Your LinkedIn headline is the most seen component of your LinkedIn profile. It appears everywhere your name does and gives recruiters and potential prospects a quick overview of who you are and why they should click into your profile. Here's what Obama's headline looks like.
Your LinkedIn headline is prime marketing real estate - it appears everywhere your name does,
whether that's in search results, posts you comment on, or messages you send on LinkedIn.
That means that whenever a potential recruiter or prospect comes across your profile, they will see your headline. And when they do, you want maximize the chances they actually click into your profile.
A good LinkedIn headline accomplishes that.
Let's look at an example.
Say you are a recruiter and you are looking for a marketer with social media experience. You go on LinkedIn and you search for "marketers".
Which profile would you click into if both of these profiles came up on LinkedIn?
Let me guess. Thomas is your man. He not only seems more relevant ('social media') but also has a really
impressive accomplishment in his headline: He's grown a Shopify store to 1M Visitors. Wow.
Let's get in touch with him. Every recruiter or potential prospect would also choose Thomas.
Now, here's something to think about.
We chose Thomas just because he had a good headline. For all you know, he might have LESS experience than Anthony. What if Anthony helped a startup grow from zero users to a hundred million users? What if he was more qualified than Thomas?
Well, his LinkedIn headline sucked. So he missed out on an amazing job opportunity.
That's just ONE reason why your LinkedIn headline is so important. It entices people to reach out to you. This directly means more opportunities, whether that's jobs or internships or clients.
You want to make sure you don't do what Anthony did. Put some thought into your LinkedIn headline. It takes a minute and WILL improve the number of opportunities LinkedIn brings you.
Getting people to click into your profile is just one reason why a good LinkedIn headline is so important. The other reason is based on how LinkedIn's search algorithms work.
Your headline is an important element of LinkedIn's search algorithms. This means that LinkedIn looks at your headline to decide whether or not to show you in search results.
Let's go back to the last example. If you didn't have "Social Media" in your headline, and a recruiter searched 'Social Media', LinkedIn won't show your profile to the recruiter because it seems irrelevant!
To make sure you appear in searches, you need to be specific in your LinkedIn headline and add in keywords. Adding in keywords helps you appear higher in LinkedIn search results.
Here's another example to illustrate my point. If a recruiter was looking to hire a 'Java Developer', and you haven't included the keyword 'Java' in your headline, then you won't appear in search results and recruiters won't contact you for that position.
If you're a student or you've just graduated, be specific about the roles you want in your headline. It's a wasted opportunity to say, "Graduate from XYZ University", since recruiters and hiring managers are not searching for those terms. Instead, they're searching for terms such as "entry-level software developer". You want to be sure you end up in search results when they search for those terms.
This candidate has clearly tailored his profile to opportunities he is looking for. He's added in a certification he has, the job title he wants ("Product Manager"), and keywords closely aligned with the role ('data', 'users'). He's described the impressive scale of products he's worked with in the past ('10M+') which also acts as a hook for recruiters to look into his profile further. It's also important to note that this is a great example of a headline one could use, even if they are not currently employed.
We're almost done. Here are a few final pointers and tips!
By default, LinkedIn sets your headline as your current job/company (e.g. Developer at Google). However, this is vague and does not effectively convey your skills or expertise. As we mentioned above, you want to be changing this default and using specific keywords.
Headline length: LinkedIn allows you to have 120 characters on your headline. Top LinkedIn headlines take advantage of the 120 character limit and are 7 - 14 words long. You should add more detail and keywords into your headline. Keywords listed in your Headline will increase your ranking among other users for those search terms.
Buzzwords: Do not use generic buzzwords like "Team Player" or "Hardworking" or "Visionary" (Read more).