C-Suite Network™

If You’re Not “Writing to the Margins” on LinkedIn, You’re Missing Out

If You’re Not “Writing to the Margins” on LinkedIn, You’re Missing Out

Based on my experience as an Executive Branding Coach, most C-Suite Executives and senior leaders have very poor LinkedIn profiles – profiles that aren’t attracting opportunities to them. If your profile shares very little about you, you’re missing out on….

  • Attracting and maintaining top talent with your thought leadership
  • Building a more loyal customer base
  • Building a broad network based on professional respect
  • Attracting other companies interested in partnering
  • Being considered for in-house for succession planning, enterprise-wide special projects and growth assignments
  • Being considered for external opportunities for non-profit and paid board appointments and corporate executive positions

What does “writing to the margins” mean?

I’m using the expression, “writing to the margins” to indicate that you should take advantage of the full character count that LinkedIn allows for each section. At present the allowed amounts are:



220 characters

About section

2,600 characters

Each job in Experience section

2,000 characters

Skills section

50 skills


Why is does “writing to the margins” bring opportunities your way?

When we “write to the margins,” we naturally use our keywords often – keywords that express our skills, experiences, and passions in the world of work. (A keyword might be multiple words; it is a search term someone might enter into a search engine.)

Because LinkedIn is a search engine, it’s looking to match the keywords that someone is using in their search with the keywords in your profile. It is not just looking for whether the keyword is on your profile or not; it is looking at how many times the keyword appears on your profile.

The search algorithm benefits people who are connected in some way on LinkedIn with the person searching (this correlates with having a large LinkedIn network) and people who have used the keyword being searched for many, many times.

Check out how LinkedIn’s search engine works:

Try this experiment: In the LinkedIn search box, enter the top keyword you are likely to be found by. For many of us, this is our functional job title: e.g., General Manager, National Director of Sales, Chief Operations Officer. When you have entered your top keyword, use LinkedIn’s filters and enter your nearest metropolitan area for the location. This gives you a fighting chance of being found because you’ll be competing just with the people in your locale. Click apply to enable the search.

Who appears on page 1 of your search? Do you know any of them? Pick of one of the people on page 1 and count the number times LinkedIn has highlighted the keyword (or something close to the keyword) on their profile. Check out another profile or two and count the number of keyword mentions.

Do these profiles look similar to yours? In what ways do these top-ranking profiles differ from yours?

How does your profile rank on this keyword search?

Are you on page 1? Are you on page 2?

If your profile is ranked on page 1 or 2, congratulations. Your LinkedIn profile is likely to serve up many right-for-you opportunities because you are ranking at the top of the list. But don’t get too cocky: the result returned on a keyword search is dependent the searcher’s relationship with you. In this experiment, you had an advantage because you have a first-level LinkedIn relationship with yourself.

If you didn’t rank on page 1 or 2, too bad. Your 24/7 digital ambassador is not working as effectively for you as it could to bring you right-for-you opportunities, such as the talent you’d like to hire, the referral relationships you seek, or internal or external executive job possibilities.

Why does ranking on page 1 or 2 of a keyword search matter?

The magic of ranking on the top two pages is that people who are searching are not likely to look beyond the first 20 people. If you’d like to rank more highly, writing “to the margins” will certainly help. This is because when you “write to the margins” you will naturally use your keywords many times – and when you use your keywords many times, your profile is more likely to be found, and lead people to provide you with opportunities that may be right for you.


to order click: https://carolk.yourfeaturedauthor.com/LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive - Second Edition
Promote Your Brand with Authenticity, Tact and Power

If you are a C-Suite executive or senior leader who would like to improve your LinkedIn profile and presence, I can make it easy for you. I have a track record of working effectively with C-Suite executives and senior leaders to create LinkedIn profiles and other executive-branded materials that help them show up as authentically and powerfully online as they do in person. This way, they can attract the talent they want to hire, increase their visibility and influence, and control their career. I also mentor clients on LinkedIn etiquette and effective posting strategies to ensure their success. Let me help you use this essential business tool effectively. Contact me through my website: www.carolkaemmerer.com or profile: www.linkedin.com/in/carolkaemmerer.

Other resources for you and your team:

For a virtual or in-person presentation on personal branding via LinkedIn, contact me. I am a member of the National Speakers Association, a Certified Virtual Presenter, and an Advisor to the C-Suite Network.

My NEW book Second Edition: LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive: Promote Your Brand with Authenticity, Tact and Power is available through online booksellers. For quantity discount or signed copies, contact me directly.

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Carol Kaemmerer

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