Tag Archives: linkedin headline

15 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn Headline

This is the final article of a three-part series that looks at the most important sections of the LinkedIn profile, the About, Experienced, and now the Headline. It’s debatable as to which is the most important of the three profile sections, but according to a poll taken on LinkedIn, the Headline is the most important.

Now that you know the Headline is (theoretically) the most important section, you’re probably wondering how you can write a LinkedIn profile Headline that makes people take a second look and want to read the rest of your profile. Fifteen (15) LinkedIn pros go into detail on how to accomplish this.

One important element of a strong Headline is search optimization (SEO). One of the 15 pros goes into detail on how to optimize your Headline.

A common theme among the pros is not settling on your title as the Headline. Why should you? You’re more than what you do and where you work.

There’s the Good, Better, and Best kinds of Headline sections. Read how you can accomplish the “Best.”

Use emojis in your Headline? Heck yes; they add color and make it stand out.

And of course one of our pros comes up with an acronym. Find out what it is and what it stands for.

But don’t take my word for it. Read what all the pros have to say about writing a powerful Headline.


SEO for Effective LinkedIn Professional Headlines

Susan Joyce, Netability.com

Your LinkedIn professional Headline defines and brands you across the Internet. You are much more than a job title at your employer, the default.

FACT: The words you use in your Headline greatly impact your visibility when someone searches both LinkedIn and Google.

Know your most important keywords, and use those terms in your professional Headline:

  • Your job title is usually a very important keyword term.
    If your job title isn’t commonly used, add the more frequently used term (in the Experience section, too). So, a marketing manager who has the “Marketing Warrior” job title should include both terms in the Headline.
  • Add key terms that are important to people who might hire you or want to connect with you.
    Everyone who wants to work from home should terms like “Experienced Remote Worker” to their Headline, as appropriate. For example, an admin assistant working from home could use “Admin Assistant/Virtual Assistant.”
  • Include your most important skills and/or accomplishments.
    Check the job descriptions of the job you want next (with your target employers) and the profiles of your most successful competitors to see which terms are the most important.
  • Make the most important terms visible in the beginning of your Headline to have the best SEO impact.

Three key tips to remember about your Headline when someone is searching LinkedIn (not using LinkedIn Recruiter):

  1. Focus on keywords that will bring you the professional attention you want.
  2. Make the most important keywords visible near the beginning of your Headline.
  3. The keywords in shorter Headlines seem to rank higher in searches than those with the keywords near the end, so choose the words and the length of your Headline carefully for the most powerful SEO.

Do not make your Headline a list of keywords. Humans must find it interesting and appealing too.


Your Headline is like buying a house

Sonal Bahl, SuperChargeYourself.com

Imagine looking for a house.
You go to your favourite website.

Your specifications are:

House, 3 bedrooms, 120 m2 habitable area, 2 baths, near park and shops. Central location.

🏡

And you see the results.
How lovely.
Those pictures look inviting.

Some houses pop up, right on top of the list.
They match your requirements.
Your heart skips a beat.
Yippee.

Do you ever click on links without a picture?
Rarely.

Do you ever click on links without a description?
Nope.

It just says: House available. That’s it.

Nope, they don’t get clicked.

So, Dear Job Seekers,
Recruiters are looking for you.
You are the HOUSE.

I beg you. I BEG YOU.
PLEASE.

Stop writing ‘Actively seeking new roles’ in your LinkedIn Headline.
STOP!
🛑

Your Headline needs to help you to be FOUND.

Do this instead:
TSA.

TSA?
Going somewhere?
Ha, you wish.

TSA is
Titles Skills Accomplishment

Titles: What are they looking for? (Is it a house/apartment/studio?)

Skills: key skills/attributes you see repeatedly in job descriptions. (no. of bedrooms)

Accomplishment: I help you to find the house of your dreams

Example:
Project Manager | Agile & Scrum Methodology | B2B | 10 years experience managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects & saving organisations $300,000 annually.


Make every word count

Sarah Johnston, BriefcaseCoach.com

As many people probably know, the character limit for the Headline is 220.

I am personally a fan of making every (key)word count because your Headline is prime real estate. The words that you select for your profile should be exact words that a recruiter would use to search for someone with your skill set. 

When crafting LinkedIn Headlines for clients, I typically follow one of these formulas:

Formula: Role | Specific Industry Achievement | Fun Fact
Example: Senior Healthcare Executive | President & Chief Executive Officer | Turnaround and Multi-site Specialist  | Becker’s Healthcare CEO of the Year

Formula: Role | Industry/Expertise | Unique Value
Example: Chief Investment Officer | CIO | Legal Executive | Focused on strategic asset management of a $25B portfolio 

Formula: Role | Helping [type of company] do [result] | keyword 2 | keyword 3
Example: Chief Marketing Officer |  I increase revenue and product awareness through innovative brand and digital strategies | Retail and CPG 


You’re more than your title

Shelley Piedmont, ShelleyPiedmont.com

<Job Title> at <Employer>. That is what most people have as their Headline because LinkedIn makes it the default. But aren’t you more than a title? I hope so. Do you want your “personal brand” to be connected with one employer? Probably not. So, make sure you customize your Headline.

LinkedIn gives you 220 characters to tailor this most visible aspect of your profile to tell the reader about you. Think of all the places where your Headline is seen.

  • When you comment on a post
  • When you post content
  • In search results
  • In the People You May Know section
  • When you apply for a job on LinkedIn

That is a lot of places. Why should a person click on your profile or look at your content? Because you have hooked them in by having a compelling Headline.

