Women should learn how to optimise their LinkedIn profile for the algorithm to gain more visibility for their career automatically.

Unfortunately, we still hear that phrase too often: "There wasn't a qualified woman on the market for that role"

Tapping into search engine optimisation to help women gain visibility on LinkedIn is a way to fight against the low representation of women in leadership roles.

First, let’s get on the same page.

Wait... is LinkedIn a search engine?

A search engine is a virtual robot that organises content on the internet, like Google. A search engine’s goal is to show the most relevant content to what people are searching. In other words, the goal is to help people find what they’re looking for as fast as possible. LinkedIn is a search engines for professionals.

What is search engine optimisation on LinkedIn?

Search Engine Optimisation, SEO in its simplest form, is the science of optimising a web page for the algorithm of a search engine. The goal of SEO is to rank higher in the list of results, aka the search results. SEO on LinkedIn means optimise your LinkedIn profile so it ranks higher and more often in the search results of recruiters and headhunters.

How does the LinkedIn algorithm work?

The algorithm of LinkedIn works similarly to any search engine algorithm.

The algorithm of a search engine defines a set of rules that determine which web pages (LinkedIn profiles) are shown and in which order for each specific search query.

To help you visualise it all, let’s talk shopping:

Let’s think of a search engine as a clothing store.

You can see the algorithm as a collection of fashion rules enriched by your unique recipe to build a great outfit.

In that case, search engine optimisation would be the process you go through to create an outstanding outfit.

What items do you select and how do you style them so it not only fits but compliments your body shape in a way that makes it impossible to get unnoticed?

On LinkedIn, search engine optimisation means that you select the right keywords and add them in the right places.

Optimise your LinkedIn profile for the algorithm with keywords

For example, if you are specialised in the digitalisation of supply chain processes, you're keyword selection may look like this:

Top 3 keywords:

  • Supply chain
  • Digitalisation
  • Business transformation

Keyword variations

  • Digital supply chain
  • Digital supply chain strategy
  • Supply chain processes
  • Supply chain optimisation
  • Supply chain management
  • Digital business transformation

Supporting keywords:

  • Data analytics & automation
  • Six Sigma
  • Inventory & operational planning
  • SIOP
  • Process Design
  • Strategic sourcing
  • Strategic planning
  • Operational excellence

Where to place your keywords for maximal impact on the LinkedIn algorithm

Your top keywords need to be in your LinkedIn headline, in your current and past job titles, in your skills, and in your about section.

Your supporting keywords and keyword variations need to be listed as skills and also appear in your about section and job descriptions. Where it's not possible to add your top 3 in job titles, you can add a supporting keyword or a keyword variation instead.

Optimising your LinkedIn profile with keywords means that when your profile gets assessed by the algorithm, it can’t get unnoticed for the keywords you've selected.

In other words, search engine optimisation for LinkedIn means that you feed specific information into your LinkedIn profile so the algorithm qualifies your profile as highly relevant for your industry.

And when that happens, your profile shows up in the search results much more often.

Why you should optimise for the LinkedIn algorithm

More appearances in the search results mean…

  • More profile views
  • More targeted connections
  • More visibility
  • More opportunities

Optimising a LinkedIn profile for the algorithm is always the first thing I do with my clients because I know that more appearances in the search results changes everything.

In fact, one of my clients sent me an ecstatic voice message the day after we optimised her LinkedIn profile to tell me that a headhunter had just reached out to her for an incredible and aligned career opportunity.

Using the LinkedIn algorithm to make women more visible

Last but not least, when you get the visibility you need and the recognition you deserve with an optimised LinkedIn profile, you take a lame excuse away from somebody that would otherwise say that there are no women qualified for a leadership role.

If you want to make the most of your LinkedIn profile without spending too much time on the platform, then optimising your LinkedIn profile for the algorithm is the smart thing to do.

Your LinkedIn profile works all the time, 24/7. So make it work for you.

You don't need to post all the time to gain visibility on LinkedIn. Content creation is like an addiction. You feel that you always need to post something and get anxious when it’s been a few days.

Instead, focus your efforts on optimising and personalising your profile before you spend energy on posting anything. Put the right information at the right place and you’ll have your LinkedIn profile working for you, every day, every night.


Make sure your top keywords are listed as skills in the skill section of your LinkedIn profile.

To learn more about how to take advantage of your LinkedIn profile, read my article about Personal Branding for Women on LinkedIn.

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Learn from a Wall Street Journal bestselling author & LinkedIn coach

Virginie Cantin is the creator of LinkedIn BREAK-IN, LinkedIn PEELING and LinkedIn VITAMIN. She is the co-author of 60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery - a 2021 Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Virginie started her career in digital marketing in 2013. Today, she uses her digital & marketing knowledge to help people tap into the power of LinkedIn.

She has helped more than 100 people worldwide take advantage of LinkedIn to achieve their career and business goals.

It's up to you to be next.

Virginie Cantin, Course Creator

LinkedIn Coach & Wall Street Journal bestselling Author of 60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery