Don’t overlook the LinkedIn headline when updating your LinkedIn profile. Often times people don’t realize the importance of a well-crafted headline.
You are going to read about things to consider when writing your LinkedIn headline and see some examples of what effective headlines look like compared to ineffective headlines.
First things first...Consider what others will SEARCH!
Stop getting so caught up in the idea of using a headline that describes you and your current job status. No one searches for new employees based on their job status. They search for people by what they may offer or do for a career!
What's the difference? Well, if you were about to hire someone would you start searching for a Project Manager with the term "Unemployed" or "Seeking Opportunities"? No, you would search for Project Managers. To give you example:
Image below shows search results for the team at Find My Profession:
You can tell from this image that you are looking at people who offer resume writing services. Therefore, people searching for a new resume will usually reach out to them.
Currently, there are over 565,000 profiles on LinkedIn with this headline:
"Unemployed at unemployed"
Any person with such a headline may quickly find out the only people who actively contact them from searches are those looking to sell services to job seekers, like career coaches, resumes, or education programs. Their headline set them up for such interactions because they are not stating what they can do for companies.
If that is what you are looking for, great. However, there are proper ways to write a LinkedIn headline. Consider the tips for writing a proper headline below.
LinkedIn headline for a student or recent graduate
If you are a student looking at this and lamenting about how difficult a job search will be, please remember this rule of thumb:
- Businesses love to hire people with potential!
As a student or recent college graduate, you can afford to be a little creative with your headline. Tell a quick story to recruiters and hiring managers, letting them know what you are working on now, and hope to do once you graduate. Think about it: The value you offer is in being a smart, hard-working individual ready to be shaped in some way by the first company that hires you.
Set yourself up with a LinkedIn headline that states what you are doing or learning, knowing it is the type of job you will seek once graduated. Take a look at the samples provided below.
You do not need to write a book about your intentions. Keep in mind hiring managers or recruiters will only read the information that will be useful to them. All three examples above give important information that a hiring manager will want to know.
Do not fear the fact that there will be others on LinkedIn with much more experience than you. Ideally, a headline like what you see above sets you up to be hired by those who have made a career of doing what you hope to do very soon.
Headlines for seeking new opportunities
Now that you have gained work experience, you are ready to create an effective headline that shows what you’ve accomplished, as well as what you are looking for. Whether you’re actively seeking your dream job, or just casually looking for new opportunities, consider the following for your next headline:
What is the headline above doing so well?
- NOT overwhelming the headline with buzzwords in an attempt to better improve search results
- Making a statement of the person's experience, brand, a highlight, and the type of work they typically get hired for.
- Making it visually appealing and easier to read by separating each point with a bookend (ex. something | like | this)
Another common mistake worth mentioning: Avoid crafting your headline by adding adjectives and "thought speech". Words like only, basically, actually, etc. have no place in a headline.
Using adverbs or speech fillers to emphasize a point will do more to subtract from the power of your headline. To give you an example, which statement sounds more convincing and impactful?
- "I offer amazing resume writing services."
- "I actually offer really amazing resume writing services."
Do you see how a point can be lost in all of the adverbs and speech fillers?
Next, we will look at samples of headlines that you should avoid if you are trying to get attention from hiring managers.
What you need to remember
The job search process is competitive and you need to stand out from other job seekers. You want to create an image in the mind of the hiring managers, so they will vision you as the best fit for a position. Your goal is to trigger Inmails, invites to interviews, or requests to use your services. Look at the image below:
Notice the mention of a job title and services being offered. On a daily basis, the headline you see leads other LinkedIn members to contact him regarding:
- Resume writing services
- Openings regarding Account Management positions
- Job seekers looking for assistance in finding work
Ultimately, the words you are choosing to use will help you stand out from others seeking work, but do not have targeted headlines.
If your goal is to land a job interview through LinkedIn, the very words you have in your headline will be teaching others why you should be contacted for interviews.
If you’ve completed your headline, but realize you need to completely update your LinkedIn profile to look more professional and get more views, check out our list of the 10 Best LinkedIn Profile Writers.