So how do you get a reader’s attention? Tell the reader what they need to know about you. Interest the reader in you.

  • Tell them about your skill sets
  • Tell them your areas of expertise
  • Tell them what you have and can accomplish
  • Tell them how you help your target audience

Lastly, do not forget about keywords. Keywords will get the attention of your audience and help you come up in search results. To do this, make sure your Headline and other parts of your LinkedIn profile have the appropriate keywords that will be searched for by your intended audience.

If you are an Accountant whose practice focuses on tax issues, you should have “tax” somewhere in your Headline. If you are a Software Developer and have sought after programming languages, add them to your Headline.


Think branding, metrics, keywords

Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill, AvenirCareers.com

Your Headline is often the first impression that people will have of you on LinkedIn. You can do better than just have it be a title and an employer.

You are not a default candidate, so don’t leave your LinkedIn profile Headline in the default setting, which is “Your Name at Current Employer.” This is the fastest way to blend into a page of search results. Instead, make yourself stand out by customizing your LinkedIn Headline. Not doing so is a missed opportunity to make a strong first impression

Forgoing customization means your Headline might currently read something like, “Sports Marketing Manager at Elevate Marketing.” This Headline barely makes a dent in the ~220-character allowance and fails to tell employers anything interesting and/or attractive about you to encourage them to engage.

I guide clients to include 3 key elements in their Headline to the extent it’s possible:

1) Branding

2) Metrics

3) Keywords.

Here’s an example:

Sports Marketing Manager curating creative touchpoints that inspire fans | Former Pr🏀  Athlete | Drove 30% revenue growth | Strategy | Digital Marketing | Business Development | Sponsorship | Experiential Events

This example is 210 characters long. When employers/recruiters are scrolling through search results for “Sports Marketing Manager,” the default Headline will not stand out, but this one will because it offers effective, attention-grabbing information.

This one also happens to feature an emoji, which can be helpful when used creatively. Your LinkedIn Headline is called a “Headline” for a reason. Just like a newspaper’s front page, make sure your headline sparks people to pick up this edition featuring your story.

“You are only as good as the good you do for others.”~Unknown


There’s Good, Better, and Best. Make your Headline “Best”

Loren Greiff, PortfolioRocket.com

You must take your LinkedIn Headline seriously. 

Because it’s crazy glued to everywhere you go on the platform. 

Anchoring your name. 

Appearing under all your comments on other’s posts

At the top of the DM strings. 

Headlines can be classified in three categories: 

Good: 

These are basic Headlines, reliant on your title, Creative Director

They’re uninspired but are good because your title (unless made up like Ninja) uses keywords that recruiters and other decision makers use to search for your function.  

Everyone and anyone can have a Headline like this. 

Better:  

Better Headlines combine  title with an ownable and benefit driven narrative

Precision Marketing & Media Lead, Nissan | Solving to Evolve Media & Marketing Organizations Prioritizing The 3Ps: People, Process, Product

Monetization mobilizer building, scaling & revitalizing revenue for everyday luxury brands | VP/GM, Global Data Strategy & Monetization at Condé Nast

Best: 

Does what better does AND adds in a little zinger: 

Founder + Creative Director | Sharpe Creative • I work with small and midsize companies who crave the impact of a big brand — together we are David, ready for Goliath 🤜💥🤛

🛵 Executive Creative Producer 🛵 Leading Large Scale Teams For Global Brands To Deliver Massive Impact.  🛵 On time. On Budget. No Ego.🛵

A few  final words on Headlines. 

They can take a little while to nail, and that’s normal. You’re going for right, not rushed. 

It should fit in tone and words to feel like you. 

Like other parts of your LinkedIn profile, your Headline should be refreshed from time to time in order to stay relevant and reflect your most current value. 

Don’t be afraid to get a little creative, even irreverent here. Every decision maker appreciates a candidate who has confidence and stands out. 

This is your first impression, make it the best one. 


5 steps to crafting the optimum Headline

Laura Smith-Proulx, AnExpertResume.com

A powerful branding element that describes who you are, what you deliver, and what you’re most proud of in your career, your Headline can entice other LinkedIn users to read further. Even better, it will attract traffic if you’ve added keywords that emphasize your most important skills.

Here are 5 steps to crafting the optimum Headline:

  1. Start with your career level or goal (SVP of Sales, Global Operations Executive, Contract Administrator, CIO, etc.). You can use more than one job title, but be sure it matches the positions you’d like to have.
  1. Next, add keywords matching what you WANT to do. In my case, Leadership Careers, Resume Writer, and Branding all help convey what I do for my target audience. Keywords should resemble your ideal job description. Important note: remove skills you’d rather not use in your next job. (I’m a former IT consultant, but you won’t find SQL or application development in my Headline.)
  1. Third, fold in a top career achievement. Maybe you’ve reached the #1 regional ranking in your industry, led digital transformations, or earned promotions at Fortune 500 companies. “Digital Payment Solutions Enabling 43% More Online Transactions” or “New Efficiencies From Robotics Process Automation” convey wins (and even include keywords).
  1. Then expand your Headline to use as many of your 220 available characters as possible. Longer Headlines have a better shot at incorporating a clear value proposition and the keywords integral to your findability as a candidate.
  1. Last of all, consider incorporating some bling with symbols in your Headline. A quick search on “symbols for LinkedIn Headlines” will return an array of interesting bullets you can use to separate key fields.

