Are you having trouble finding the best keywords to use in your profile? Are you struggling to find the right words to put in the Search box when you're looking for new customers, great employees, or perhaps your dream job?

Well, you're not alone! But I'm here to help. It's a bit like a treasure hunt. It takes a little time, but it's easy if you know where to look--and the rewards are well worth the effort. You may hit the jackpot!


Here are some places where you can find great keywords on LinkedIn:

Your competitors' individual profiles

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Experience titles
  • Experience description
  • Skills & Endorsements
  • Interests
  • Groups & Associations

Your competitors' company pages

  • Company Overview
  • Specialties

Your industry groups

  • Group name
  • Group profile description

Search LinkedIn job postings

Click Jobs on the top toolbar, enter your job title or job position (or the title of people you are searching for), and then click the blue Search button. Review the details of the postings and look for critical keywords that you may want to include in your profile or in future searches you perform.

Search in the LinkedIn Skills database

Go to your Skills & Endorsements section and click the +Add skill button. Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.39.10 AMThen scroll down to the data entry box that states What are your areas of expertise and enter one of your known keywords, like accounting. Then LinkedIn will automatically display the other popular skills (a/k/a keywords) that you might want to consider using both in your profile and in your searches.

Search for skills using the Alumni feature

Click the down arrow to the left of your large, white Search box in your top toolbar and select Universities from the drop-down choices. Type the name of the college you attended (although you are not limited to your alma mater). Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.35.02 AM

When the school appears in the drop-down, click that entry. You should then be on that institution's LinkedIn University page.

Click the Students & Alumni tab. Then select your occupation (or the occupation of the person you are looking for) from the What they do column. Then use the right arrow in the middle of the list to access the second page. Take a look at the entries in the What they are skilled at column.

If you want to try something that's fun (and very helpful as well), try loading a group of the words you've just found into a word-cloud program. I use

Here are the word-cloud results from a LinkedIn job-seeker event I did the other day when searching for keywords for a group of people in the regulatory affairs industry. Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 4.17.53 PMI cut and pasted the information (Headline, Summary and Job Experience sections) from the profiles of  three people who had the job these job seekers wanted. This helped them zero in on some of the words they should consider having in their profiles. The more prominently the word appears, the more often it appeared in those profiles.

For more free keyword and searching tips, check out the following downloadable resources in the Guides and Worksheets section on my website:

  • LinkedIn Keyword Worksheet
  • LinkedIn People Searching: Your Ticket to Improved ROI

Leave a comment if you've found other great ways to identify the keywords that have helped you hit the LinkedIn jackpot.