Don’t Waste Your Time with KEYWORDS on LinkedIn!

By Bruce Bixler

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Don’t Waste Your Time with KEYWORDS on LinkedIn!


Most people want to cram their LinkedIn profile with keywords so their profile will show up in search results. You are wasting your time using keywords on LinkedIn. You should be using skills instead, yes skills. The updated version of the LinkedIn recruiter tool has a new filter and that filter is “SKILLS”.


Your headline on LinkedIn is THE MOST HEAVILY weighted areas for skills (search terms). Lot of job seekers on LinkedIn fill their headline with a list of keywords so they can be found, but in many cases the keyword is not a skill used by recruiters to search for clients.

One of my connections wanted to be found for “assessments” by his customers. I told him to use the skills section on LinkedIn to find the search term assessments, it didn’t exist in the skills section. So people on LinkedIn are not searching for the term assessments, BUT they are searching for the term ASSESSMENT!

Making intelligent use of the skills search function

If you want to be found on LinkedIn you have to use the skills section to determine if people are searching for a particular word. If the word is not in the skills avoid using it on your profile. Here is what the skills search looks like.


Another connection of mine want to be found for “Director of Franchise Development”. Our first step was to search the skills section for the search term, it wasn’t there.

The second step was to search the skills section for “Franchise development”, it wasn’t there either.

The third step was to search for “Franchise”, which turned up “Franchise consulting”.


Step four was to search for the term development and we found business development. Close, but it wasn’t “Franchise development”. 

Step five was look for training since as the director he has to train franchisees on how to develop the business. In the skills section we found “Training and Development”.


Writing the LinkedIn headline

Our headline was set up for keywords which were not effective in results in search terms from the skills section. What we did was to combine the various skills into a cohesive headline with several skills the recruiters were searching for.

Franchise Consulting | Director of Training and Development | Expert in Franchising Sales | I help you with Marketing Strategy | B2B | Operations

There is a quote by Mark Twain: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

So make sure you use the LinkedIn skills section to select the “RIGHT” work for your profile, ‘tis the difference between being found or not being found.

The next step is to insure we strategically place those skills where LinkedIn search algorithm will find them on your profile.

The first area is the headline, which I mentioned above is the first place LinkedIn focuses its search. The headline is the most important area for your skills to show up.

The second area of importance is your LinkedIn summary section. Strategically place the skills at the beginning or the top of the summary. Your summary section should include three paragraphs, each paragraph should lead with one of your skills.

The first paragraph should describe what you do including your skills. Make sure to leave white space between the paragraphs. The second paragraph should tell people what you have accomplished, again including your skills. The third paragraph should tell your future employers how you will be able to solve their problems, make sure to start off with you skills.

The third area for skills should be at the bottom of your summary with an area titled “Skills”, “Specialties”, or “Areas of Expertise”. You should add nine to eleven skills in this area so they are picked up by search filters. Pick the nine to eleven skills you have the most endorsements for.


* Franchise Development | Sales Management | Marketing Management | Operations Management
* Franchise Consultant | Salesforce CRM software
* Discovery Day Director | Store Tour Director 
* Talent Acquisition Director | Franchise Partner Support Director | Coach

The fourth area, of course is the “SKILLS” section itself. In the skills section you are allowed to add fifty skills, and you do want to add all 50 to your LinkedIn profile. The reason why is because you want endorsements for those skills that you have. If you don’t select 50 skills one of your connections can endorse you for a skill that is not related to you or your job. So if you have 50 skills selected you block others from endorsing you for unwanted skills.

The fifth area should be your current and past Job Titles in the experience sections. In each job experience Headline you should strategically place those skills both in the job title and the job description.

For additional reading see: New features of the LinkedIn skills section

Headline: Franchise Consulting | Director of Training & Development | Sales Manager | National Marketing Manager | Talent Acquisition

Job description:

Regional | Area Marketing Manager | Regional Sales Manager | Talent Acquisition Manager 
* Franchise Consultant.
* Provide daily marketing | technical assistance to over 50 regional franchise partners | stores.
* Direct marketing | cold calling | B2B | B2C | office | retail | industrial, coaching effectively and successfully to increase franchise partner's store sales and visibility.
* Employee talent acquisition | employee training to over 50 regional franchise partners | stores.


Headline: Regional Vice President | Franchise Training and Development Director | Sales Manager | Coach

Job description:

 Regional | Area Development Manager | Area Operations Manager | Sales & Marketing Manager 
* Assist Franchise Development Director | franchise development | talent acquisition | franchise partner support.
* Franchise Consultant.
* Directed ongoing marketing | sales | technical | training | support to over 50 regional franchise partners | stores.

BONUS: add your skills to the “Interests” section of you LinkedIn profile. This is a search term area also that most people don’t add business interests (SKILLS) to, let alone know that they can add the “Interest” section to their profile. Remember this is a business networking site so make sure to add your business skills to this underused section of LinkedIn.


Many of my clients are leaders in sales, business development, training, and recruiting who recognize the need to attract customers through Corporate Strategic training of LinkedIn, one on one consulting, and private workshops. You are shown how to use all of LinkedIn's resources. To discover how this process can benefit your organization, simply schedule an appointment on my calendar.

Here is my call to action. If you would like continuing information about LinkedIn I’m always happy to connect with people who PERSONALIZE their request. My email address is [email protected]. If you find this information valuable please pass this on to others who need help with LinkedIn. You're also welcome to check my websitemy blog and my YouTube channel

I build practically perfect LinkedIn profiles and exemplary executive resumes. Contact me if you need help at 224-221-9700 or Email me at [email protected]


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