Did you know that LinkedIn is very similar to Google in that if you have the right keywords in the right places on your profile, you are much more likely to be found in a LinkedIn search? And isn’t that the goal after all?

How do you know which keywords to use? Here are two quick ideas:

  • When I coach clients on their LinkedIn profiles, I usually suggest that they go out and look at some of their competitors on LinkedIn and see which keywords they are using. (Just remember to turn off your settings if you don’t want them to know you are on their profile). For example, if you are a CMO in a law firm, look at the profiles of other CMOs and see which keywords they are using.
  • Another place to research keywords is to read over job descriptions for roles which you are interested and qualified for and look over the keywords being used. Or if you have your own business, review your competitor’s brochures and marketing materials.

And where should you include the keywords on your profile? There are actually many places on Linked where you can strategically imbed keywords to improve your visibility. Here are a few with a very quick overview of the how and why:

  1. Professional Headline: This section is displayed under your name and defaults to your current job title. You have 120 characters here to drive traffic. Try adding in keywords, the markets you serve, the value you deliver and anything else that will help differentiate you from others.
  2. Title Fields and Descriptions in the Professional Section: This seems obvious but often forgotten. The Experience section should be filled with keywords that highlight your expertise and should focus on accomplishments.
  3. Specialties/Keyword section in your Summary: Be sure to add a keyword section at the end of your summary, separating the keywords with commas. Remember your total summary, with keywords, is limited to 2,000 characters.
  4. Interests: Most people think of just including hobbies in this section, and you can. But given that you have a 1,000 character limit for this section, try including some industry-related keywords that will optimize your profile.
  5. Recommendations: be sure to ask the people who recommend you to include some keywords and competencies in the recommendation they write up highlight your expertise.
  6. Education:This is also another great place to include some keywords. I was recently helping a chemist in biotech retool his LinkedIn profile for a career change to Financial Analyst. Since he had just completed numerous Finance courses in grad school, we populated this section to highlight some new skills and expertise.