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How to optimize your LinkedIn job titles

Unemployed or miserably employed? Maximize your current and past LinkedIn job titles to show up higher in search results for the jobs that you want. By doing so, you will better attract employers who search LinkedIn for top candidates. (And believe me, LinkedIn is where they look … 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and/or check out candidates according to Jobvite. Here's how:

How to optimize current and past job titles:

LinkedIn job title, optimizing your LinkedIn job title, how to optimize your LinkedIn job title,
Maximize your LinkedIn job titles to show up high in LinkedIn search for the jobs that you want.

Job titles listed in your job title boxes within the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile are the #1 way to show up higher in LinkedIn search for those job titles. That’s why it’s essential to pack your 100-character job title boxes with job titles and sought after key words. 

You can do so by including additional titles within parentheses after your real job title to emphasize your relevant duties and abilities. (My theory: If the additional job titles are in parentheses, you aren't claiming that those are/were your actual titles, rather you are providing detailed guidance to help hiring companies see that you are qualified). 

How to see where you show up in search results*

LinkedIn advanced people search
To access Advanced People Search, click the triangle to the left of the Search box.
Then click Advanced, or simply click Advanced and then select People.

LinkedIn advanced people search
In Advanced People Search, type your preferred title in the Title box and your zip code in the Postal Code box.
Optional: Add a key word(s) to the Keywords box to search results within a certain industry, such as Agriculture.

LinkedIn advanced people search results, LinkedIn advanced people search,
When you search for you by job title, how high do you show up?

To see why adding additional titles behind your real title is important, check to see how high you show up in LinkedIn search for the job titles that you want. 

1) Click Advanced next to the LinkedIn Search box.

2) Select the People option on the left navigation bar. 
3) Type a job title that you want in the Title box.
4) Choose "Current or Past" or just "Current" (under the Title box). 
5) Type your zip code into the Postal Code box. 
6) Click Search and then click through the pages of results. 

How high do you show up in the search results in your geographic area? If you are not showing up high (or at all), recruiters will likely not find you on LinkedIn for the job titles that you want. The good news is that you can quickly show up higher by adding the job titles that you want into your current and past job descriptions, as well as in other areas of your profile, such as in your Summary, Skills & Endorsements, and Interests sections.

After you’ve added extra information to your job title boxes, conduct an Advanced People Search again to see if you are showing up higher and then keep tweaking until you can be found for the jobs that you want. (*Note: Search results vary depending on who is conducting the search, but by striving to show up high in your results, you will likely show up higher for others, as well.)

Important note: If you want to keep edits to your headline or job titles on the down low, change your settings to keep your activity broadcasts private. Here’s how: When logged into LinkedIn, click your little picture in the upper right hand corner of any page. Click review next to the Privacy and Settings option in the drop down menu. (You may have to log in again to visit your Settings page).

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Visit Privacy & Settings to make changes to your headline and job titles private.

On the Privacy Controls section of your Settings page, click the link that reads “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.” Uncheck the box and then make your headline and job title changes. When you are completely finished, wait a day or two and and re-check the box so that people will receive your future activity broadcasts.  

turn off activity broadcasts on LinkedIn, LinkedIn turn off activity broadcasts, turn on LinkedIn activity broadcasts
Uncheck the box to turn off your activity broadcasts.


1) Why use standard job titles? Doing so ensures that you will be found when recruiters search for you by common titles. So for example, if your company called your title “Mission Director”, but the work you did was that of a Creative Director, use that more standard title in place of, or in addition to your vague title. 

2) Why separate your additional job titles with pipes? The LinkedIn system can’t read some symbols in job titles (thus hindering a headline’s search-ability), but a pipe (the vertical line above the backslash on your keyboard) with a space before and after, works well and separates your job titles nicely. Commas, hyphens or forward slashes are also known to work well.

4) Why add relevant industries and strengths after your job titles? It will help you show up higher in search results for all of those titles and terms. 

5) Why not use adjectives? Because they only take up valuable characters/space and won’t help you show up high in search for the job titles that you want. Here’s what I mean: Recruiters will look for qualified candidates by job title. Words like “proven” before the title don’t add anything and in fact, could hurt your search results because the adjective pushes your job titles farther to the right where the LinkedIn search algorithm tends to score words lower.

Make the most of your LinkedIn job titles!

Share your thoughts and share this article! Do you agree with these job title tips, or do you have other suggestions? Thanks, Kathy

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