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Your LinkedIn headline should be a call to action for recruiters. This section gives you a unique opportunity to highlight what you bring to the table within 220 characters. Keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers don’t always have the time to delve into your profile to learn more about you. Thus, it is imperative that your headline sends out a strong message that instantly tells them you are someone worth looking into further.
While the LinkedIn headline is considered an important section, it is often overlooked. This is because most people opt for the default setting, wherein LinkedIn automatically fills in the headline based on the recent job title and company. However, this is not a smart move because you are likely to leave recruiters and hiring managers uncertain about the value you can bring to their organization. In this article, we will discuss a few tips to help you optimize your LinkedIn headline.
1. State how you can contribute to employers
According to a study by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, you only have three seconds to entice your target audience. Hence, it is important to capture their attention quickly with an eye-catching statement about you. With this in mind, we highly recommend expressing how you can help potential employers achieve their desired outcomes in your LinkedIn headline.
As a best practice, summarize your work experience and background in a succinct and attention-grabbing manner. Highlight your unique selling point, explain what you’re best at, and state how you can make an impact using your industry expertise and skills. This approach will enable recruiters to recognize that you offer what they are looking for. Furthermore, this increases your chances of being considered for your target role.
For example, rather than saying:
“Global Director of Medical Devices at ABC Company”:
You can say:
“I help global medical device companies achieve growth targets through strategic direction and project governance”
2. Add your job title and credentials
Adding a specific job title is a great way to give your target audience some context about your profile. This is one of the key steps in articulating what you do. However, it is not enough to show your potential employers how highly qualified you are for the role. This is why sharing credentials relevant to your target position is also necessary to convince them that you’re a credible member of your industry.
Incorporating certain credentials that are recognized by people within your industry will give you leverage. For instance, it is good to be Google-certified in the marketing sector, while in the project management field, being a Certified Project Management Professional is an advantage. Consequently, this maximizes your chances of standing out from the competition. Let’s have a look at an example of a detailed and catchy LinkedIn headline below:
I help global medical device companies achieve growth targets through strategic direction and project governance | Global Executive Director | Certified Project Management Professional (PMP®)
3. Utilize the right keywords
When recruiters search for qualified candidates on LinkedIn, they use specific sets of keywords. These keywords are typically job titles, areas of expertise, or hard skills associated with the particular position they are looking for. Thus, it is essential to include the right keywords in your headline if you want to be found easily by your prospective employers.
To identify these keywords, begin with surfing job search sites to find job postings that interest you. Go through the job descriptions and requirements to get an idea of what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for. Take note of the critical skills that are frequently repeated and add the relevant ones to your headline. Integrating the right keywords will lead to a more efficient communication of what you do. Thus, helping you appear higher in LinkedIn search results.
4. Be clear, compelling, and specific
As a job seeker, remember that hiring managers and recruiters tend to peruse LinkedIn profiles rather quickly. Hence, being compelling, specific, and clear about your role is crucial. In connection with this, you should craft your headline in a way that gives your audience specific details to keep them engaged with your LinkedIn profile.
We do not suggest using jargon that your target audience may not be familiar with. Though it may sound compelling, it won’t get the attention you desire if they don’t fully understand what you’re trying to convey. Instead of complicating your headline with complex terminologies, use your prospective employer’s language and focus on your prior accomplishments. Highlight how you have helped your company increase revenue or achieve sales targets. Letting your work do most of the talking is one of the best ways to captivate your audience’s interest.
5. Avoid bragging and using exaggerated statements
While we highly recommend emphasizing your most notable achievements, make sure to do it in a humble and professional manner. As a seasoned professional, you may have a lot of successes to show off. However, if done wrong, it may turn off your target audience which can affect your chances of making connections or being contacted for an opportunity. So, to make sure you don’t come across as someone who’s overly self-promoting him/herself, avoid using exaggerated terms in your title. Instead, use specific keywords that highlight your potential as an expert in your field of work.
6. Do not feature your unemployed status
You are unemployed and eager to land your next job as quickly as possible – we get it! However, adding statements such as “Seeking new opportunities”, “Currently unemployed”, or something similar is a wasted opportunity. This is because it communicates nothing significant about you, what you do or why potential recruiters or employers would find you valuable. As an unemployed and active job seeker, your primary goal is to come across as enthusiastic without sounding too desperate. So, rather than wasting critical space, focus on the specific position you’re looking for and ensure to demonstrate your relevant experience, skills, and aptitude to get your foot in the door.
The value you offer as a potential employee obviously goes well beyond 220 characters. Nonetheless, you need to distill the most relevant details down into a short sentence. The best practices above will help you create a LinkedIn headline that resonates with your target audience. Thus, making it easier for them to find you in their searches.