Set yourself a part from others, don’t commit #personalblanding

Kevin Turner, TNTBrandStrategist.com

Personal Blanding is the intentional or inadvertent act of demarketing or making oneself appear generic. Accepting any defaults on LinkedIn, especially the [Headline] of [Title] at [Company], are the most blatant forms of Personal Blanding. Personal Blanding won’t get you noticed while Personal Branding will!

Think of your [Headline] like a branding handshake. The up-to-240 spaces is like the time it takes to comfortably shake hands, introduce yourself, and maybe the deciding factor in your future.

Imagine you are on a two-story elevator with nine other people, just like you, going to an interview for the same opportunity. Right before the doors close, the CEO steps in. This decision-maker turns and says hello, introduces themself, and shakes each person’s hand, expecting the same.

This is not the time to falter, drone on, or try to regurgitate your resume. What can you say during this brief handshake time-frame that will set you apart from everyone else on that elevator? What can you say that is short, succinct, and will get you remembered?

That’s your Personal Branding [Headline].

#JustSayNoToPersonalBlanding!


💥 Make your Headline distinct with emojis 💥

Karen Tisdell, KarenTisdell.com

LinkedIn is highly visual, and it’s becoming harder and harder to cut through the
noise. If you want your LinkedIn profile Headline to capture attention you’ll need to do something many people still aren’t – use emojis.

You heard right. Emojis are a powerful tool on LinkedIn. They make your Headline
more visually memorable and can help you appear more friendly and approachable.

But don’t think that Emojis are all about conveying emotion, either. An emoji can be a bold shape, a conservative black dot, a brightly coloured symbol that stands out amongst the text and ensures your headline actually gets read.

Adding emojis to your LinkedIn profile and content is as easy as copying and
pasting. Depending on your operating platform, there are various keyboard
shortcuts you can use and emojipaedia.org will also enable you to find the right
emoji or symbol that suits your brand message.

The challenge being that often we don’t know what we want, until we see it…

My article HERE captures a wide spectrum of LinkedIn-friendly emojis, moving far
beyond a smiley emoji.


Don’t be invisible, stand out from the crowd

Ed Han, Job-Hunt.org

You know how sometimes you hear something and it gets stuck in your head. Like maybe the overture to Raiders of the Lost Ark? That’s pretty catchy: I don’t know anyone who couldn’t recognize it if they heard the first few notes.

Back on August 31, 1997, Fast Company published an article by  management consultant Tom Peters titled The Brand Called You. This article struck like a thunderbolt when published and remains just as powerful and relevant today, almost 24 years later. As Peters wrote:

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Today we call it personal branding, a fairly common concept in career circles now but on the cusp of Q4 1997, it was revolutionary.

The 220 characters of your LinkedIn profile Headline are a stunning billboard to display your personal brand because everyplace your name goes on the platform, so go your profile photo and Headline. Everywhere, including search results.

And the best personal brands articulate a unique value proposition: what is it that someone brings to the table that they alone offer?

Unfortunately, when you create a LinkedIn profile, or when add a new job to your profile, LinkedIn “helpfully” suggests updating your Headline to match defaulting to [JOB TITLE] at [EMPLOYER].

Now imagine someone searching for what you do for a living. In the search results, they see literally hundreds or even thousands of search results, filled with firstname lastname [JOB TITLE] at [EMPLOYER].

So boring!

You have become invisible. My friend and fellow contributor Kevin D. Turner refers to this as personal blanding for good reason. There is a vast ocean of undifferentiated sameness in LinkedIn search results.

Stand out! The purpose of any branding statement is to make someone want to know more. That’s why it is essential that your Headline articulates your unique value proposition.

Give the reader a reason to want to know more. What motivates you to do what you do? Which of your traits would managers, reports, and colleagues consistently say were your top ones? And remember: it’s not bragging if it’s true.

You are more—far more—than the position you currently or last did. No job title can possibly contain the whole of what you bring to the table. So why constrain yourself?

You want to interest people. Craft your Headline accordingly. And when you do, front-load your highest impact content in the first 80ish characters, as over 50% of all LinkedIn traffic is via the app rather than desktop, and Headlines get truncated on the app.


Define your audience and write for them

Biron Clark, CareerSidekick.com

If you try to appeal to everyone with your LinkedIn Headlines, you’ll appeal to no one.

Take a moment to identify what type of person or employer you’re trying to connect with, and then think about which skills and qualifications you can put in your Headline to attract them.

For example, if 30% of your current role is sales-related and the rest is customer support, but you’re targeting phone sales jobs now, you could write this Headline:

Top-performing sales rep | 3 years of phone sales experience

(I have more Headline formulas/examples here.)

You shouldn’t go into your interviews and lie about the breakdown of your past job duties, but you should highlight what’s most relevant in your LinkedIn Headline to get that interview.

And there’s no rule that your LinkedIn Headline needs to be identical to your job title or even include it.

To gather ideas for keywords and skills to include in your Headline, look at a couple of job descriptions for the type of role you want. Notice the job titles and also the top skills listed.

The more you can demonstrate that you have some ability or overlap in those areas, the better, even if it’s from a different industry or slightly different type of job.


Use your Headline as the foundation of your About section

Bob McIntosh, ThingsCareerRelated.com

I tell my clients that their Headline can be the foundation of their About section and, for that matter, their Experience section. To stand by my word, I do this with my LinkedIn profile. This is how I started my profile, and this is how it stands now.

It makes sense if you think about it. If you want to brand yourself throughout your LinkedIn profile, you must be consistent. Every section of your profile should brand you, but there are no more obvious sections than your Headline and About.

