Wednesday, October 28, 2020

How to Write a Professional LinkedIn Headline (With Examples)

by Aja Frost

When it comes to icebreakers, "describe yourself in three words" is by far one of the toughest. You're a complex person, with unique ambitions, experiences, preferences, and traits -- how are you possibly supposed to distill yourself down to three mere words?

Unfortunately, get-to-know-you conversations aren't the only time you'll face this prompt. LinkedIn headlines are essentially the professional version: They ask you to describe who you are and what you do in just one line. It's not surprising most people end up with the platform's default option, their current job title.

Letting LinkedIn choose your headline for you is a mistake. With a customized headline, you'll instantly distinguish yourself, give prospects and recruiters a reason to view your profile, and start building the case for your product. You'd say that pay-off is worth the effort, right?

What should your LinkedIn headline be? 

Now that you know what a LinkedIn headline is and why a custom one is the best choice, it's time to put pad to paper. One one hand, you want to simply describe what you do, but at the same time, you want your headline to be attractive to prospects (and avoid scaring them away).

To make coming writing your headline easier, here's a simple formula:

LinkedIn Headline Template: [Job Title]: Helping X do Y.

In this formula, X will represent your ideal prospect, and Y will be their ideal outcome or state of mind after using the services you're selling. 

But how do you come up with the right wording for each of these elements? Read our 4 tips for writing the perfect headline.

1. Tailor it to your audience.

SDR, BDR, account representative, client advisor -- if you work in sales, you're probably familiar with these titles. Your prospects, on the other hand, typically have no idea that these are all code for "sales professional."

When you're prospecting on LinkedIn, using a job title that throws prospects off the sales scent is confusing at best. At worst? It'll make your prospects trust you less. After all, if you look like a sales rep, talk like a sales rep, and act like a sales rep, why are you going by "account growth manager"?

There's an easy fix: Use the title your prospects will recognize. That's probably "Sales Representative" or "Sales Associate," but if you're higher up, it might be "Sales Manager" or "Sales Director."

As a bonus, including "sales" in your LinkedIn headline will also make it easier for prospects to find you. People researching your product are much likelier to click on your profile if they can tell you're a salesperson, rather than a random employee. And the same goes for recruiters -- if they're looking for a rep in a specific industry or vertical, using the most common version of your title lets them easily track you down.

2. Include your value proposition.

Of course, simply calling yourself a salesperson would be pretty boring -- plus, it doesn't communicate the value you add. Use the next part of your LinkedIn headline to describe how you improve your customers' lives.

For instance, say your mobile IT solutions enable IT professionals to manage their infrastructure on the go. Your headline could be: "Sales Representative: Helping IT professionals provide support anytime, anywhere."

Or maybe you sell automated expense tracking software. In that case, you might go with, "Sales Associate: Saving companies time and money with automated expense reports."

Not sure how to describe your value? You can usually adapt it from your company's value proposition. Alternatively, try browsing through your company's customer testimonials for inspiration.

3. Use your prospect's language.

When you're creating your headline, watch out for company, industry, or role-specific jargon your prospects won't know. It doesn't matter how compelling your description is if they don't understand half the words.

To give you an idea, while doing research for this piece I found a rep with the headline: "Our ground-breaking PaaS integrates and abstracts underlying Hadoop technologies."

I asked a potential buyer if he had any idea what this meant, and he said no. But when I rewrote it in simpler terms ("Our software helps developers easily and quickly manage their big data apps"), he immediately said, "Oh yeah, sounds like something our team could use."

As you can see, there's a huge advantage to skipping the jargon. But thanks to the curse of knowledge, it's not always easy for you (an expert in your product or service) gauge if buyers (often beginners) will understand the terminology in your headline. If you're unsure, reread the first few emails from previous customers to see how they described their challenges and needs. Any words, phrases, or situations that show up, again and again, are fair game for your headline (not to mention the rest of your LinkedIn profile).

4. Avoid hyperbole.

Don't brag. There's nothing more off-putting (or less believable) than someone who publicly compliments themselves. For that reason, you'll want to strike these adjectives (and others like them) from your headline:

  • Expert
  • Top-performing
  • Winning
  • Capable
  • Proactive
  • Dedicated
  • Hard-working
  • Best
  • Superior

Even though these adjectives likely apply to you, they won't make prospects or recruiters more interested in you. On the contrary, you'll seem arrogant.

