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How To Write a LinkedIn Headline That Performs Like a Pro

‘Chief Party Officer in Search of a Rad New Frontier’

Stephanie Olsen
Contributor

Am I impressive or what gif

Your 120-character LinkedIn headline packs quite a punch—or it should. We’ve turned to the experts to find out how you can make the most of yours, asking what a LinkedIn headline should include and which headlines get the best results. Read on for take-away tips and examples you can use today.

Why is your LinkedIn headline so important?

“Virtually everyone reads your LinkedIn headline because it is positioned favorably at the top of your story, directly below your photo and name,” Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Career Trend CEO tells us. “Additionally, as someone scrolls through the rest of your profile, the headline remains ‘visibly fixed’ on the top of the screen, reinforcing its value. Including lackluster or misguided content not only wastes a prime opportunity, it may also repel recruiters and hiring decision–makers.”

By default, the headline is whatever your current position is. The best practice, then, is to make use of that valuable real estate (which appears every time you post something) by editing your headline to make use of keywords and promote your area of expertise.

Who needs a headline?

Everyone on LinkedIn should have a solid headline. This is especially true if you’re unemployed and actively seeking employment. Job seekers with a headline that simply reads Unemployed or Seeking New Opportunity are obviously losing out. To optimize your headline, you need to provide more information. 

A simple example might be Mortgage Broker Seeking New Opportunity. Or it could be more detailed, such as a veterinarian’s headline which reads, Change management, veterinary leadership development, servant leader seeking opportunities in veterinary medicine. In both cases, recruiters will know exactly what kind of employment is being sought.

It’s certainly not only job-seekers who benefit from having informative headlines. Business owners and service providers seeking clients need to communicate a strong and clear message about what they do at a glance.

Listing titles and hard skills that people are likely to search for (JavaScript Engineer or Junior Designer/Developer - HTML/CSS & JavaScript) will help your headline perform well in searches. Adding specific achievements is another smart tactic to use. You can use this approach across jobs and industries, from the sales generated for your company to the digital ads sold or productivity boosts you created.

Read more: How to Come Up with an Interesting Fact About Yourself

Here are examples of informative LinkedIn headlines:

  • Daisy McCarty: Brand Messaging Expert ★ Helping Tech Startups and Scaleups Create a Rock-Solid Foundation for B2B Marketing & Sales

  • Christine Hueber: Named #1 LinkedIn All-Time Top Expert & Top 1% Most Viewed LI Profile ► B2B Social Selling Tools @ ChristineHueber.com

  • Lissette Sanchez: Top Producing Single Agent - sold over 10 million in 2018. One of the top 300 Real Estate Agent’s in Orlando.

You can even use your headline as an announcement. James Blanche not only tells us what he does in his headline, but also advertises an upcoming event: Director of Sales and Partnerships | B2B Marketing Leaders Forum APAC | 20–21 May 2020.

Read more: How to Get Positive Responses to Cold Outreach Messages on LinkedIn

How to create your LinkedIn headline

Barrett-Poindexter gave us three steps you can use to formulate your headline.

1. Clarify what you do by including words or phrasing to that effect

  • Executive Sales
  • Operations Executive
  • Business Analyst

2. Energetically exude how you provide value and solve problems

  • Exec Sales + Operations • Translating Company Strength via Customer + Employee Experience
  • Galvanizing Operations Executive—Mobilizing People to High Performance
  • Global Business Analyst + Strategic Collaborator: Steering Process Transformation • Melding Metrics + Future Results

3. Include industry/sector/functional areas of expertise

  • Corporate/Government/Retail
  • Benefits Administration, Financial + Retirement Service

For more real-life examples of powerful headlines, Barrett-Poindexter points to Tracy Garry, Chris Felix, and Gina Kiefer.

And tweak those headlines regularly, advises business and communications mentor for women Melitta Campbell. With each update, your entire network is notified—and that helps keep you top of mind.

Read more: How to Build a LinkedIn Profile That Demands Attention

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