There are a plethora of Headline and About section styles. Neither are better than the others; it’s a matter of preference, just as long as they fit your personal brand and deliver a strong message.

To illustrate what I’m talking about, I’ll show you my Headline which begins with a tagline and is followed by titles that I currently hold.

👊 I’m on the frontline fighting 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗙𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 for job seekers ◆ LinkedIn Trainer ◆ Career Coach ◆ Online Instructor ◆ Blogging Fanatic 🏆LinkedIn Top Voices 2019 #LinkedInUnleashed©

In my About section I should closely follow the title listed above with two-three lines describing how I live up to the areas of expertise.

I’m not entirely accurate in terms of order of placement, and instead of using nouns I use adjectives. My headers are: 𝗝𝗢𝗕-𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗚𝗬, 𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗞𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗡 𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗜𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚, and 𝗕𝗟𝗢𝗚𝗚𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗢𝗡: 𝗝𝗢𝗕 𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 | 𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗞𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗡.

Under 𝗝𝗢𝗕-𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗚𝗬 I have the following two statements:

★ Recently I received an award for my part in delivering job-search webinars. 🏆

★ I consistently achieve “Excellent” ratings on webinar evaluations.

Why make writing your Headline and About complicated? Show your value by using a tagline and keywords by which to be found, and then structure your About section after your Headline. Value + Consistency = Strong Branding.


The “what,” “who,” and “why” of writing your Headline

Brad Minton, MintToBeCareer.com

The keys to a great Headline if you’re a job seeker center around how you define yourself professionally so that you can attract the right opportunities. This 220-character piece of real estate should help showcase your unique value and character to potential employers.

You want to say three things primarily. What you do, who you are and why you’re different.

1) What you do: Identify the roles that you want and incorporate the keywords and industry terms. Research job postings for positions of interest and use a Wordcloud to identify the most common words. This ensures that recruiters can find you through the power of search engine optimization.

Remember you can include several and separate them by vertical lines or bullets.  Ex: Career Development Specialist | Certified Coach | Resume Writer | Instructor | LGBTQIA+ & Career Consultant (Sandra Buatti-Ramos).  

2) Who you are: Showcase your authentic personality. This could be possibly incorporating your “why” or your personal mission. This is a great opportunity to get creative, use more subjective language and even emojis. Ex: I help executives (CXO), directors & managers level up, land a job faster & increase earning power! (Adrienne Tom).

3) Why you’re different. This component is critical to expand on how you’re more than just a job title. This is an opportunity to speak about your niche market, or perhaps a really high achievement that you’ve been able to accomplish. Ex:  “Acquiring 10,000 B2B Leads a Month” (Seun Oyediran).


Entice viewers with your Headline

Ana Lokotkova, CVLabs.ca

  1. Your profile Headline plays a crucial role when it comes to your visibility on LinkedIn for two reasons:
  2. It helps your profile pop up in relevant searches, meaning people can find you more easily, and

It has the power to grab attention and entice more profile views.

Imagine typing in a search on LinkedIn and seeing hundreds of profiles appear in the results. How would you differentiate among them? Which profile would you click on first, increasing the chance of engaging in a conversation with that person before you reach the rest?

Your Headline needs to set your profile apart from your direct competition. Instead of resorting to the default “Job Title at Company Name’, consider this an opportunity to make a first impression and tell a story in 220 characters or less.

A great way to do that is to turn your Headline into a short slogan that summarizes your core value proposition while also hitting some of the most relevant keywords used to describe your profession and level of expertise.

Compared to a plain job title, a slogan is so much more engaging and gets the message across instantly. You don’t need to be in sales or run your own business to write up your own branding slogan.

Here are a few examples for inspiration:

Digital Marketer | Merging social media and recruitment to connect people to the right role

Helping sales teams become more successful through social selling


Use S. O. A. P. to write your Headline

Adrienne Tom, CareerImpressions.ca

I like to say that strong LinkedIn Headlines apply the S.O.A.P formula:

Specific

Optimized

Authentic

Professional and personalized

Your Headline introduces you on LinkedIn. It follows you everywhere on the site. Often it is the only thing people see about you until your full profile is accessed.

Maximize Headline real estate to create a positive impression and help people better understand who you are and what you have to offer. 

Write your Headline with purpose and intent to get found for that next-level position or awesome job opening. Clean it up with a little S.O.A.P, working within the designated character limit, as demonstrated in these examples:

Sales Executive / VP, Entertainment. Evolved the customer experience in media advertising from transactional to collaborative, propelling sales and revenue growth >>> 500%+ revenue expansion in 4 Years

VP of Product Strategy: I delivered millions in new revenue for technology companies through customer experience and product initiatives. B2C | SaaS | Global Enterprise Software Solutions | Digital Marketing 

Oil & Gas Sales Manager | 110% YOY Sales Growth | $150M Territory | National Sales Teams of 40+ | Upstream and Midstream Oil & Gas

Controller: I influence decision-making and raise business profitability through the delivery of trusted financial intelligence. Accounting & Financial Leadership | Global & Fortune 500

The above Headlines are:

Specific. We know what type of role each professional holds or aspires to hold and the value they bring to business. Specific metrics and numbers help add scale, scope, and impact.

Optimized with industry keywords and terminology that recruiters could be searching for.

Authentic to each person and their offerings. Some even use first-person.

Professional and personalized, instilling confidence in the reader.

I share 3 additional ways to write your Headline for different audiences in this accompanying article.

 

 

 

 

 



5 areas on your LinkedIn profile you absolutely must nail

No matter how you slice it, there are five areas you must nail on your LinkedIn profile. People’s opinions vary on the order of importance, so the best I can do is give you my take on this and why I list them in my order of preference.

