Is Your LinkedIn Profile Optimized For Searchability?

By Matt Kerr

There are more than 500 million LinkedIn profiles, but how many of them are searchable or reflect a personal branding statement? Having a LinkedIn profile that isn’t searchable is the same as having a commercial website to sell products that is not search engine optimized (SEO) and cannot by found by Google or Bing (no site traffic, no visitors).

Help me, help you

In his 1996 movie, Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise passionately pleads with his client,”help me, help you!” Many recruiters feel the same about their candidates. We want to connect the right people with the right opportunities.


When searching LinkedIn, recruiters, sourcers and search firm researchers use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, etc.) and key words to narrow the potential candidate pools that they identify.

Key words are typically nouns, not verbs. They tend to be titles, industry jargon, functional vernacular, as well as those that describe operational scope or size.

Most every field within a LinkedIn profile is searchable by keyword by LinkedIn users. The graphic shows several fields within a profile where key word optimized sentences can be placed. The Summary and Position Description fields allow for the most use specified characters.

How to optimize your LinkedIn profile  for increased searchability

Working through a “Listening To The Market” exercise may help. This is a multiple step research and matching process that involves:

  • Listening to the market
  • Analyzing data
  • Identifying recurring themes for what employers want and need
  • Matching and aligning your experience and expertise to those identified themes
  • Applying the research to create a market-ready profile

One method of listening to the market is to utilize a vertical job search engine such as Indeed to find posted positions on the internet. By gathering a sampling of positions and analyzing them, you begin to identify recurring themes. These often include industry terms, standardized job titles and detailed terms within functional experience requirements.

Here is an example of a non-optimized profile  for a human resources generalist at William Wrigley Company.

Instead, an optimized profile such as the one below might contain a more traditional job title and be more descriptive.

By describing the company in the first paragraph, then restating the current title, scope and responsibility, a sentence structure emerges that includes heavy use of both industry and functional vernacular. Keep in mind key words (nouns) will be driving the query. Review your profile for the usage of nouns. Less searchable profiles tend to have low noun counts.

Rewording your sentences to ensure they contain keywords might just be the differentiation needed to bring you to the forefront of search queries that talent seekers use when reviewing hundreds of profiles.

Make it easy for a recruiter to connect with you

Edit your account settings on LinkedIn to include your name and email address under the box, “What advice would you give to users considering connecting with you.” You may wish to create an email address that is specific to LinkedIn for this purpose.

Corporate Talent Acquisition, Executive Search Consultants and Researchers with LinkedIn Recruiter versions of LinkedIn can see this information. If you decide to include a different email address, make sure that you visit the setting section of LinkedIn and add this different email address as a secondary email that is verified and associated with your LinkedIn account.

Help me,  help you by creating a robust, searchable profile that contains key descriptors reflective of your background, industry and scope of experience.


Matt Kerr is a Vice President for Kensington International.  With more than 25 years of human resources experience, Matt uses his extensive industry contacts to quickly identify top talent. He focuses primarily on Human Resources, Sales, Finance and Accounting as well as Supply Chain and Manufacturing functions within multiple industries. You can find him on LinkedIn.