Your LinkedIn headline is like the fireplace to your home. Showcase your unique personality and skills like artifacts on your mantel.
‘Tis the season for holiday décor. It’s time to turn over your fall motifs of pumpkins and harvest wheat to holly garland and Christmas trees as you cozy your space for the season.
To me, home decorating is a form of self-expression. And a peek into your home is a glimpse of you!
Your LinkedIn headline is much the same. It’s the centerpiece of your profile like a fireplace is to a home.
UTILITY + UNIQUE DESIGN
I live in a historic home and back in the day, the fireplace was the hub of the home for cooking and the focus of family gatherings. While today, we do our cooking elsewhere, the utility of a fireplace (keeping warm) pairs with the design focal point of a home – the mantel.
Your LinkedIn headline has the same components.
On a platform with over half a billion people, you need to be found by hiring managers and recruiters using the LinkedIn search bar with keywords (e.g. what you do). This is your utility.
For example: Do you (or hope to) sell insurance or program computers?
Then, keep the readers’ attention by giving a glimpse into your unique design.
So, just as you carefully select pieces for your mantel to display, do the same with the descriptors in your LinkedIn headline. Showcase your unique personality and skills like artifacts on your mantel.
Ditch the default (your current job title at xyz company) and exhibit both your utility and unique design.
Your LinkedIn headline appears under your name within your profile. It’s the 220-character tail that follows you wherever you go on the platform.
How do you choose what to showcase in this section?
There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to writing your headline. The first is using a narrative title or tagline; the second is simply using your job title with keywords that represent varying job functions separated by commas, bullets, the pipe symbol (|) or emojis.
LinkedIn’s algorithm gives a higher ranking in search results to matching keywords, so strategy number two appeals to the algorithm, while strategy number one appeals to human readers.
Eventually, all profiles whether found through search or scroll will be viewed by a human. So, it is important to balance readability and keywords.
Your headline can also preview:
- Types of customers/projects you work with
- Industry specialization
- Brands you’ve worked for
- Certifications or designations
- Geographic territory specialization
No matter what you choose to highlight, you’ll want to ditch the default provided by LinkedIn and showcase both your utility and unique design for your job target.
HEADLINE STRATEGIES & EXAMPLES
KEEP IT SIMPLE
This strategy focuses on what you do, essentially the job functions that make up your job title. If you are a job seeker, focus on functions that are keywords for your next career move.
The only possible problem with this strategy is it lacks your unique story of who you are. So, ensure you add skills and context that differentiate you from the average joe in that role.
A few ways are to highlight a key project and/or the names of key clients/employers, especially if any of those have high name recognition value. You may also wish to include a specific industry or geographic area in your job function-focused headline.
Director of Client Services & Business Development | Commercial Lender | Salesforce Trainer ▶︎ Financial Services & Banking
THE BIG BENEFIT
Show off your value right at the top of your profile. Show don’t just tell what you can do.Your natural MO may be making loads of money, saving time or making work easier. Think in terms of your next boss and your dream company.
What do you have that they absolutely need? Show off how you solve pain points that matter to them and make that the focus of your headline.
And remember, be specific! Add numbers and details to make your headline pack that much more of a punch!
Director of Customer Success | Digital Marketing Strategist | Project Manager ‣ I lead data-driven brand transformations ‣ Doubling customer experience scores and growing revenue by 20% YoY
AN ENTHUSIASTIC TESTIMONIAL
Have you received an honor or award within your field? If so, this can be an extremely effective way to position yourself in your industry on LinkedIn. It’s important that the designation is clear enough to stand on its own without too much detail. It if requires too much explanation, you may not have enough room within the 220-character limit.
And remember the award/honor (or that amazing client quote) must be recent to make an impact. Let’s not dig back into the ‘90’s or early 2000’s for your show-stopping centerpiece.
Corporate Sales Manager ⇢ Hotel Event Planner ☆ Launched XYZ Hotel – Winning 2019 Best of VIP Experience by Expedia
If you are still struggling to craft your LinkedIn headline, write the rest of your profile first to get a sense of your career themes and wins that emerge. Then, write a bunch of possible headlines. And choose from those.
Just like decorating your mantel for the holidays, play around with what works. Select what represents you most authentically now, but more importantly (for a job seeker), your target role going forward.