In a poll I conducted a year ago, of 1,189 people who voted, 46% chose the Headline over the About and Experience sections. I was in the minority and chose About (24%). The runner up was Experience (30%).

I’m not going to rehash this poll other than to say I’ve changed my mind in terms of how I rank the sections. (Hey, if politicians can change their minds, why can’t I?) Were I to vote again, I would place the Experience above the other two.

Experience

I’m not trying to be contrary here. The reason why I think Experience is so important is that this is where you hit recruiters over the head with the accomplishments. Stick with only the accomplishments and chuck the mundane duties. This is how you nail the Experience section.

Many recruiters will skip the LinkedIn profile About section and leap to Experience. This is similar to how they treat your resume; they go directly to Experience because—quite honestly—the resume Summary is often filled with fluff, whereas you can’t fake the content in Experience.

I want to bring up one of my pet peeves. I see too many C-level job seekers make the assumption that their visitors know what they did/do at their positions. They simply list the company name, their title, and months/years of experience. By doing this, they’re robbing readers, namely recruiters, of valuable information. It also comes across as arrogant.

Here’s how it should be done from one of my former client’s job summary:

“As the Director, Marketing Communications at ABC Compnay, I planned, developed and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.”

Notice how he used first-person point of view? Use first person point of view for your accomplishments as well. Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a resume: “Volunteered to training  5 office staff on new database software. All team members were more productive, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

The same statement on the LinkedIn profile sounds more personal: “I extended my training expertise by volunteering to train 5 office staff on our new database software. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

To read a more in depth article on the LinkedIn profile Experience section go to 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your LinkedIn profile Experience section.

Headline

The Headline is my second choice of areas where you must nail one of the five sections. I’ve read thousands of LinkedIn profiles—this is a fact I had to double check—so I’ve seen the good, bad, and the heinous.

A Headline that meets the heinous criterium would be “Seeking Next Opportunity,” and that’s it. This adds absolutely no value to a potential employer; rather it simply tell them the job seeker’s situation.

Meg Guiseppi, Personal Branding Strategist says this about the Headline:

“I always want people to reinforce their personal brand by getting some personality in their headline. But I feel packing it with keywords is more important. For the most part, save the descriptive adjectives for your About and Experience sections, and elsewhere.”

Here’s an example she gives:

CFO, Senior Finance & Operations Executive – Alternative & Mobile Payments Pioneer, Global Monetization, E-commerce, M&A

Keywords are important, especially if you’re in the job search, but I also like to see a short, impactful tagline. Take Lezlie Garr’s Headline that includes a tagline following her keywords:

Career Change Advocate | Certified Career Transition Coach & Resume Writer | LinkedIn, Interview & Job Search Strategist | I help ambitious professionals shift out of soul-sucking work and into meaningful careers

About

Not to dwell on that notorious poll, but this section was my first choice a year ago. As I said earlier, people are allowed to change their mind. This said, About can be impactful if done correctly. But many people don’t put in the effort to make this section great.

To nail About you have to tell your story. Story, you may wonder? What does Bob mean by this. This is where you can describe what drives you to succeed or problems you face in your industry and how you solve them.

Here’s a brief example of a client of mine who’s baiting readers by asking them in the first paragraph if they need his services.

Are you looking for someone who can increase your ROI? With my product development, sales management, and channel management experience, I am a triple threat and will add great value to your company. I am a sales/product leader and global channel manager with a demonstrated history of working from startup to large… see more

Another LinkedIn member uses the body of his About section to explain his experience in product management/marketing with a brief caption below. He lists five areas of expertise in all to tell his story.

►DEEP PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES: My roots are in product management/marketing. This strength has enabled me to understand and market complex technologies. I have had success with a wide variety of innovative B2B and healthcare products, including data analytics, data prep, data integration, cybersecurity/compliance, telecommunications, and IoT platforms.

There are various ways you can conclude your About section, one of which is to list a call to action where you list your contact information. You can also reiterate your value to employers or, in my case, tell readers that you see the bigger picture.

𝗜 𝗚𝗘𝗧 𝗜𝗧

If you’re unemployed, you don’t need to be told that being out of work can be challenging, both emotionally and financially. I know because I’ve been there. So I’ll be the last person to tell you to not feel bad. However, I will tell you that it’s temporary. I’ll also tell you not to go it alone.

A recent article I wrote goes into greater detail on how to write a killer About section: 8 tips on how to write your LinkedIn profile About section, plus sample text

Activity

Why do I list Activity as one of the sections you need to nail on your profile? It’s simple; you demonstrate one of the most important components of a LinkedIn campaign, engagement. If I see no pulse in someone’s Activity section, I assume they posted their profile and just let it sit there.

This article is about the LinkedIn profile, but you have to look at the big picture. It’s not worth writing a stellar profile if people don’t know you exist. There are four simple ways to engage with your network:

1. Start by following LinkedIn members

You might want to start following people before connecting with them. You will still see their content in your feed, but you won’t be able to communicate with them directly unless you have a premium account and use Inmail to send them a message.

2. Actively search for content from LinkedIn members

Hopefully your first- and second-degree connections, and the people you’re following are like-minded and produce content that gels with you. For example, if you are in Supply Chain and want to read, view videos, or hear podcasts on this topic simply type “Supply Chain” in the Search field at the top left-hand corner of any page. Then select Posts.

