Keywords in your LinkedIn Summary are a MUST – learn why!

I recently learned what a tremendous (some would say unfair) advantage a LinkedIn premium account can provide for job seekers.   

One big reason that the Job Seeker Premium account is so advantageous is because it will reveal to job seekers the EXACT key words the job posters are seeking for their jobs. In addition, the system will tell you if you score high for the position (or not) so that you can adjust your key words in your Summary section and immediately show up as a more qualified candidate. 

In fact, if you score exceptionally high, LinkedIn will include you in the list of the very top candidates that it sends to the job poster as a perk of its job-posting package.  

Here’s what I mean and what you can do about it: When you select a particular job opening on LinkedIn as a Job Seeker Premium account holder, the system will tell you how you score for the position. This score is based in large part on the exact keywords that are listed in your Summary section.

With a LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium Account, you can see how you rank for a position and then click "Get more insights" to learn which keywords to add to your Summary to better match the opening.

In this example, the job seeker would score higher if he/she added the words Account Management and Email Marketing to their LinkedIn Summary.

While each job posting may have different keywords, similar position postings often list many of the same keywords. Add the right keywords and voila! You will immediately score higher for the jobs that you want on LinkedIn.

Of course there are other elements that factor into your score, but the keywords in the Summary section are extremely important. The other elements that determine your score include:

  • Seniority (Have you listed similar jobs at the right seniority level in the Experience section of your profile?)
  •  Network size at the company (Do you have more or fewer people in your network – 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections at the hiring company -- than the other people who have applied for the job?)
  • Education (Do you have the right degree for the job?)

By knowing the right keywords, you can (honestly) update your profile to include the exact keywords that are relevant to your background. I suggest including the keywords and other proof of qualification on your LinkedIn profile in the following ways:

1) Include as many relevant keywords as you can in the 2,000-character Summary section. I suggest doing so in an alphabetized Specialties or Strengths list like this:

Example of alphabetized keywords for a sales training manager position

2)      Copy/paste the same keywords into your Interests section (the repetition in multiple places on your profile will help you show up higher when employers search for someone like you).

3)      Add up to 50 of your specialties into your Skills & Expertise section and seek to get several endorsements for each of your skills.

4)      Include your keywords when describing your job duties in your Experience section. For example: “Used Microsoft Office Suite to create PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft Word documents.”

In addition to your LinkedIn profile, add keywords into your resume and application form submissions. Application tracking systems (online application systems) score your submissions in much the same way that LinkedIn does with your profile. If you don’t use the right keywords, YOU WILL NOT SCORE WELL for jobs.


Want to know your keywords?

I can provide you with an alphabetized list of the exact keywords to list in your LinkedIn Summary section based upon the jobs that you want for just $29.95 prepaid, payable via the "Buy Now button. 

To complete the search, I will send you an email asking for up to 5 job titles for the types of jobs that you want. For example, for a Financial Analyst, you may want me to search for just Financial Analyst jobs, or you may want me to search for keywords for 1) Financial Analyst, 2) Cost Accountant, 3) Accountant, 4) CFO, and 5) Business Analyst. 

I will research the keywords commonly used on dozens of relevant LinkedIn job postings and compile them all into a list for you so you can easily copy and paste them into your LinkedIn Summary. You will, of course, want to review the list before placing it into your Summary to remove keywords that do not fit your particular background. Allow one week for completion of your keyword list.

Use exact keywords on LinkedIn! Doing so can help you Get a Job!


Register now for my upcoming free webinars (if you can’t attend at the scheduled time, register anyway; we’ll send you the slides and recording).

Related articles

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In just 60 minutes, you will learn how to ...

  • Precisely word your LinkedIn headline to attract hiring companies
  • Show up as high as possible in search results
  • Be found by hiring companies and recruiters
  • Dramatically expand your network with the right people
  • Develop and personify a winning brand that attracts others to you
  • Take advantage of all LinkedIn's free tools and resources

You CAN use LinkedIn to find, engage and attract employers! Learn how in this free workshop designed to help you Get a Job! by making the most of your LinkedIn profile and presence.

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If a hiring company doesn’t know you and hasn't seen your work, they don’t know why you are perfect for their position. You have to SHOW and TELL them why you are the best candidate for their job opening!
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In this webinar, you will learn how to …

  • SHOW hiring companies your unique abilities through samples, presentations and other creative means (including many breakthrough ideas submitted by job seekers and recent hires)
  • TELL them your qualifications through smart online application, resume and cover letter strategies; and by preparing influential people to tell your story on your behalf.

No matter what your field, you can stand out by learning to SHOW and TELL why you're the best!

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About your webinar presenter

Kathy Bernard, creator of, is a career communicator and coach, resume and LinkedIn profile expert and webinar/workshop speaker based in St. Louis, Mo. She has always been tenaciously good at finding work and enthusiastically willing to share her tips because she wants to help you ... Get a Job!