The best way to show off your skills is including customer success stories in your summary and prior experience. Lines like "Helped online bicycle retailer increase sales by 30%" and "On average, clients reduced support tickets by half" stand on their own without any commentary -- and as a result, are far more impressive.



Monday, October 26, 2020

5 Classic LinkedIn Blunders

Adrian Dayton

Everyone knows that the most famous of blunders is getting into a land war in Asia, the second is to go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line, but blunders aren’t just limited to the world of the Princess Bride.

LinkedIn, with its 660 million users, is filled with numerous opportunities for mistakes, mess-ups, and yes, even blunders. Some of these are easy fixes and some might take a bit more work, but all in all, if you can make these changes, you will become more successful on the platform.

4. Don’t Be Todd the Sales Guy

Let me tell you a quick story. There’s a salesman named Todd. When Todd first started, he was doing great, making calls, landing meetings. All-around having a grand ol’ time. But as time went on, he was landing less and less calls and more often than not, having a bad time.

So he sat in his office for hours upon hours, thinking of a solution to his dismay. How could he ever bring in more business and have that commission save the day? But then the light bulb clicked, the epiphany crashed, and Todd knew what he must do.

“I must connect with everyone I see on LinkedIn and let them know about this wonderful thing I am selling!”

Look, we all know a Todd. We’ve all connected with someone that we don’t know and immediately gotten a sales message from them. And let’s be real, when has that ever worked out?

I don’t want to be that guy who quotes Field of Dreams (which is definitely a Todd move), but I’m going to do it anyway: “If you build it, they will come.”

Instead of sending out desperate messages to randos on LinkedIn, try building an audience. Post relevant articles about your expertise, get involved in the conversation, and put forward your thoughts. 

If you do this, I promise you that you will have more success than Todd, and you’ll get to avoid lurking around in messages.

Nobody wants that.

5. Personalize Your LinkedIn Invitations

Getting the message “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is one of the most disappointing messages a human can get, right behind “you have lice” and “the Patriots won the Super Bowl again.” This LinkedIn default is the written equivalent of a Nutella jar filled with butter. Not real butter, that I-can’t-believe-it’s not-butter fake butter.

Luckily, this is pretty easy to avoid. When you want to connect with someone, instead of going straight for the Connect button, tap ‘menu’ (the three little dots).

Go for ‘Personalized Invite,’ and voila, you’re set. Throw in a nicer little message, maybe why you’re wanting to connect with them (remember, don’t be a Todd), and boom, you’re off to the races.

All in all, these blunders are all pretty easy to avoid, and with a little extra work, you will be able to stand out from the crowd of 660 million that fills the LinkedIn world.

If you want to learn more about enhancing your LinkedIn profile, check out my FREE webinar, 10 Strategies of an Epic LinkedIn Profile, today, October 22nd at 12 pm EST. I’m going to be diving deep on advanced techniques to improve your profile. Hope to see you there!

See all 5 blunders and the complete Forbes article




Wednesday, October 21, 2020

5 Ways to Help Your Employees Shine on LinkedIn While Elevating Your Own Brand


Does the thought of your employees being active on LinkedIn scare you? It shouldn't.

Rather than fearing they are on there looking for new jobs, you should hope they're there representing your company well. Your employees are an extension of your brand -- on LinkedIn and everywhere else. Here are five ideas for helping your people shine on LinkedIn in ways that cast a positive light on your company, too.

1. Host a headshot event at the office.

Hire a photographer to spend a couple hours, half day or whole day at the office taking everyone's headshot. This will save your employees time and money and say to them that you care about them and they are valued. Individual headshots might cost $100 or $200 each but by hiring a photographer or a longer period of time, you can work that price down and give your people a really nice treat.

3. Encourage team members to write articles on LinkedIn.

If you have team members who write blogs on your company website, encourage them to share those blogs to LinkedIn or maybe even write original content for the platform. If you don't have a company blog, consider using LinkedIn as the means for your company's subject matters experts and leadership to write articles to share their industry knowledge, market trends and exciting ideas.

