Want to show up higher in LinkedIn search results, get more visitors (a.k.a., hiring managers) to your profile, and have a more impressive personal brand?
If you said, “well, duh” to that, I have good news for you. Getting those results is easy—all you have to do is update your LinkedIn headline.
Why You Shouldn’t Use the Default
As Muse writer Jenny Foss explained in “Does Your LinkedIn Headline Suck?”, the site automatically makes your headline your current job title and employer. And that’s what most people stick with.
However, when you think about it, “Technical Lead at Core Communications” is pretty boring.
it doesn’t give your audience any new information. When people scroll
through your profile, they’ll very quickly see your position and place
of work in your summary and experience sections.
What Your Headline Should Accomplish
Of course, that doesn’t mean your headline can’t include where you work and what you do. It should communicate your expertise, your field, and why you’re special. But it also should be eye-catching. No matter what your LinkedIn goals are (networking, getting hired, establishing credibility or expertise, recruiting), standing out is a good thing.
I know, this sounds a bit intimidating. But it’s totally doable to hit all of these in one LinkedIn headline.
1. Add Your Specialty
Maybe, like me, you do a lot of freelance writing. Yet “Freelance Writer” is pretty generic. What topics do you cover most frequently? Maybe you’re a “Lifestyle Freelance Writer” or a “Freelance Writer Specializing in Personal Finance.”
If you’re a programmer or in another technical field, consider including the languages or technologies you use the most. “Java and Rails Engineer” is more interesting than “Software Engineer.”
Or, maybe you’re a project manager who’s worked primarily in e-commerce. You’d probably agree “Project Manager With 10+ Years in Ecommerce” packs a bigger punch than “Project Manager.”
The TakeawayTo jazz up your headline, weave in your specialty.
4. Show Off Your Accolades
If you’ve written for, appeared in, or been mentioned by a noteworthy media source, include that in your LinkedIn headline for an instant credibility boost.
For example, you’re a PR rep who’s been interviewed by reporters from The Boston Globe and Bostinno. Your headline could be:
“PR Manager Featured in The Boston Globe and Bostinno.”
If instead, Bostinno had placed you on a list of up-and-coming PR representatives in Boston, you could write:
“PR Manager Recognized as one of Bostinno’s 10 Up-and-Coming Media Specialists.”