Intro: The LinkedIn Profile Headline matters a lot. If you have never really spent time optimizing your LinkedIn profile you probably don’t what the headline is. The headline is the 120 character section right below your name and it carries a lot of importance. In this lesson I will explain the need for a good LinkedIn Profile headline and how you get there.
We all do it – myself included. We use boring headlines on LinkedIn, but under certain circumstances it makes sense to step outside the box. When I say boring headlines I actually mean standard or safe headlines because you could actually cause more damage than good with a non-standard headline. By default, LinkedIn populates your headline with your current job title and employer—and that’s exactly what a lot of profiles show. That’s what I really consider boring and one of the easiest hacks to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
Here are examples of mostly standard headlines with two minor exceptions.
If you look at the example of Mr. Evan Weber you could see that he is a well-known and active figure in the online sales and marketing world. His headline points out where his strengths are. If you were to browse around and see his name pop up in a list like this, it might draw you in to take a closer look at this profile.
If you read up about headlines and LinkedIn you get a lot of people saying that you should stick to fairly standardized headlines so that you do not damage your reputation. Here are some more daring examples of how headlines can be used on LinkedIn.
Actually I consider this a great headline from Mr. Franklin.
Sure, nice and cocky headline, but you have no idea what industry he is in and if it is worth your time to check out. Some people might be curious, others (and probably the majority) will move on without looking.
And there are a whole bunch of Superheroes – including a Mr. Dangerman… 12,220 search results at the time of me running this query.
120 Characters for Success
LinkedIn headlines are limited to 120 characters and you should use them to make your profile stand out. So how do you get from job title to having a unique, maybe even fascinating headline?
Imagine a busy recruiter just browsing through the search results and profiles. Job title and company name will not make you stick out. But how about something like this:
PMP & ITIL-certified Project Manager. Known for successfully leading & completing Multi-Million Dollar Projects
If you want to count – that is exactly 111 characters showing credentials (certifications) and what you have accomplished. We have keywords in this headline (ITIL, PMP, Project Manager) which is important, too.