See all 5 ways and the complete Inc. article



Monday, October 19, 2020

7 Ideas For Personal Branding Using LinkedIn Stories

Vidhi Bubna

LinkedIn has introduced a new feature called LinkedIn Stories wherein people can upload videos and images which will be present on the platform for 24 hours. The feature works like Instagram Stories. However, since LinkedIn is a platform dedicated to professional conversations, LinkedIn Stories can be a powerful tool for personal branding.

Many working professionals are trying to build their personal brand on LinkedIn to increase their credibility in the workspace. Here are seven ideas for personal branding using LinkedIn stories.

1) Give tips about your area of expertise to build your niche

Sharing your expertise with your followers can help to grow your niche. Moreover, it can also help you to network with people who have the same interests as you, thereby increasing chances of future collaborations. Since personal branding involves portraying yourself as a leader in the industry, your stories need to have qualities of a leader. You need to give more advice to people which can help them in the long run. This will not only help you to earn more respect from your peers, but will also help you to gain a decent number of followers who share your interest.

Shreyasi Singh, co-Founder of Harappa Education, has harnessed this power often. Singh posts content about personal growth in the workspace which resonates with the philosophy of Harappa Education. Since, her content follows a theme and is narrowed down, it helps her to associate connect with her audience. According to student Sanjna Mishra, who has been following Singh since a long time, “I can relate with her content because it’s always niche. I know that it will be about personal growth in some way every time.”

The same formula applies to LinkedIn Lives where posting content around a theme can help you build a niche.

2) Go the extra mile and attach a personal branding logo to each story

LinkedIn stories can be pre-recorded using a camera before being posted to LinkedIn. If you want to establish your follower base, you can add a personal logo to the stories. This ensures that when people see the stories, they connect with your brand name faster. Moreover, since the page is all about professional connections, adding a logo to your story can make it more professional. Just like we connect better with brands which have logos we easily remember, it is a good idea to have a personal logo which can be used in numerous places to add recall value. Ankur Warikoo, LinkedIn personal branding expert, uses his signature as his logo. It is present on every slide show and video he has posted on LinkedIn. Adding a logo has a psychological effect on the audience because they see you as a well-known personality.

3) Talk about your work and don’t shy away from highlighting its impact

LinkedIn stories have added a more personal touch to virtual conversations. It is much more interactive than reading what someone has typed. In the pandemic era, where people are not meeting each other, LinkedIn personal stories can play a role in increasing trust between two professionals who have never met before. To build your personal brand on LinkedIn, you need to highlight more about the work you are doing and how it is impacting businesses and stakeholders involved. When people realize that you are impacting a lot of people, they want to associate with you. Everyone wants to be a part of a larger story.

Tannisha Avarrsekar, founder of Lokatantra, highlights, “It is important to talk about the impact you are creating. On LinkedIn, I often talk about the impact of my work and I think it plays an important role in drawing people towards me. With LinkedIn Live, I will be sharing the impact of my work with people because I know that everyone wants to be a part of an impactful story.”

Read all 7 ideas and the complete Entrepreneur article



Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Five Steps To Create A Rock Star Personal Brand On LinkedIn

Chris J "Mohawk" Reed

Does everyone want to be a rock star on LinkedIn? No, but there are variations of rock star that can enhance your personal brand to achieve whatever goals you wish to in a professional context.

How much of a rock star depends on you, your time, your expertise and how much you do on LinkedIn. But' let's start at the basics of what you need to do to enhance your personal brand and start your journey to become a LinkedIn rock star. Here are five tips to get you started:

3. Create a content marketing strategy and become a thought leader. Start sharing. Only 1% of people on LinkedIn post on a weekly basis. Yes, it's that low. So by sharing any content, you immediately become a thought leader setting an agenda. How brave and controversial you wish to be is entirely up to you and your personal brand values. Start slowly by sharing content from trusted news sources that you admire. Write an introduction to why you like that article and pick out a key phrase or fact that you think your followers would find interesting. Then get braver and start writing your own posts. Only 200 words, or 1,300 characters, are allowed on LinkedIn, so anyone can do it. Pick a topical subject or work subject that you're passionate about, start writing and then post and see what happens.  

