LinkedIn headlines provide the most powerful 120 characters of language on your LinkedIn profile, and unfortunately, it is often under-utilized. “By default, LinkedIn populates your headline with your current job title and employer” — and unfortunately most people leave it in there. What’s really bad is that if you update your experience, say with a new job, LinkedIn doesn’t always update your default headline. So your headline can be an out of date mismatch with your profile’s experience. Especially if you are actively job-searching, but even if you are using LinkedIn for business leads, or passively keeping yourself apprised of the market, you should review your headline. And your headline should be aligned with the goal you are seeking to achieve. Review this article: “The Right Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile Headline” for tips on how to use different headline types for different goals.
The first rule is that your headline should not simply repeat your job title and employer in your headline. That’s not only redundant, it sends the subliminal message that your are where you want to be, and aspire to nothing more. You want to convey that you do aspire to be something more – that you’re current role is just one rendition of what you can offer.
If you want your profile to attract attention when it shows up in a search result list, you should consider:
- Describing WHAT you are,
- Describing WHO it is you can help,
- Describing HOW you improve the organization, and
- Giving an EXAMPLE or CREDENTIAL.
You can search your connections on LinkedIn, reading what they have in their headlines. There are also articles that provide particularly catchy examples that you may be able to tailor to your situation. Be cautious not to be so creative that readers can be confused about what you are offering.