How to write a LinkedIn headline

How to write a LinkedIn headline is a question that is not easily answered. That is why most of us prefer the default option; one that just lists our most recent job title. Your LinkedIn profile is your gateway to either better career prospects, or better business contacts. With more than 600 million users from over 200 countries, your LinkedIn profile title has the potential to help you grow both financially and as a person.

Our LinkedIn headline is splayed across our profile page. It also introduces us to the ‘people you may know’. It is viewed by possible recruiters and prospective business partners. If we chose to have a LinkedIn profile, then we better make sure we have a headline that conveys our personality, capability and what we are about.

So let’s take a look at how to write a LinkedIn headline…

Avoid using abbreviations in your headlines.

Sure it may be quicker and people in your industry know what it means, but spell it out in full. If you are a sales representative, say so. You may be a sales manager or a sales director. Mention that. If you are running a vehicle maintenance business mention it clearly. The terms sales and vehicle maintenance are more likely to be found by prospective recruiters and customers than BDR (business development representative) and automobile business.

Make it easy for people to understand what you are good at, and find you easily. That is the whole purpose of a LinkedIn headline. Someone searching for a salesperson or a sales associate has a better chance of finding your profile.

State what value you bring to the table

What do you sell as a salesman? Do you sell software that helps companies increase their sales? Or do you help businesses by helping raise sales leads for them? Include that in your headline. Mention if you are leading a team. If you find it difficult to define your role, scour through your company’s value propositions.

A vehicle maintenance business owner can mention if he provides a towing service. He can also mention if his workshop provides a 24×7 service. That will help in getting him more contacts and business. If he doesn’t provide towing service, he can align with another business that does. Both the businesses stand to prosper from such a venture.

Make sure your headline is easy to comprehend

If you are a sales professional, you will be tempted to use the jargon that your colleagues and your company use in describing your value to a prospective recruiter. But remember that your recruiter is not a salesperson, and may well be a human resources manager, who doesn’t exactly grasp the sales lingo. So make sure that you use terminology that ordinary mortals understand. Stating that you are an SDR or a BDR will not land up in searches for a sales executive. Make sure that you use relevant keywords while describing your profession and your plus points.

The automobile maintenance business owner should also make it simple for everyone to understand what services he delivers. ‘Repairs of all types of autos’ will do fine instead of ‘overall maintenance and servicing of automobiles’. The latter will not only be difficult to fit within 120 characters but will stray from the purpose of precise information. “Auto maintenance, 24×7 services” is the way to go.

Avoid bragging

Words like proactive, dedicated, expert and top-performing are bigger put-offs then we assume them to be. Be humble in your headline, but don’t undermine your capabilities. On the other hand, do include your superlative performances as a salesperson. Include favourable customer reviews in the content following the headline.

The auto maintenance business owner will do well by highlighting how many years he has been running his business in the area. Avoid mentioning that you are the best auto maintenance business in town, even if you are by far. That sounds arrogant. Just assure your customers of all assistance that they will need as far as their car is concerned, and you will get a good response.

Mention your hobby or athletic abilities

Hobby’s and athletic abilities, when cited in a headline, makes a person feel that they know you better. For example, professional athletes are known to be systematic and are respected for their ability to work objectively. Even serious hobbyists are equally evaluated as serious and dedicated persons who can focus on tasks and complete them.

So if you have an interesting hobby or athletic ability, make sure you mention it, it could be the one-per-centre that has someone reach out to you over your opposition.

Revisit and revise your LinkedIn headlines regularly

You should review your linked headline every month. You may just find a way to reword it and to convey a better message to the world. Your job position might have changed. Whatever it is, there is no such thing as the best LinkedIn headline forever.

There is always scope for improving and updating your headline, and you must take every opportunity you get to improve it. Check other similar profiles. Search for the keywords that you have included in your headline. If they are repeated across many LinkedIn profile headlines, try and find new keywords. Try and stand out from others. The less competition you have in a keyword search the better.

How to write a LinkedIn headline – The Conclusion

Given only 120 characters in which to write it, writing a compelling LinkedIn headline can be a difficult task. But we have to write the headline within the limits set out. A good LinkedIn headline portrays your capabilities and your character to potential clients, recruiters, and those looking to add important people to their network. It is also an opportunity for a better career or better business contacts. As such, we must make the most of the opportunity to capture someone’s attention quickly.

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Jarrod Partridge

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