The Small Words That Control Your Future

If everything that can be found, can be found in a few seconds using electronic search, why are you making it impossible for your next employer or customer to find you?

According to Statista, there were more than 20 billion online searches conducted per month this year.  Every one of those searches had this is common: each used a keyword or keywords to obtain the answer.  Since everything that can be found today can be found using the right keywords, it is foolish for every professional to not to have an intentional keyword strategy!

I’m convinced that you can answer any question or find any information, solution, or person on the planet if you simply enter the right keywords.  It may take you a few times adjusting your keywords, but in a few moments you have millions of hits returned to your mobile device.  A few more clicks and you’re where you want to be.


Being the Sought is Better Than Hunting

  • If you’re a job seeker, it’s great to be wanted by several employers who contact you instead of making countless applications for positions of interest.
  • If you’re a sales professional or solution provider, getting prospects and customers to contact you to solve their problems is better than you pounding the pavement or the phones seeking people who want what you have to sell.
  • If you’re a rising professional seeking high quality network connections, it’s better to have high quality connections seek you looking to connect, than to contact and convince a potential connection to accept your networking invitation.

Why Keywords are Key

If you want to be hunted by employers, prospects, customers, and valuable people for your network, then you must have the right set of keywords associated with your online presence. The internet reinvented the buying, learning, and networking processes of the past century in less than a decade.  We no longer spend an afternoon shopping store to store in search of something specific. When was the last time you visited the library to initiate research? And when did you last buy an industry directory to find a qualified professional?  No, the first step in all these hunting expeditions is to look online first, using keywords to get to the products, information, and people you need…all in seconds.

That means that if you want to be the sought after, carefully choose the right set of keywords that draws the hunter to you.  Embed each keyword multiple times in every one of your online profiles, because multiple appearances of the hunter’s keywords improve your chances of the hunter’s search finding you.  Each online network has its own rules about which sections are keyword searchable and which are not, so investigate in order to attract hunters.   Consider hashtagging your keywords, as explained in How to Use Hashtags Effectively and Hashtag Analytics 101.

Begin With Your End in Mind

One of the first tenets of effective planning is to begin with the end in mind.  In what kind of searches do you want to be found? Who do you want to find you? Hunters ask themselves, “If I were looking for X (describe X specifically), what keywords would I use to find X?”  Here’s how to apply this to your situation:

  • Job seekers – embed keywords in your online résumés, blogs, and profiles associated with the job you want in order to attract employers, recruiters, and hiring managers seeking candidates using the keywords that describe you. Places to find the right keywords include the job postings and job descriptions of the roles you want, as well as the words employers use to describe the results of successful people who are in your target job roles. 
  • Sales professionals and solutions providers – embed keywords in blogs and profiles associated with the problems you and your solutions solve, along with the benefits they deliver. Understand the specific keywords buyers use to research the problems and need areas they have. Ask existing customers how they search for solution providers and the keywords they use.
  • Seeking to build an effective network – select attractional keywords that describe your areas of expertise and interest, which will draw visitors to your profile. Look at the keywords used in the profiles of people you find most valuable in your existing networks.  

Keyword Tools

Just Google best keyword tools and you’ll find a rich banquet of choices. As with all technology, today’s best tools may become tomorrow’s has beens, so periodically repeat the exercise.  A few notable keyword tools include:

General Keyword Tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner relies on the power of the Google brand to help you reach the right people with the right keywords and keeps you aware of keyword trends. For fee plans. 
  • Keyword Tool positions itself as a strong alternative to Google Keyword Planner, offering free and for-fee versions, as does The Hoth.
  • Wordstream offers the first 30 free keyword searches so it’s worth checking out.

Jobseeker Keyword Tools

  • Skillsyncer is a free resume keyword optimizer and job application tracker for job seekers.
  • Jobscan lets you optimize both your resume and LinkedIn profile to match job postings.
  • Jobalytics is a Chrome extension resume analyzer.

Sales, Marketing, and Business Development Keyword Tools

  • Wordstream for Sales suggests keywords by industry for use in messaging and social profiles.
  • AnswerThePublic analyzes Google searches to suggest keywords for use in product development and marketing.
  • SeedKeywords helps you create content (including LinkedIn profiles) around the right keywords based on the preferences of current public searches.  
  • Terrific article from SalesHacker on keyword use in sales, marketing and biz dev applications.

Bottom Line

If you want to be sought after, you must choose the right set of keywords associated with why you want someone to find you.

I love working with people and organizations who want to improve their effectiveness! Here are several outstanding resources that can help you and your organization to go to the next level:

  • Improving your (or your team’s) management and leadership skills: Leading Through People™. This acclaimed program equips participants in thousands of current and emerging best practices of leadership, hiring, and talent development.
  • Raising your (or your team’s) selling and sales management effectiveness: B2B Sales Essentials™ (among the 30-plus courses we offer are ones on selling with emotional intelligence and storyselling!)
  • Conducting a more effective job search: Get a Better Job Faster™

I help leaders and aspiring leaders improve their performance and acumen, and sales and marketing professionals to become more productive and effective. I also work with some of the world’s top employers by helping them get the most out of their talented people. My company’s extensive leadership development course catalog provides effective skills-building for everyone in the organization, from the new / developing leader to the seasoned C-level executive. My company’s coaching programs produce significant results in compressed periods of time. To find out more, please visit us at, email us at, or call us at 215-942-0982.


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