3. Search for content companies produce

LinkedIn allows you to select hastags (#) which categorizes content. Instead of spending time on your feed searching for your desired topics, type in the Search engine #(topic). For example, if you want to read articles on digital marketing, type #digitalmarketing and select Posts.

4. React and comment on what others write

Once you’ve chosen who to follow or connect with, their content will be displayed in your feed. However, LinkedIn doesn’t show all of the content that LinkedIn members you follow produce. You’ll have to actively search for it. This might seem like a needle in a haystack.

3 reasons why your Articles & Activity section is important

Education

If you’re wondering why I list Education last, it’s simple. This section is the last one before Licenses and Certifications, and it can’t be moved like in days past. This is one reason why Education comes in last place.

More so, LinkedIn members dismiss this section by treating it like their resume. What I mean by this is that most of them simply list their school, location, and degree. But there’s so much more a person can write about their experience in school. Madeline Mann is a great example. Here’s what she writes:

University of Southern California
Master of Science (M.S.) Field Of Study Organizational Development – Applied Psychology Activities and Societies: Phi Kappa Phi

• Part of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society – only top 10% of the program selected for this honor
• Served as the sole student representative on the program’s admissions board

Relevant coursework:

Managing and Developing People, Strategy and Organization Consulting, Statistics, Organizational Psychology, Facilitation Design, Research Methods, Group Dynamics and Leadership.

The program turns psychology insight into business impact with a rigorously applied curriculum that combines research focused material in Dornsife College with MBA courses in the Marshall School of Business.

Do you see how well she uses the description area, rather than leaving it blank. This goes to further nail her profile.


You are probably wondering why Skills & Endorsements and even Recommendations weren’t included as areas you need to nail on your LinkedIn profile. And this is a fair question. Here’s the thing, these two sections have taken a serious nosedive in recent years.

Think about the last time you were endorsed for a skill. Are you being endorsed on a regular basis? Are you endorsing others? Now think about the last time you wrote someone a recommendation or received one. I think this makes my point.

Further, these sections are buried so low on the profile that people rarely look at them. I only visit these two areas on someone’s profile when I’m doing a LinkedIn webinar or training. And this is simply to say that one of my connections has 99+ endorsements for many skills, and that he hasn’t received any endorsements since.

3 Reasons to Take Your Current Job Out of Your LinkedIn Headline

In this guest article by Laura Smith-Proulx, one of my favorite resume and LinkedIn profile writers, she talks about adding value to your Headline and not simply listing your title and the company’s name. After all, your profile isn’t about your company; it’s about you. Laura also provides great examples of strong Headlines.

Did you let LinkedIn put your current job in your Headline?

If so, you’re among the millions of LinkedIn users who fail to market their own personal brand.

Look around on LinkedIn and you’ll see the same scenario: too many people fail to uncheck that box in their current job that says “Update My Headline.”

As a result, you’re left with Sales Manager at XYZ Company or VP of Production at AB Manufacturing.

This could be one of the biggest obstacles in your job search! You’re MUCH more than a job title. With so many opportunities on LinkedIn to promote your value to employers, your Headline should be tuned more carefully.

Here are the 3 reasons why you should take your current job out of your Headline (and what to use instead):

Your Headline should market your personal brand, not your employer.

personal branding for LinkedIn

Your current job title probably does a poor job of representing your potential!

Not only was it designed by your employer, it also picks up your company name… and now you have a banner that clearly describes a position you may want to leave.

But if you design your OWN Headline, you’ll have a valuable opportunity to add a success story, keywords, and job titles that help others find you.

These Headlines show how you can “advertise” your skills for a future job search:

VP Sales & Marketing | 13 Winning Sales Teams Developed to Create #1 Market Performance | Global & US Revenue & Growth Strategies | Fortune-Ranked Technology, Government, OEM, Engineering, & Defense Markets

COO & VP Operations. Fast Turnarounds & Market Share Growth in EMEA, Americas, & APAC Regions. 299% Growth From New Revenue Streams, Corporate Contracts, & Transformation. Board Member, Mentor, Executive Sponsor

Your current job might not match your career goals.

Let’s say you’re aiming for the next level up in your career. By tuning your Headline for a promotion, you’ll come up in searches for the target job, not just the one you already hold.

This example shows how an Operations leader can show readiness for the COO position, referencing the skills they are already using and focusing on high-value keywords:

Healthcare Executive. COO-Level Authority for Clinical Operations, Patient Care Quality, Safety, & CMS Ratings. Relentless Drive for Excellence & Patient Satisfaction. Champion for Team Growth & Service Line Development

You can see that this Headline continues to mention Operations, making it possible to be spotted as a senior leader while leaving the possibility open to be found in searches for a COO.

No matter your career level, mentioning your desired role (which you can also add to the About section) helps show your intentions and position you more strategically as a rising leader in your field.

Your current job title is far too SHORT to describe your skills.

As described in The Surprising Problem With Your LinkedIn Headline, most Headlines that use current job titles don’t fill even HALF the 220 allowable characters.

LinkedIn SEO

This means you’re missing critical opportunities to further describe keywords and strengths. Remember, your LinkedIn Headline is a critical piece of LinkedIn Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

With a longer Headline, you’ll also gain the opportunity to switch out a few phrases or keywords to “test” which version produces more interest from employers.

These examples show Headlines that exceed 200 characters by adding insightful  details and leadership strengths:

Chief Strategy Officer. 45% New Growth From Corporate Direction, M&A, Product Strategy, & Operations Improvements. Customer-Centric Product Lines, Outreach, & Technologies Taking Regional Operation to US Powerhouse

Senior Director, Product Engineering – Driving Software Quality & Product Performance With Scalable Solutions. High-Productivity Engineering Team Leader Creating 13 Straight Quarters of Profit in Mobility Startup

Here’s how to remove the current-job default: go to your Experience section, select the pencil icon next to your name, and look for Update My Headline. Uncheck this box and hit Save.

