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Is It Time for You to Do A LinkedIn Makeover?

In our ongoing discussion of how to use LinkedIn to find a job, we started to get into the subject of keywords, naturally — except there’s nothing natural about the process of creating your keyword list.

No, this is the domain of the database, rule-based, computer-driven abstractionists. No dirt, no plants, no sunny days, no rainy days, no DNA, no bad moods, no vicissitudes… no fuss, no muss. Just clean, clear, rational office work for knowledge workers.

One of our members took the discussion to heart and got right to work polishing her LinkedIn profile. Eve had been working as an editor, proofreader and writer for a medical advertising agency downtown for seven years. It was time she did a LinkedIn Makeover!

Here’s what she did: under the Specialties she added:

Line editing, proofreading, AMA style expert, content management, process maven, style sheet creation.

She also changed her Summary slightly to read:

Versatile and adaptable communications professional well versed in both client- and agency-side operations in the medical device diagnostics, and specialty pharmaceutical industries. Sharp-eyed editor, proofreader, and content manager. Subject experience in biomaterials, cardiology, dermatology, nutrition, orthopedics, pediatrics, oncology, ophthalmology, and wound healing.

Note the number of specific industries she’s listed above; all the better to attract candidate-hungry HR recruiters

In Eve’s case, she just used her native intelligence to fine-tune her profile, but you can go about it in a more systematic way. (Keep in mind that when we refer to a keyword, it can be a single word or a string of two or more words; e.g. “content manager”.) Here are five steps to get you started:

1) Sit down and do some thinking. What words make sense for your career? Your background? Your career? And your future? Write them down on a list.

2) Pull out descriptions of jobs from your files that you were most interested in and/or applied for and/or held. Pull out the keywords and add them to your list.

3) Now, go to Google AdWords and enter one of the keywords that seems to be the most natural one for a search. (There’s that “natural” word again! How about we say your “best guess” for a search instead?)

4) Study your Google AdWord list. You’ll find a count of both “Global Monthly Searches” and “Local Monthly” searches. Add the ones that appear most often to your list, if they’re not there already. Keep an eye out for different spellings of keywords’ you may want to salt them in somewhere down in your profile. Now, do it again with other keywords.

5) Now look at other people on LinkedIn with the same general career track as your own. See if you can find more keywords in theirs, especially from people who might work or have worded at one of your target companies.

From all of these sources you’ll have plenty or words to choose from.

Now put them in a food processor, add about two tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and blend at high speed for about 15 seconds. You should now have a list of keywords to add to your LinkedIn profile!!!

You can add the keywords in a list to your specialties section, but you also will want to be sure that they appear, or at least the key keywords appear, in your summary statement and in the detailed portion of your profile.


As for Eve, her polishing of her LinkedIn Profile didn’t take long to generate results. Literally, within two days she got an email from one of the top agencies in the city! They were looking for a freelance editor/ proofreader for a very busy account. The HR manager said that Eve popped right up on her LinkedIn search “because her key words were great!” She’s now got a job that fits her — and her LinkedIn profile — to a T.

Now see if the same magic that happened to Eve doesn’t happen to you soon, too!

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