
Now that you have a long list of words, and you have a sense of how popular those words are it's time to cross off the ones that wont work and keep the ones that will. I like to have a top 10 list.
10 is an easy number to manage and to keep in mind while writing your profiles.
Good luck and please let me know how your keyword research is going in the comments below!
[This article was originally posted on an earlier date]
Joshua Waldman is the founder of Career Enlightenment and specializes in helping job seekers leverage social media to find work quickly.