Far from just a placeholder, your LinkedIn Profile Headline has an important job to do.
If adjusted to market you effectively, it can represent your personal brand and become an online promotional workhorse.
The most highly indexed part of your Profile (next to your name), your Headline allows recruiters and employers to locate you, based on the search terms or keywords you specify.
So if you’ve filled in only part of the Headline or let LinkedIn populate it with your current job title (the default value), you could be missing out on valuable traffic to your Profile. Don’t let that happen!
Instead, use as many of the 220 characters available in your Headline – ensuring that it represents your career level and personal brand, while distinguishing you from your competition.
Try the following formula when you’re stumped for an effective LinkedIn Headline that leverages your industry expertise, achievements, and keywords:
1 – Add your target job or position level.
Keep it simple, using the short, commonly abbreviated version to conserve space, as in these examples:
- Administrative Assistant
- Call Center Rep
- Account Rep
You can also add a slightly different, particularly if you are targeting jobs at a similar level (for example, Director / VP of IT or Sales / Business Development).
2 – Add your primary industry or job function.
This should be a strong keyword (or set of keywords) that encompass your industry (Consumer Products, Beverage, Manufacturing) or functions (IT, Finance, Sales, Marketing, etc.). By doing so, you’re giving employers an idea of your main career path and background.
- Front Desk
- Customer Service
- Order Processing
- Employee Relations
Obviously, you’ll want to tune this keyword to align with your industry – and especially what you see in employer job listings – for the best results.
3 – Pull in your strongest areas of expertise.
Add at least one, if not several, keywords that represent your areas of strength (your superpower, so to speak), such as Profit Growth, Team Engagement, Consumer Insights, or New Sales Territories. Be sure to look at job postings in your field for ideas on desirable skills and competencies.
Look at these examples for ideas:
- Go-To Market Strategy
- Software Sales
- M&A Due Diligence
- Corporate Restructuring
- Customer Relations
- Channel Management
- ERP Systems
- Financial Reporting
Again, look at your desired roles carefully, or you can even look at competing LinkedIn Profiles of professionals at your career level for ideas. Reference hard skills such as SAP, Agile, Sales Cycle Management, JCAHO Compliance, and other common industry terms when describing your skills.
4 – Add a signature achievement.
Get specific about your success (35% Annual Growth, $125K First-Year Sales, or 56% of New Reseller Alliances), or expand it for a more broad meaning that doubles as a keyword (Sales Results, Customer Satisfaction, or Production Increases).
No matter what approach you take, your “achievement” should resonate within your industry and reference results that you can spell out in greater detail in your Summary and Experience sections.
- Top-Line Growth
- On-Time Projects
- Profit Turnarounds
- Successful Company Exits
- Highly Available Systems
- Technology Upgrades
- Organizational Efficiency
- Better Customer Retention
- Cost Savings
The results should look similar to these LinkedIn Headlines:
COO, Manufacturing. Production Efficiency, Market Entry, Union Relations, Capacity Increases, & 32% Yearly Profit Growth at US, APAC, and European Plants. Multi-Cultural Management & Productivity Improvements
Project Coordinator. Planning, Billing, & Reporting. Better Performance From Organizational & Documentation Improvements in Global Banks (Citibank, FIS, BofA, Others)
VP Software Engineering, CTO. Technology Roadmaps, Digital Transformation, & Program Management for Products Generating 60% Total Revenue. 20%+ Cost Savings & Staff Retention From New Agile Training
Marketing Assistant. Expert Calendar Management, Collateral Development, & Events as Right Hand to CMO. Strong Lead Generation From Digital Campaigns
Sales, P&L, US & Offshore Greenfield Manufacturing Startups. 42% APAC Market Share Improvements & Production Increases in Malaysia & India, With 18% New Cost Savings
Project Analyst. Financial Services & Trust Accounting. On-Time Delivery & Accuracy Through Stakeholder Collaboration, Board Presentations, & Business Cases. New Georgetown MBA
Keep in mind these are just guidelines for a strong LinkedIn Headline.
You’ll want to regularly review and adjust keywords, tweaking your Headline from time to time based on the type of traffic, connections, and inquiries generated from making these changes.
Originally published on Job-Hunt.org