Ever picked up a book with a bad title? Ever walked into a shop in a mall that had a poorly displayed entrance? Ever read a newspaper article that did not grab your attention?
Most people have limited attention spans, we are constantly bombarded with new information. It is important to grab people’s attention quickly.
Advertisers spend countless hours & dollars on evaluating which Headlines to use for their advertising campaigns. They understand the value of hitting the right nerve with their audience/readers, so they at-least read their message. They want to ensure that the readers take action on the Headline ie. read the article or ad.
You should consider using the same mindset on LinkedIn. It is an amazing platform providing you a free opportunity to advertise your skill-sets and expertise to the marketplace. It is your virtual billboard.
However, most users completely disregard the importance of a strong LinkedIn Headline. The more time a recruiter spends on your LinkedIn profile, the higher probability that they might consider you for the hiring process. So, ensure that you customize your LinkedIn Headline so recruiters will read your profile.
Headlines That Don’t Make an Impression
1. Current Job Title/ Default Headline
By default, LinkedIn picks up your current Job title and makes that your headline. So if your title is “Accountant at Acme Corp.” – the same will appear on your Headline. Although it achieves the purpose of telling the audience about what you do, it does not necessarily make a favorable impression. Unless a recruiter is particularly looking for An Accountant from Acme Corp., there is a slim chance that you will be found.
2. Telling the World You are Unemployed
If you are job-hunting; and your title says something like this “Looking for New Opportunities”, then you are sure to be lost in the mix of tons of other users, and become invisible to prospective recruiters.
I did a quick search on LinkedIn for “Looking for new Opportunities” and came across 7913 users in Toronto, Canada alone. Wow!! your competition just multiplied 7000 times. Do you think a Recruiter is going to go through 7000 records to just find your profile? I am surprised by the sheer number of LinkedIn users who use this title.
If you are employed and passively looking – by having a headline like this – you have just made an announcement to your current boss that you are ready to leave. Guess what? Chances are your boss is also on LinkedIn.
In this quick 2 minute video, learn how to change your LinkedIn Headline.
How to Write a Proper LinkedIn Headline
There is no one answer. I have compiled a list of 3 ideas you can use to optimize your LinkedIn Headline. I encourage you try different Headlines to see which has the strongest impact.
1. Keyword Research
Some Career Experts recommend using Data/Research to find out the most suitable Headline. Using Keyword Research, you can find out what Job Titles/Roles are most searched, and using the data to create an effective headline. You can use LinkedIn Job Search and Google Trends to find out what recruiters are looking for.
Others suggest being creative – use eye-catching taglines to grab their attention. Get them curious about what you do. The more different your headline looks, the more they want to open your LinkedIn Profile and find out who you are & what you do. This is effective because you immediately separate yourself from the pack. Just because you need to show your professionalism on LinkedIn, doesn’t mean you can’t show your humorous side.
3. Value Preposition
Another strategy is to showcase your Value Proposition – telling them about the impact they would have by hiring you. For example, a seasoned Sales Professional might have a headline such as ” Helping Technology Companies Improve Market Share with my Skill-sets and Network”. A Recruiter or Hiring Manager will immediately get the idea that you are not just another Sales guy looking for a job – you are driven Sales professional focused on getting results
- Your LinkedIn Headline is important. It is the second thing people see after your Profile Picture
- The Purpose of your LinkedIn Headline is to grab their attention and prompting them to open your profile.
- Avoid Generic LinkedIn Headlines. Customize it.
- Be Creative, show your humorous side
- Consider Adding your Value Proposition