Everyone wants to be found by recruiters on LinkedIn. Many of us have found prior positions with recruiters. 90% of all companies and almost all 3rd party Recruiters search LinkedIn for keywords appropriate for the job or industry when searching candidates.

So how can you get found to speed your job search?

The 3 secrets to getting found are 1) understand what keywords you should use on your LinkedIn profile 2) using keywords in the 4 major sections of your LinkedIn profile that are searchable and 3) use multi-word keywords instead of single-word keywords.


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Secret 1: How do you even know what your keywords are?

It’s really great to know what to do with LinkedIn keywords once you know what they are. What are they? To first tackle discovering your keywords, find 6 job descriptions from any job boards including Handshake, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. Make sure these job descriptions are representative of your career goals. Please make sure you pick job descriptions that match:

  • Your seniority (e.g. entry-level)
  • The rough size of the company (e.g. startup, mid-size or Fortune 500)
  • The appropriate job title for your industry or industries

Once you have your 6 representative descriptions, copy and paste the wording for each into a word counter website like and copy the most frequently occurring words that the website identifies.

For, find and click the “Wizard” button as I show below.

You will then see the following:


Click “Type or paste text” and paste every word of each of 6 job descriptions; then click “Close”. will automatically count the frequency of each word and produce a list.

To access your list, Click “Word list” and your top words will appear with their count as shown below.


Note the number of times each word is used (Weight) and the word itself. Clearly “job”, “responsibilities”, and “experience” will show up, but please ignore these.

For the top 20 words, make sure they appear multiple times in your LinkedIn Profile. The #1 count word should appear the most with the 20th count word appearing the least.

Secret 2: Putting Your Keywords in the 4 Secret Places 

While you should never sacrifice great content for keywords, placing keywords in the 4 secret places is essential. LinkedIn has a complicated algorithm to determine when you appear when a recruiter or any other professional does a search. We know with high certainty that the following areas are the major ones eligible to be searched:

  1. Headline (below your name)
  2. About section
  3. Experience section
  4. Skills & Endorsements section

Each section has restrictions in terms of the number of characters allowed; therefore, use keywords carefully. For a list of the restrictions, please check out LinkedIn Restrictions. Also note LinkedIn is constantly making changes so the exact character count could be slightly different than outlined in the above link.

The rest of this section will focus on the Headline and the About sections. We will save Experience and Skills & Endorsements for another blog.

Headline Section

Your headline is generally the second item people see after your picture. One should be able to read your headline and

know exactly what your value add is to an employer. This section was recently expanded to accommodate 220 characters including spaces, up from 120 for some users.

If you don’t customize your headline, LinkedIn will default to your current job title and company name.

Let’s take a look at the headline of a guy I know well:
Is there any doubt in your mind what this professional does for a living? If you examine the words carefully, you will see a balance of content and keywords (Job, Plan, Career Coach, etc.)

About Section

The About section is incredibly important as most recruiters read this section carefully. Since you can use 2,600 characters (some users are still at 2,000), balancing content and keywords is crucial.
Check out the following About section from the same guy as above:
This section is where you tell your story and how you can add value to a potential employer. If you read the text carefully, you will see keywords intertwined with strong content.

Secret 3: Use Multiple Word Keywords

Why use the single word “leadership” when you can use “strategic leadership”, “cross-functional team leadership”, “leadership development”, etc. Unless you are listing a unique skill like Python or SQL, each keyword should be at least 2 words if not more.
The best way to determine which keywords to use is to let LinkedIn tell you! If you begin to type keywords into the “Add a new skill” in the Skills & Endorsements section, LinkedIn will suggest keywords for you.
Simply scroll down to your Skills & Endorsements section and click “Add a new skill”. Type the word “leadership” and you will see all variations of the word. Select those 2-3+ word keywords that are accurate to describe your skills, keeping in mind the job you want.
Now that you have your keywords, go back to each of the 4 sections mentioned above and use them often but wisely.
Get found on LinkedIn!


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