Are you always looking for new ways to take advantage of LinkedIn for professional gain? Then you probably already know the code to stand out on LinkedIn.
However, before you set out to make the right connections on LinkedIn, it’s important to make sure your profile makes the right first impression. Following that logic, your headline, headshot, background photo, and summary are the key elements of your profile that you should pay close attention to.
We have already taught you how to choose the perfect LinkedIn background photo and how to write the perfect LinkedIn summary. Now it’s time to learn how to write a killer LinkedIn headline.
The Formula for a Perfect LinkedIn Headline
Your profile headline is essentially a professional version of the famous “describe yourself in three words” get-to-know-you game. You’re a complex person with many useful skills and professional qualities that you’d like to outline to your future client/employer.
However, all you’ve got is one line and 120 characters.
If you’re still wondering why it’s so important to get this one right—just think of your headline as a book title. Yes, you might still read the book even when you don’t like the title, but a catchy one is much more likely to grab your attention.
The easiest way to make sure your “title” (headline) is both clear and memorable is using a proven formula:
Your company/job title + relevant keywords + eye-catching statement
Now that we know the formula, let’s take a detailed look at each of the elements and look at some examples of brilliant headlines on LinkedIn.
Ditch the Default Headline
The moment you realize you can change your LinkedIn headline from student to “engineer”
— Rachel Roberson (@RachRach125) May 14, 2018
By default, LinkedIn suggests that you populate your profile headline with your current job title. While there’s nothing wrong with having it as a part of your headline, letting LinkedIn choose your headline for you is a big mistake.
Customizing your headline is your chance to stand out and to help the reader decide if they want to read your profile or not. Making your headline more than just your job title will at the very least put you ahead of the people that share your professional position.
So what is it that you should be adding to your profile’s “title”?
Use the Right Keywords
LinkedIn has a built-in search function for finding people on the network. Want your profile showing up on the first page of the search results? Then prepare to do some research.
Your job is to find the right keywords and phrases in your industry that will both relate to your profession and describe you as a specialist. Think of the terms and phrases that someone might search to find you on LinkedIn. Then use as many of them as you can in your headline.
Get on Top of the Search Results
Spicing up your headline with the relevant keywords is a job half done. If you’re someone who means business, there are a few extra steps to take before you can be rest assured that your profile looks good in the search results.
Try finding your LinkedIn profile through search using your keywords and phrases. See where you stand compared to your competition. If you want to go one step further, try tracking how many views your profile gets during the next few days. Then change up your headline by using different keywords and watch for the change in the number of profile views.
Add a Powerful Statement
So you’ve made your headline clear, and made sure it showcases what kind of professional you are. The reader now knows what you do. It’s time to let them know how you do it.
One way to make people want to check out your profile is to add a powerful attention-grabbing statement to your headline. Think along the lines of creative and intriguing—something to really make those few lines memorable.
What to write about? Focus on how you do what you do. What makes your work special? What’s the value of your work? It’s your answer to that all-time favorite interview question: “Why should we choose you?” Did you create a six-figure business? Or bring hundreds of new clients into your previous company? Or maybe you received an award that speaks volumes for your professional experience?
Use every single word to make your LinkedIn headline pop and attract potential prospects.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
You only have 120 characters at your disposal. It can be hard to fit all the important information in such a small space. Equally, not using every single one of those characters for perfecting your headline is a mistake you can’t afford.
We gathered a few more tips on creating the best possible headline that will get you noticed on LinkedIn.
Think of Your Target Audience
If you’re trying to make yourself professionally attractive to the representatives of a specific industry, the best way to do that is by speaking their language. Make sure your job title and your statement are easy to understand and specific enough at the same time to appeal to the right audience.
Don’t know what to write in your headline? Think of the biggest accomplishments you’ve achieved for your clients in the last year. That will both highlight your credibility and value in the eyes of your prospective employers.
Sell yourself, but don’t overdo it. When painting a picture of yourself as a qualified professional, avoid bragging and making over-the-top self-compliments. Using words such as “superior,” “expert,” “winning,” and “top-performing” won’t give your readers much context. But they will make your headline sound less authentic and believable.
LinkedIn Success: Make Your Time and Energy Count
LinkedIn has plenty of tools that you can use to stand out on the network. But these will all seem like a waste of time if you don’t take advantage of the most basic features of the platform that can help you sell yourself and your services.
If you want to improve your LinkedIn profile, your headline is a good starting point. With those few lines, aim to speak directly to your audience. Grab their attention and encourage them to keep reading your profile and then reach out to you. Apply this rule to the rest of your profile and you’ll see how much easier it becomes to reach your LinkedIn goals.