There’s NO BETTER WAY to broadcast your personal brand than to craft a UNIQUE LinkedIn Headline!

By removing emphasis on your current job, you’ll free up space for a compelling, keyword-specific description of your skills and top career wins.

Is your LinkedIn profile Headline memorable? 5 ways to write it

I put a friend to the test by having him tell me what I had just changed in my LinkedIn profile Headline. He couldn’t tell me. Which means he didn’t know what I had for a previous Headline. Which also means it wasn’t memorable.

Getty Images

This begs the question if the Headline is so important, shouldn’t people remember it? The short answer is they should. A poll I conducted on LinkedIn, in which 1,883 people voted, concluded that the Headline is the most important section, followed by Experience and About.

Much has been written about the Headline. Some have opined on what makes a Headline strong. Others have offered what they consider the Top 10 Headlines, which I believe is subjective. Today I’m going to suggest five ways to approach writing your Headline, none of which are wrong.

1. Keywords only

This is probably the most common way to write a Headline, and it was how I wrote mine back in the day. The purpose for doing this is to attract hiring authorities or business people to your profile when they do a search. It’s widely believed that the Headline is valuable real estate, carrying more weight than all the sections, save for your titles.

You can begin with your title followed by areas of expertise. Or perhaps you want to include multiple titles (guilty). Choosing the latter could spread you a bit thin. I went with titles that describe who I am:

LinkedIn Trainer | Career Coach | Blogger ~ LinkedIn and the Job Search.

Later I added a tagline and some awards when LinkedIn increased the character count from 120 to 220.

Note: I’m a strong believer that indicating you’re looking for work is a waste of space and, more importantly, doesn’t add value to your Headline. LinkedIn has made mentioning this fact unnecessary by giving you the option to wear the banner, “#OPENTOWORK.”

2. Tagline only

Those who feel comfortable being gainfully employed are more likely to write in their Headline a tagline similar to what would be listed on a personal business card. My valued connection, Austin Belcak, goes with a tagline:

I Help People Land Amazing Jobs Without Applying Online // Need Help With Your Job Search? Let’s Talk (Info Below👇)

This works well for him because his thing is emphasizing that searching online is not the way to go. Rather, one should tap into the Hidden Job Market by researching companies and then networking their way into said companies.

Another way to write your tagline is to begin with a question such as, “Ask me how I can consistently increase your revenue by 150%.” This serves as a viable hook.

Tagline and keywords

This is my preferred way of writing a Headline but as I said, it’s subjective; and you have to be comfortable with how you present yourself.

3. Tagline first, keywords following

One element of a strong Headline is a tagline–a sentence that stands out because it says what you offer employers or business partners. It effectively brands you by accurately depicting who you are and the value you’ll deliver.

A tagline with the previous 120 characters was hard to pull off, but now you have the space to comfortably include a tagline, albeit not too much space.

Where do you list your tagline, at the beginning or end of your headline? I suggest listing it first for the WOW factor. The keywords are important for searches. They are what helps hiring authorities or potential business partners find you. But the tagline is your value statement.

One thing to consider is that your photo and headline appear in people’s feed. We’ll call them your first impression. However, your whole headline doesn’t show; LinkedIn users seeing your first impression see approximately 70 characters or 10 words.

To illustrate what they’ll see, here is a segment of my colleague, Ana Lokotkova‘s headline: Helping hustlers tell their career stories & get hired | Career Advi…

This works for her because telling the world that she helps “hustlers” get hired is made very clear. I can relate to this. Here’s the complete headline:

Helping hustlers tell their career stories & get hired | Career Advisor | LinkedIn Personal Branding | Interview Coach

4. Keywords first, tagline after

Austin Balcak, suggest listing your keywords at the beginning of your profile. He calls them your hook. He writes:

“[A killer Headline is a] keyword filled overview of your role/abilities followed by an illustration of value (preferably with measurable metrics). For example, let’s say we’re a sales person in the market for an account executive or sales manager role. Our headline might look like this:

Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Manager | Helping SaaS Companies Accelerate Revenue To $10M+ In ARR

The beginning of the headline is packed with relevant keywords and the second half of this headline creates a clear illustration of the value we bring to the table.”

This approach is also good in theory, and many headlines I’ve seen lead with keywords. This method clearly says what the person does and their areas of expertise. They are an Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Manager.

5. The hybrid model

Another option is starting your Headline with keywords, dropping in a branding statement, and then concluding with keywords. This is the Oreo method with the cookie (keywords) sandwiching the branding statement (cream). Here’s an example of the hybrid model from Elise Finn:

Mentor and Advisor | Helping Female Professionals take Practical Steps to unlock the potential in their careers, businesses and lives | Leadership Coach and Marketing Expert| #HerCareerHerLife

I find this also effective in making your Headline memorable, especially the strong branding statement, which I bet Elise spent a good deal of time devising it.


Here we have the five ways you can write your LinkedIn profile Headline. Again, none of them are wrong. Depending on your goal, you might choose a particular style. Job seekers, for instance, might go with keywords only; whereas those who are gainfully employed could opt for tagline or tagline/keywords.

Checkout the list of the top 80+ LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow, where you will find the Headlines for each person.

