linkedin keywords

An In-Depth Guide to LinkedIn Keywords: How, Where, and Why to Use Them

In today’s job market, we’ve got to consider every opportunity at our disposal. Which means getting serious about using LinkedIn. After all, LinkedIn is the most active and robust professional network on Earth with over 660 million active users in over 200 countries. 

It’s easy to see why job hunters are so passionate about using LinkedIn. For every new connection you make, your profile will be seen by over 400 new people. 

Considering how powerful and popular LinkedIn is for job hunters and employers alike, it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of competition to get noticed on that site. LinkedIn keywords are vital to using the site effectively. If you want to get found by employers, you’ve got to think like an employer. 

Here are some things you need to think about to use LinkedIn keywords effectively.

LinkedIn keywords are a little different than an SEO phrase or even a hashtag. Let’s start our LinkedIn keyword guide with a definition, which will get your wheels turning about how to add LinkedIn keywords to your profile! 

What Are LinkedIn Keywords?

We all use the internet (all of the time, for everything, this past year). Isn’t the answer to “What are LinkedIn keywords?” obvious? Aren’t keywords just words or phrases found in a digital document?

The actual answer is a bit more involved than that. 

To understand LinkedIn keywords, you should start with an understanding of SEO keywords in general. SEO keywords just words or phrases found on a webpage.

There’s more to it than that. SEO keywords are the main words or phrases found on a website that help the search engine determine what it’s about. Figuring this out is more complicated than it might seem at first glance. 

If a search engine were to assess every single word on a web page it would quickly become unusable. Maybe you’re looking up ‘NYC side hustles.’ 

The first result could be a New York Times article about having to have a second job to survive in New York. The second result might be a page of job listings. 

The third might be unrelated spam jammed full of whited-out keywords. 

Only the second page would be useful for a job hunter. It’s SEO’s job to determine what a webpage s about to make search engines more useful for the users. LinkedIn keywords function in the same way. 

Just like on-page SEO on a website, your LinkedIn profile has a primary and secondary keyword. Just like trying to get a webpage to rank for a particular SEO phrase, there’s more to it than simply cramming as many instances of that phrase into your resume and portfolio. 

How To Use LinkedIn Keywords Effectively

The examples we’ve posted above illustrate the difference between keywords and keyword strategy. As with anything having to do with the internet, simply posting randomly and hoping for the best is a waste of your time and energy. 

It also means that there’s a wide array of exceptionally powerful tools and techniques to help optimize your search. 

Use A Keyword Tool

The Golden Rule of marketing is “know your audience.” When you’re job hunting you’re marketing yourself, make no mistake. That means you need to think like the employers that you’re hoping will hire you. 

This means that you need to think of the search terms they’re looking for, not just the ones that you’re already using. 

Say you’re seeking a project management position. You could just plug that into LinkedIn’s search engine and join the queues looking for the same thing. 

You should definitely be browsing the jobs posted, one way or the other. While you’re reading through the listings in your intended field, though, you should also take stock of other common phrases you find in those listings. 

You should also put some of the other common forms of the job you’re searching for. So make sure to look at the ‘Project Manager’ positions that pop up. 

When you’re going through the permutations, autocomplete will also give you even more LinkedIn keywords you can optimize for! 

There are also LinkedIn keyword generators that you can use to come up with LinkedIn keywords for 2021. 

Finally, you can take a similar approach using regular SEO tools like Wordstream’s keyword tool. Wordstream informs you that employers looking to hire a project manager are also looking for Agile Masters or Scrum Masters. 

They’re also looking for PMOs and Jira developers. 

At this stage, optimizing your LinkedIn profile for LinkedIn keywords is very similar to any other kind of SEO optimization. When you’re looking at keyword tools you should pay attention to search volume and keyword difficulty. You should factor those metrics into your LinkedIn keyword strategy, as well. 


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Integrate Keywords Into Your Profile 

One way that LinkedIn keywords and traditional SEO differ is that LinkedIn doesn’t seem to penalize for keyword stuffing. That means you could include every synonym you could think of if you felt like it. 

This can come across as tacky at times, though. You also need to demonstrate to your prospective employers and clients your proficiency in these fields. This means using the keywords in a fluid, organic way. 

Here’s where LinkedIn keyword strategy becomes similar to standard SEO again. Many of the areas of your profile where you can add your keywords are the same as they’d be on a traditional webpage. 

Common Areas Where You Can Include LinkedIn Keywords:

  • Headlines
  • Summaries
  • Experience
  • Skills Section
  • Recommendations

Think Like A Copywriter

Now comes the point of adopting a different discipline. We talked earlier about how optimizing your LinkedIn profile with LinkedIn keywords is like marketing yourself. That means that you are also the product that you’ve got to sell once you’ve got people on your page. 

That means you’ve got to put on a different hat and become a copywriter! It’s a good skill that will serve you well in many of your endeavors, at least. Maybe you can even add it to your resume! 

So much like any other Landing Page, you want your LinkedIn profile to have:

  • An appealing graphic
  • A catchy summary
  • A quick description 
  • A call-to-action 

This format should also give you an idea of where you should place your keywords. Don’t neglect the spaces available in the graphics, also. Think about how many company’s websites and catalogs have images with some sort of text included? Most of them, right?

By the time someone’s looked at the graphics and read your summary, they should have a fairly good idea of who you are and what sets you apart from your competition. 

For the summary and description sections, don’t forget to consider your audience. When you’re selling something, you are solving a problem for your prospective client. 

Remember Harvard Professor Theodor Levitt’s famous quote “People don’t want quarter-inch drill bits. They want a quarter-inch hole!” 

This is one of the aspects of job hunting, changing careers, or even just moving along in your main industry takes some getting used to. For those of us who are plagued with impostor syndrome and used to being humble, polite, and self-effacing, selling yourself can feel an awful lot like bragging. 

It’s not. Nor is it “selling out.” 

Think of it this way – someone’s having a problem. You know how to solve that problem. You’re doing them a favor! 

Now you just need to use your summary, description, and graphics to show them you’re the right person for the job! 

Inbound Links

Thinking like a copywriter gives you the opportunity to create an inbound strategy. Your LinkedIn keywords are the cornerstone of that strategy.

Your profile page also includes a place where you can attach media, upload videos, and include links to your other digital content. 

This can become a sales funnel and source of qualified leads, if you’re savvy. It also requires little effort on your part. 

Say you write some blog posts about Project Management, to return to our previous example. Including these in your media section shows your prospective clients your thought leadership while addressing their pain points. 

On the other side of the funnel, you can be using your website, blog, and social media to be driving potential clients and employers back to your LinkedIn profile!

LinkedIn keywords are the key to working smart so that you can work hard. They help the right people find you, offering the opportunity to do satisfying work where you’ll be paid what you deserve and advancing your career. It’s a win-win for all parties involved! 

Are You Looking To Rejuvenate Your Career?

The last 10 years have disrupted the job market in any way you can imagine. It doesn’t seem like it’s settling down any time soon, either. 

Whether you’re looking to find your dream job or next gig using LinkedIn keywords or looking for advice on maintaining a work/life balance, we’re here to empower you with everything you need to thrive, both personally and professionally! And sign up for our Career Reboot Roadmap for even more invaluable resources to revitalize your career! 

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