A Practical Guide to Powerful Keywords in Your LinkedIn Profile

Create a Profile that Attracts the Views You Want

You already know that keywords are key in a LinkedIn Profile. Successfully utilizing keywords to elevate your views is less understood. If you want to attract the right recruiters for the right jobs, having the correct keywords is essential.

Even if you aren’t looking for other opportunities, it doesn’t hurt to have an easily searchable profile that clearly communicates your expertise. Regardless: what words you use, matters. In order to leverage the power of words, I’ve created a practical guide to powerful keywords in your LinkedIn Profile.

Which Words Matter?

Most people understand that keywords can make the difference between your LinkedIn Profile shining like a bright star or being lost in digital space. It also important to understand which keywords matter to attract the right views.

Industry Lingo: If you work in an industry that has career-specific terms (and most all do), it’s a good idea to include these keywords in your profile. Even if these terms are only a part of your career expertise – including them in your profile is essential.

Experienced-Based Jargon: Be aware of what keywords are commonly used to describe a professional at your level. In other words, if you are seeking an entry-level position, you probably aren’t going to be including words like “leads strategic implementations” in your LinkedIn Profile.

Sourcing Keywords

Keyword sourcing is amazingly easy. As cliché as it might sound: ‘just Google it’. An easy way to find industry/position-based keywords is to search for jobs in your target positions. Make certain that you don’t perform a narrow search with too many parameters. Ideally, you want to find 3 relative matches to your target position for keyword sourcing.

Once you have at least 3 job positions, now you can source keywords. This is where a few people get confused. Technically, any descriptor in the job position is a keyword. It’s important not to incorporate over-used keywords such as ‘competent communicator’ or ‘detail-oriented’. Even if it’s a part of the job description and you have these skills, beware of worn-out adjectives!

Be sure to only use keywords, or skills, that you actually possess! If you see “experienced with SAP” over and over again, but don’t have the experience – don’t use it. You do not want to falsify your professional information on LinkedIn or in a resume. However, if you are learning a skill or taking a course, feel free to note that in your LinkedIn Profile.

Where to Use Keywords

You can use keywords everywhere in your LinkedIn Profile! Even so, there are two main focus areas that must include keywords that are pertinent to your industry or profession: the Summary and the Experience section.

Other areas to include keywords can be under the additional sections you can add to your LinkedIn Profile. If you worked on Projects, you can include a short synopsis of the project with associated keywords. If you’ve done Volunteer work – you can add a short description with keywords there as well. Don’t forget your Skills section.

Feel free to add the same keywords in multiple areas as appropriate. Having skill and expertise listed in your Summary, under the applicable Job Experience as well as under your Skills section will only help you. Creating a list similar to the following example is a creative way to list expertise and high-impact skills in freeform areas without becoming verbose.

Project Management | Planning and Execution | Account Management | Logistics | Vendors Relations | Profit Maximization | Cost Control & Reduction | Process Improvements | Relationship Building | Procedure Development | Team Leadership

Keywords in Impact Statements

Another excellent way to include keywords is to use them as a catalyst to tell an impact statement about something you achieved, succeeded in, or a challenge you overcame. Based on your professional experience level, here are a few idea-starters for great impact statements:

Entry-Level:

Internships ▪ Volunteer Experience ▪ Awards or Recognition ▪ Community Activities ▪ Professional Organizations ▪ Collegiate or Athletic Clubs & Activities

Mid-Career:

Prior Job Experience ▪ Collaboration Abilities ▪ Continuous Learning  ▪ Improving the Workplace ▪ Leading Teams & Special Projects ▪ Examples of Performance Excellence

Experienced-Executive:

Leadership Style & Abilities ▪ Creating High-Performance Teams ▪ Peer-to-Peer Collaboration ▪ Mentoring & Coaching ▪ Strategic Planning & Implementation ▪ Engaging Employees & Staff Development

Most of these focus areas build on one another. For example, volunteer work still matters for mid-career professionals. Performance excellence is always important regardless of where you are in your career! These idea-starters can help you discover the stories from your memory that become impact statements in your LinkedIn Profile.

Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile

Keywords are the key to your LinkedIn Profile! Make keywords work for you instead of looking like a laundry list of random words. Be conscious of flow and relevancy. Don’t forget your LinkedIn Profile Headline. Content is king. But having a Headline that speaks about your brand, expertise and abilities tells the reader more about your value as a professional.

Your LinkedIn Profile Header is valuable marketing real estate: use it wisely!

Leveraging the right keywords appropriately will maximize your LinkedIn Profile whether you are interested in creating a dynamic job search marking plan or building your professional credibility. Happy key-wording!

Erin Urban
Erin Urban

Founder, UPPSolutions

Erin Urban, Founder of UPPSolutions, LLC, is a certified professional & leadership development coach with a mission to lift others up to defy their limits and exceed their goals. Erin is an experienced speaker within the professional community, a published author and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

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