How to Elevate your LinkedIn Profile Headline

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Give Your LinkedIn Profile Headline a Makeover

If your LinkedIn profile headline defaults to your current position or basic information LinkedIn pulls from your profile, this article is for you.

State Your Intentions

Your profile headline defines how people perceive you and your brand. If you’re on LinkedIn to get a job, say that in the headline.

An optimized and strategically constructed profile headline helps recruiters find and connect with you more easily and sets the tone of your brand for your entire profile (along with your banner image and profile picture).

Use Key Terms

Using key terms related to what you do, how you help clients, and/or popular buzz words in your specific industry are effective ways to get your profile to populate when employers headhunt on LinkedIn. This will help you to get started lining up job interviews.

Get Creative

You get 120 characters to say who you are, what you stand for, what you can do, how you help, and why someone would be interested in hiring or networking with you. That’s a lot in a short amount of space so you have to get concise, simple, and creative with it.

Be Authentic

From the key terms you choose to the accomplishments you put forward, be authentic. Ensure those elements are genuinely how you see yourself.

Consider Your Market

Do market research to understand what folks in your functional area want to know and how they want it presented.




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Actionable Steps


Here are some steps to make your LinkedIn profile hard to miss and even harder to click past:

1

State Your Intentions

Your profile headline defines how people perceive you and your brand. If you’re  
on LinkedIn to get a job, say that in the headline. For example, if you’re a university student looking for an internship in marketing this summer, say that! It’s perfectly acceptable to state your career intentions in your headline as it gives readers a way to understand who you are and what you’re looking for.

If you’re in a full-time role and want to promote your expertise in your industry, listing a few skills or ways you help clients is a great way to communicate your value add to the reader and state what you’re offering.

As a career coach, most clients want help with resume writing, interview preparation, and LinkedIn profile optimization. As such, those key terms are in my headline so folks can find me easily. This takes us to my next point, your headline is searchable!

2

Use Key Terms in Your LinkedIn Profile Headline

Using key terms related to what you do, how you help clients and/or popular buzz words in your specific industry are effective ways to get your profile to populate when employers search for people (headhunting) on LinkedIn. You want the terms to accurately represent you and what you can do, but with relevance to your industry.

For example, perhaps your current job title is “marketing assistant.” Marketing is a very broad field and doesn’t communicate specifically what type of skills you bring to the table.

Instead, try “Google Analytics certified marketing assistant helping clients optimize ad spend strategy to increase customer reach.”

From this example, you learn the marketing assistant is certified in a very popular, industry based platform, they specialize in digital marketing, and they help their current clients in a clear goal: using digital ads to get more customers.

That’s a lot of quality and insightful information from just 15 words.

3

Get Creative

You get 120 characters to tell the world who you are, what you stand for, what you can do, how you help and why someone would be interested in hiring you or networking with you. That is a lot to do in a short amount of space so you have to get concise, simple, and creative with it.

When writing your headline, make sure you highlight your unique selling points that make you, YOU! If you’re a student, highlight your value add from internships, school projects, or social organizations on campus.

If you’re a young professional, leverage your work accomplishments and show how your success helped your company or organization. Let your work speak for itself. If you did well, brag a bit! Be humble of course, but be proud of your accomplishments.

4

Be Authentic

I never write my client’s headline or summary section of their LinkedIn profiles because what I think is important or significant about someone might be completely different to how they see themselves and how they want to position themselves in the market.

From the key terms you choose to the accomplishments you put forward, be authentic and ensure those elements are genuinely how you see yourself. Choose adjectives in a thoughtful and sincere way to describe yourself so the reader can connect with your profile in an honest way that feels “right.”

If you project a sense of authenticity and openness in your profile, readers assume you’re that way in real life, which very much plays into a recruiter’s mind when they are assessing candidates for a good fit in roles.

Make it easy for recruiters to get to know you before even meeting you.

5

Consider Your Market

Do your market research to better understand what folks in your functional area want to know about you and how they want it presented. Then use your LinkedIn profile headline to address their needs. For example, as a career coach, prospective clients want to know what I specifically help with and the type of people I work with so they can determine if I’m the right coach for their needs both professionally and personally.

Considering your industry and who you’re trying to attract to your profile (recruiters or peers to network with) will help you craft a headline that communicates a targeted message speaking directly and strategically towards your prime demographic.

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About the Author


Nadia Ibrahim-Taney

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney

Career Coach

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney, M.Ed., MA is the founder and principal career coach for Beyond Discovery Coaching. Her mission is to help you design and build a happy and fulfilling career that makes you want to get out of bed every day. She is an experienced higher education administrator with a prestigious tenure working with students in the United States and the United Kingdom.

She has spent the past 15 years working with students in different roles across academia. In addition to career coaching, she is an experienced tutor who has helped students at some of the most elite universities in the US including Harvard, MIT, Tufts University, and Boston University. Contact Nadia if you need a career coach, or if you are a student looking for help with time management, academic planning, assignment planning, and accountability partnering.

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