4. Create a connection strategy. Yes, have a plan. Who do you want to connect with? Why? First, personalize all your connection requests. Make sure that they are active and are a second connection, so that they know that you have shared connections they can reference. Make sure that they're in the same industry as you, or that you're both Forbes Business Council members, or founders or alumni from the same business school or same city, and personalize the introduction. If they have commented or liked your posts or viewed your profile, there's an introduction that you can use. Always personalize it. Never automate it.

See all 5 steps and the complete Forbes article


Monday, October 12, 2020

95% Of Recruiters Are On LinkedIn Looking For Job Candidates. How To Impress Them.

Robin Ryan

LinkedIn is the hottest career development tool out there right now. It is where Recruiters and HR personnel are looking for candidates. Whether you are passively looking, or actively engaged in a job hunt, making sure you have an enticing LinkedIn Profile that effectively advertises you is essential.

Here is a brief guide to improve your profile and help you stand out to employers.


By default, LinkedIn lists your current job title as your headline. Crucial mistake. This section is the most searched section on LinkedIn’s platform especially by recruiters and HR. This headline is your big advertisement to market yourself to the world. It needs to be well thought out, concise, and strategically written. It uses words that will attract someone to check you out in the search. But first, they must find you. In your headline, use the appropriate job titles you want to hold. Use a straight slash -  l  - between each job title. You can also add the industry you want to work in.

For example, Mary, 57, was a career counseling client who was stuck at the Director level and kept getting passed over. At 57, she needed to make a move and needed help with LinkedIn. She said, “I never realized you could optimize your headline. Certainly, I never thought of using it to target where I want to go.” So we developed this headline: 

Healthcare Consultant l Vice President Pharmacy l Vice President Healthcare l VP Pharmacy

Caution: when you add a new job to your work experience, there is a checked box that automatically changes your headline to this new job title. Be sure to uncheck it, so the new headline you have created does not get erased. 

Read the full Forbes article for more tips and tricks

The Summary or ABOUT section

Use a background photo  

Choosing your personal photo

Recruiters read recommendations

Skill Endorsement   



Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Want Recruiter Attention? Use These Proven LinkedIn Messages

Robin Ryan

I got another email from a Baby Boomer who asked me for a list of good headhunters he could approach to find him a job. I had to shake my head because this is not how recruiting works. I spoke to Biron Clark, a former Recruiter and the Founder of, a popular job search advice website. He worked for two agencies and recruited for small tech organizations, midsize, and Fortune 500 companies looking to hire new employees.  

"Many job hunters make fatal mistakes when they approach recruiters on LinkedIn," Clark stated. "Job seekers, especially Baby Boomers, have no clear understanding of the real role a recruiter does." Biron shared his personal experience and insight. He said, "Before you ever send a recruiter one word, you need to realize how recruiters work and how they get paid. A recruiter is compensated by the hiring company to find appropriate people to fill the specific job openings. They are not paid to find jobs for people." That means a headhunter or recruiter is NOT going to shop your resume around and find a job for you.

"Recruiters get a job opening assignment. Then, the Recruiter looks for individuals with certain types of skills to fill that specific job," Clark continued. "Research the recruiter before you email them. Find the appropriate recruiters who do searches in your field," he recommended. "You will be more successful if you target five appropriate recruiters than if you randomly blast 50 recruiters that don't have any job openings for people in your industry or with your skills." For example, if you are in healthcare sales, seek out 4-5 healthcare sales recruiters, and research them. Look at their LinkedIn profile and google the company they work for. Recruiters do not want you to waste their time. "Be targeted now when we have so many people job hunting," he cautioned.

Clark has received hundreds of messages from job hunters on LinkedIn trying to get his attention. Most got ignored. He talked to colleagues, including fellow recruiters, coaches, and other experts. He found that they follow a similar pattern when deciding which messages to respond to. Here are his guidelines on what LinkedIn messages are effective and which ones won’t work. 

Making Initial Contact

Any time you are messaging an HR person or recruiter for the first time, follow these rules, and you will get more responses.

Read the full Forbes article to see how to reach out and work with recruiters.