3 LinkedIn Tips Guaranteed To Skyrocket Your Visibility

This guest article is written by Austin Belcak, founder of Cultivated Culture.

If you’re a job seeker and you haven’t optimized your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities.

In today’s market, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and vet new candidates. But not everyone is capitalizing on what the platform has to offer.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through three highly actionable tactics that will help you appear in more searches, get more profile views, and land more jobs. Let’s dive in:

Tip #1: Optimize Your Headline For Visibility And Value

Most people know that their LinkedIn headline is important, but they don’t know exactly how to maximize that opportunity.

Your headline is one of the most valuable parts of your profile for two reasons:

1. LinkedIn emphasizes the keywords in your headline when serving up search results. The more relevant keywords you have, the more visibility you’ll get.

2. Your headline is your hook. It shows up in search results and it’s one of the first things people see on your profile. A bad headline can cause people to click away while a great headline can convert more views into job opportunities.

If you want to capitalize on the opportunity here, you need a keyword optimized headline that sells your value. The LinkedIn headline formula I use with clients consists of two parts:

A keyword filled overview of your role/abilities followed by an illustration of value (preferably with measurable metrics). 

For example, let’s say we’re a sales person in the market for an account executive or sales manager role. Our headline might look like this:

Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Manager | Helping SaaS Companies Accelerate Revenue To $10M+ In ARR

The beginning of the headline is packed with relevant keywords and the second half of this headline creates a clear illustration of the value we bring to the table.

If you optimize your headline using this formula, you’ll not only show up in more search results, but you’ll win more clicks and generate more opportunities.

Tip #2: Double Down On Your Skills & Endorsements

Speaking of search results, I want you to run a quick search for your current job title on LinkedIn.

How many results does LinkedIn give you? 1,000? 10,000? One million?

There’s a specific way that LinkedIn ranks its search results and the secret lies in your Skills & Endorsements section.

LinkedIn uses this section to stack rank candidates in search results.


Let’s say you have a recruiter who is searching for a software engineer with Node.js experience. 

Three candidates pop up. Candidate A has 5 endorsements for Node.js, Candidate B has 10, and Candidate C has 15. All else being equal on their profiles, Candidate C will show up highest in the search results for this instance.

What does that mean for you?

If you want to appear higher in more searches (and increase your chances of getting a click!), you need to make sure you have the right skills on your profile and they need to have endorsements.

How To Find The Right Skills To Add

The first thing we need to do is find the right skills that are relevant to the roles we want. Here’s how to do that in three simple steps:

1. Open LinkedIn Jobs and run searches for all of the titles you’re targeting, same as you would if you were planning to apply for a job.

2. Browse through each job description and, when you find one that matches your goals, copy and paste the job description into a Word doc. Rinse and repeat until you have 20-30 job descriptions.

3. Open ResyMatch’s job description scanner and paste in the entire Word Doc, all of the contents from the 20-30 job descriptions, then hit scan.

ResyMatch will show you the keywords and skills that appear most frequently across all of these job descriptions! You want to prioritize the skills that appear the most and then work your way down.

How To Gain Endorsements

Endorsements can be a tricky thing to get because most people don’t know how to endorse skills on LinkedIn, and they’re also afraid to ask.

The good news is that I have an easy trick to help you with both!

First, you can learn how to endorse someone on LinkedIn in this post (feel free to bookmark that so you can send it to people when you make the ask).

Second, all you need to do is ask! Make a list of all of the people – friends, family, colleagues you trust, who would be willing to endorse you for a set of skills. When making the ask, be sure to call out the specific skills you want them to endorse and offer to endorse theirs as well.

Here’s a template:

Hi [Name],

I hope you’re doing well!

I wanted to shoot you a quick note because I’m doing a bit of an overhaul on my LinkedIn profile and I’m aiming to get some more endorsements. I’m aiming to get more support for skills like [Skill 1 ], [Skill 2], and [Skill 3] because I’m targeting [Job Title] roles. Would you be up to endorse me for those skills? Here’s a quick guide on how to do that.

If you’d like, I’d be more than happy to reciprocate with endorsements or a recommendation for you. Either way, I appreciate you!

Best,

[Your Name]

Now all you need to do is rinse, repeat, and watch your endorsement count grow!

Tip #3: Start Leaving Thoughtful Comments

Now that your headline and your Skills section are optimized for visibility, you should start to see more views roll in.

But optimizing for search visibility is only one piece of the puzzle. There is still a LOT of competition out there and there are only so many searches happening every month.

If you really want to skyrocket your LinkedIn profile views, you need another strategy that will allow you to push people to your profile.

That’s where comments and engagement come into play.

Commenting and engaging on the right posts, in the right way, can send massive surges of traffic to your profile. People see your comment, they think, “wow, this is a great take, I want to learn more about this person” and boom! They click on your profile.

Here’s how to execute on this in less than 15 minutes per day:

1. Find people in your target market who post regularly and have followings who engage with them. This way you’ll be able to piggyback off of the views that their post is getting.

You can find them by going to Google and searching for “[Industry] influencers to follow on LinkedIn” or you can use LinkedIn to run a search for your job title and then filter by “Content.”

2. When you see a post that resonates with you and is picking up traction, you’ve found your mark (it helps if the post has been shared in the past 24 hours). Read through the post and think of a thoughtful comment that adds to the conversation. Aim for a few sentences vs. “love this” or “great tips.”

3. Set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes and knock out as many comments as you can before the timer goes off.

If you do that every day, you’ll see a significant jump in profile views and you’ll spark up a connection or two!

Happy searching 🙂

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com