How to set up a resume that gets results

Want to create a resume that GETS RESULTSFollow these specific steps to transform your resume. Pay close attention, each one of these tips are golden

Most recruiters prefer a chronological resume where you list job duties immediately underneath the related job title (as shown), instead of putting all of your duties/accomplishments under categories like "Sales" (aka functional or capabilities resume).
To find and add your LinkedIn address (URL) to your resume, log into LinkedIn, click your Profile page and copy the web address beneath your photo. It will look something like mine: -- Feel free to invite me to connect on LinkedIn there. I'm the Kathy Bernard in St. Louis.

Add your education near the end of your resume unless you graduated recently.

Take extra care to camouflage having had too many jobs or too big of a gap in between positions. 

Redo your resume to get results! Doing so can help you ... Get a Job! -- Kathy

What question or comment do you have about creating resumes? Share your thoughts!

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How to contact a recruiter who you are not connected to on LinkedIn

LinkedIn open profile
Open Profile symbol
Have you seen a colorful circle symbol after a person’s name on LinkedIn and wondered what it meant? Many recruiters with a premium LinkedIn account feature such an Open Profile symbol on their profile because they want top job candidates to be able to send them a LinkedIn InMail message them even if they are not 1st degree connections with each other.

What does the symbol mean and how can it benefit you?
The Open Profile circle symbol announces that you can send a recruiter (or anyone else displaying the symbol) a free InMail message even if you aren’t connected to them. Otherwise, with the free, basic LinkedIn account, you have to buy the ability to send an InMail message to a non-connection, or upgrade to a premium account.

To find a recruiter specializing in your industry
  • Click the Advanced link to the right of the LinkedIn Search box and then select "People" on the left navigation bar.
  • Type your industry in the Keywords box.
  • Type the word "recruiter" in the title box and the select the "Current or past" box and select "Current".
  • If you want to search for a local recruiter, put your zip code in the Postal Code box. 
  • Click the blue "Search" button.
  • Search the listings to try to find 1) Recruiters who specialize in your industry or field and 2) Recruiters who have the Open Profile symbol next to their name.
  • Expand or modify your search by changing the entry in the Keywords box to a different industry or field, or by changing the entry in the Title box from "recruiter" to "recruiting manager", "talent acquisition manager", or similar titles.

find LinkedIn open profile recruiters
Use LinkedIn's Advanced People Search feature to find recruiters specializing in your industry.
Select those with the Open Profile symbol after their name to be able to send them a message for free.

To send a message to an Open Profile recruiter, visit his/her profile and then ...
  • Click the Send [NAME] InMail button.
  • Complete the Open Profile message template.
LinkedIn open profile message
Visit the Open Profile recruiter's profile and then click "Send [NAME] InMail and then ...

LinkedIn open profile message
Complete the "Compose your Open Profile Message template that pops up.

Considerations / Limitations
  • You must have Introductions available to send an Open Profile message. However, sending an Open Profile message will not reduce the number of Introductions you have. People with a free account can send up to 5 Get Introduced messages per month. Check your Settings to see how many you have available (Your Settings can be found by clicking your little picture in the upper right hand corner and then selecting Privacy & Settings - Review from the drop-down menu).
  • If you have a Basic (free) account, you can purchase up to 10 InMail credits (if you are trying to reach a non-connection who does not display the Open Profile symbol). If you don’t get a reply to a particular message in 7 days, you can send another InMail — to another user — at no charge. After you’ve reached the maximum of 10, you will need to upgrade your account to send additional InMail to non-connections.
  • If you have a premium account and want more credits than the number you've been allotted, you can continually purchase up to 10 more at a time.
  • You don't need to use a paid InMail message to send messages to your 1st degree connections. To contact them, simply click Send a Message button on his/her profile.

Options to avoid paying or upgrading to send InMails
  • Invite people to connect and include in your message the reasons for your invitation. While sending invitations is free, you may need to know his or her email address (Learn how to find email addresses) and you must limit your characters to 300.
  • Seek out and invite people with “Open Networker,” “LION” (LinkedIn Open Networker) or big numbers after their name, such as “13,000+.” Such wording indicates that the person is willing to accept all invitations. Many recruiters are open networkers. Even though people state that they are willing to accept invitations, customize your invitation message to let them know why you want to connect. (Learn how to invite strangers to connect )
  • Send a “Get Introduced” message to the person through your network instead of an InMail message. People with a free account can send up to five Get Introduced messages per month. (Learn how)
  • Join LinkedIn groups where your target people are members. Learn what groups a person is by scrolling to the Groups section of their profile. Once you have been accepted into a group, you can send a message or invite to connect anyone in the group.

Reach out to Open Profile recruiters! Doing so can help youGet a Job!
Share your questions or comments about this topic! Comment


Learn more about using LinkedIn to attract employers


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