Are You Using the Top Keywords for Your LinkedIn in 2021?

A title graphic with an alternate version of the article's title: "Top Linkedin Keywords for a 2021 Job Search" and a screenshot of the author's LinkedIn profile.

If you’re not using LinkedIn keywords for your job search, you need to. Learn how to integrate the top keywords for LinkedIn in your 2021 profile.

By: Daniel Lorenzo | Marketing Manager for Let’s Eat, Grandma


You need to be using LinkedIn for your job search. Full stop.

90% of company recruiters use LinkedIn as a resource for finding candidates. Whether you’re in engineering, marketing, or HR, using the top keywords for LinkedIn is crucial to attracting recruiters to your profile. If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on an entire network of potential job offers.

So what are the most searched keywords on LinkedIn? How do you find them, and how do you include them in your profile? This article will cover all of that and more…

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How Are LinkedIn Keywords Different from Resume Keywords?

First, let’s discuss how keywords for your LinkedIn profile are different from keywords on your resume.

The same basic concept applies to both; keywords are common phrases that are searched by recruiters to find profiles/resumes of qualified candidates.

A laptop open to Google, symbolizing the way that recruiters search for the top linkedin keywords to find candidates like on a search engine.

The LinkedIn Recruiter platform (much like ATS) acts as a search engine for qualified candidates.

Recruiters search for these in resumes using an ATS, and in profiles by using the LinkedIn Recruiter platform. Plus, the top keywords for LinkedIn are all generally keywords that will be included on your resume, too.

The difference is in how these keywords are used. While resume keywords are tailored to each job description to pass through an ATS for one specific position you apply to, LinkedIn keywords can apply to multiple positions to make you appear in the searches of multiple recruiters.

A List of Top Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile

Just like in an ATS, recruiters use the LinkedIn Recruiter platform to search for candidates by position titles, location, and skills. 

It’s also important to note that they can search for candidates that have certain combinations of skills. So, make sure you’re thorough with multiple spellings and synonyms of keywords!

Here’s a list of top keywords for your LinkedIn profile, based on what recruiters search for:

(If you’ve read our guide on resume keywords, these will sound familiar, but keep reading through the next section for the nuances of integrating them!)

Position Titles

Specific job titles are among the most searched keywords on LinkedIn. Recruiters aren’t just going to search for a “Tech Industry Leader.” They’re searching for “Senior Software Engineer,” “UX Design Associate,” or “Mobile Application Developer.”

Make sure not only your current job title but the exact titles of prospective jobs you’re looking at are present in your LinkedIn profile.

Location

Similarly, don’t just list your current location on your profile (though you should absolutely do that.) If you’re looking to relocate, be sure to mention the particular cities and states you’re interested in.

Skills & Certifications

Searching for skills and certifications is a surefire way to find profiles that fit the mold of the recruiter’s ideal candidate. Integrate names of specific software, methodologies, and both hard and soft skills throughout your profile.

Likewise, be sure to include important certifications you hold. Many job descriptions will call only for candidates who have a PMP, SHRM, or similar certification, so you better believe recruiters will search for those.

In all of these, use industry-standard language. If you’re a Certified Scrum Master, say exactly that instead of something like “Scrum expert.”

So where does one find what the top keywords for their LinkedIn profile should be? Plain and simple: look at job descriptions.

Just like on your resume, one-size-fits-all doesn’t work – you need to be strategic about which jobs you’re applying to and pull keywords from those postings.

(Are you not sure what you’re looking for yet, or open to multiple positions? Pick out a few job titles and try to include general keywords from those as a start.)

Where and How to Integrate Keywords

Now that you know what to include, here are the best places to naturally integrate these top keywords in your LinkedIn.

Note: If you’re currently employed and conducting a private search, none of the most searched keywords for LinkedIn are incriminating (like “seeking new opportunities,” etc.)

However, you do have to be careful if you’re conducting a job search on LinkedIn while employed – we recommend reading this blog.

#1) Headline 

Your headline should NOT remain just your current position title and company. A great LinkedIn headline needs to include keywords. This is a great place to include a keyword-oriented addition to your position title, or your main skills (a.k.a, “Core Competencies”).

Here are some good examples of how to do this:

A screenshot of some good keywords for a linkedin headline.

A screenshot of some good keywords for a linkedin headline.


#2) About section

Formerly known as the Summary, your “About” section is the cornerstone of your LinkedIn profile. It’s also an easy place to include keywords.

When filling out this section with your professional philosophy and examples of your biggest accomplishments, specify how you did all of them. This is where you can those skills and certifications that we discussed above.

If you have the room, we even recommend getting bold and listing a whole category of 6-8 keywords under a section labeled CORE COMPETENCIES. (Do not go crazy and keyword stuff here. This section still has to be readable.)

(Plus, if you’re not currently employed, you can even list your desired position titles as a list like this to include targeted keywords for all of them!)

An example of how to integrate hr keywords for linkedin into a linkedin About section.

#3) Professional Experiences

Too many LinkedIn users neglect filling out their professional experiences as they would on a resume. (In fact, they should be even more full than on your resume!)

You can fit in some great keywords here by optimizing your position titles. While you should not change or doctor your official job titles (i.e., calling yourself a “marketing director” when you were an “account manager”), you can add the main areas you were in charge of if they’re keywords.

For example, those aiming for marketing keywords for their LinkedIn could do this:


Additionally, optimize your bullet points for these jobs with skills and certifications. Make sure to include the locations, too, especially if you’re applying in the same city.

One more Pro-Tip (courtesy of Robert Hellman at Forbes): If you’re unemployed, make sure you add some kind of current job title, even if it’s just “Seeking New Opportunities as [Position Title],” “Volunteer at ____” or “Continuing Education.” Recruiters often search using the “Current Job Title” field, and if you don’t have one, you won’t appear at all.

#4) Skills section

This one is too easy. You have a whopping FIFTY slots that you can fill out in this section. Load it up with every skill you can lay a claim to. (But don’t stretch the truth – only list a skill you can provide an example of using it.)

Be targeted here. Prioritize the skills you’ve been finding in job descriptions, and get rid of any irrelevant skills from an older industry if you have them (at least while you’re job hunting!)

Since you have so much room, be sure to include synonyms here as well.

For example, if you’re trying to optimize your LinkedIn for HR keywords, don’t just settle for one skill that says “Training.” Expand that skill area in “employee development,” “onboarding,” “leadership development,” “employee retention,” and so on.


Now you have all you need to integrate the top keywords for LinkedIn into your profile. Get ready to see more engagement from recruiters!

To maximize your LinkedIn job search potential, check out these blogs on:

Contacting Recruiters for Job Leads

Making Your Profile Discoverable

Optimizing Every Section of Your Profile

Growing Your Network

Need some more serious help with your job search? Schedule a free call with us to find out how our professional writers can rework your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile to land you that dream job.

Happy job hunting!

Love,

Grandma

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