Much like the summary in your resume, your LinkedIn headline is an important piece of “real estate” that reflects your best eye-catching, “sugary career goodness.”
An effective headline highlights your most valuable employment history, skills, and successes, thereby attracting job leads from hiring managers and recruiters from one of the most used social networks.
Have you been seeking answers to questions like these:
- How do I get more job leads from LinkedIn?
- How do I attract more recruiters and hiring managers to my profile?
- How do I use LinkedIn optimally?
Keep reading, and we’ll answer these questions for you.
Janet, a Marketing Assistant in San Jose, CA, found that overhauling her profile’s headline went a long way to relaying the relevant skills that matched her to jobs advertised through LinkedIn.
Although Janet had marketing experience, there were gaps in her skills. This is when highlighting her transferrable skills became necessary. By shifting what she wrote, she could bridge the gap from what she WAS DOING to what she WANTED TO BE doing.
By tweaking her LinkedIn headline, Janet landed 2 job interviews in just 2 weeks after making the switch.
How to Write The Best LinkedIn Headline?
If you don’t write your own, LinkedIn, by default, uses your current job title and employer as your profile’s headline. This approach is better than nothing, yet there’s a better way.
In 2020, LinkedIn expanded the number of characters designed for headlines. You now have 220 characters (with spaces) available to you, so why not make the most of them?
Before we talk about writing a killer headline, let’s talk about the different approaches you can take so you best identify what’s right for you.
There are 3 common ways of writing your LinkedIn headline.
The first approach is to include key bits about your work history and skills. For example, let’s say you’re a Brand Manager.
Then, your work history likely includes these:
- Product Development/Launches
- Social Media Marketing Strategies
- Competitive Benchmarking
- User-Generated Content
- Content Calendar Management
- Email Marketing Solutions
- Public Relations Strategies
- Social Media Lead Generation
- Content Development/Sharing
That’s pretty straightforward, right?
Here’s an example of this in action:
(Notice that not all those from the above list were included. We opted to focus on skills relevant to a product marketing manager or new product development job titles.)
The second approach to writing your LinkedIn headline by including what you do and call out to your ideal client.
Here’s an example of this social selling in action:
The third approach is to outline your value statement in your headline.
Here’s an example of this in action:
Did you notice that Vivy put her phone number in the above example?
As a LinkedIn profile writer, I’m a firm believer in NOT making hiring managers and recruiters work harder than necessary for contacting my clients.
Which Headline Approach is Better?
There’s a lot of LinkedIn headline advice floating around the internet.
The best strategy will depend on you.
Start with one of the above 3 approaches that you like best, monitor upticks/downticks in the number of clicks/who’s viewed your profile, and make adjustments to the headline as needed.
3 Examples on How to Write Your LinkedIn Headline
Once you’ve conceptualized a headline, take time to improve it.
Like your other job-search material (e.g., resume and cover letter), consider your LinkedIn profile to be a live document — meaning they are continuously updated.
Here Are 3 Strategies To Get You Started
1. Include frequently searched keywords.
Instead of thinking about what words and phrases are most entertaining and descriptive, think about what people are most likely to search for.
Your job may be described as a “Growth Hacking Facilitator,” but someone looking for a Marketing Content Manager who knows how to get more likes, shares, and engagement from social media platforms may miss your profile in a search.
Simply put, straightforward job descriptions/titles may catch more attention over less-known buzzwords.
If you need some guidance, use LinkedIn to search job listings and do keyword research to identify job titles most likely to get you seen.
Before: Experienced Growth Hacking Facilitator
After: Experienced Content Developer & Marketing Manager
2. Don’t get caught up in jargon.
Many professionals, particularly those in tech, use industry jargon when writing their resumes and profile pages.
The person searching, screening, and rating candidates found may not have a high level of technical knowledge. So, do your best to showcase your professional experience to those who know what you do ― and to those who may not have a clue.
Use language that your audience will most likely respond to, such as:
Before: Optimize & Unify SaaS Integration and IoT Applications
After: Leverage Scalable SaaS Solutions | Connect Customized, Cloud-Based Applications | Seamless Integrations – Fast!
3. Focus on the benefits.
When looking at LinkedIn listings, recruiters and hiring managers are focused on the employer’s needs, not yours.
Because of this, a LinkedIn headline should not be about your thoughts, feelings, and goals, but about what you can do for employers.
For example, an AdWords Manager might write, “Pay <.59/Click For 68% of Client Campaigns. I Can Do The Same For Yours.”
By focusing on them, and what they want/need, you’ll write in such a way that attracts their interests, indeed making you a far more enticing and compelling candidate.
Here’s another before/after example to consider:
Before: Write Programs for Enterprise-Level Companies.
After: Write Innovative Software Solutions | Scrum Methodologies | Deliver Development Projects up to 25% Ahead of Schedule
Here are a Few Examples to Help You Write a Headline That’s Unique & Eye-Catching [Broken Down by Profession]
- SALES: Outside Sales Rep & Account Manager – Grow Market Share by up to 40% – Aggressive B2B Sales Performer
- STUDENT: Entry-Level Corporate Trainer | Experienced Assisting Staff With Updating Training Manuals, Producing Curricula, and Training Staff
- HUMAN RESOURCES: Senior HR Director | Develop New HR Products & Programs That Boost Staff Health, Relations & Performance
- MEDICAL: Trained & Skilled Nurse for Mental Health Facilities | Manage 50+ Behavioral Health & Psych Nursing Staff
- CUSTOMER SERVICE: Boost Customer Experience & Increase Customer Satisfaction Levels — Customer Survey Scores Never Go Lower Than 98.6%
- FINANCE: Manage Multimillion-Dollar P&Ls, Cost Controls & Financial Forecasting for Major Manufacturers Throughout Ohio
Quick FAQs About LI Headlines
Can you hide your LinkedIn headline?
At present, LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to hide this feature.
However, you can scale it back considerably using the default we mentioned above or use your current job title.
You could also be a “wise guy” and put a period (dot) in the headline field. 😉
How can you find the right keywords for your headline?
Start by viewing the profiles of others on LinkedIn.
You could also use your resume.
As long as your resume is keyword-rich to accommodate ATS systems, that content will be a nice starting point as your write your LinkedIn headline.
Here’s another resource with more examples for your headline and advanced techniques for beefing up your complete LinkedIn profile.