If your LinkedIn headline is just your most recent job title and company name, you’re making a HUGE mistake.
Your Headline is the most visible detail from your profile on LinkedIn, second only to your name. In fact, your LinkedIn Headline determines how high you rank in search results and how many profile views you get.
But are you hesitating to really take advantage of LinkedIn because it’s too public?
If you struggle with imposter syndrome or worry that you’ll give everyone mixed signals with your jumbled work history timeline, I get it. You don’t want LinkedIn to broadcast all of the flaws and hiccups in your career story.
Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to put your LinkedIn profile to work for you and your career without drawing attention to the details that you wish would disappear. One of those steps is creating a LinkedIn profile that showcases the value you offer to employers.
Taking the extra step to create a keyword-optimized LinkedIn Headline that showcases your value can bring order to the chaos and help present you as the best fit for the job that you want.
Identify Your Job Target
Your job target is either a specific job title or a general field. Both of these are common keywords used by recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn to find candidates like you. If you want to stay in the same or a similar field that you’re in now, you can use your current job title. If you’re looking to change careers, use the general field.
Example: Project Manager vs. project management
Determine The Value You Offer
Next, consider what the unique value you offer to your ideal employer is. In other words, what are the goals of the role you’re targeting that you know you can meet or exceed? Think about the results you’ve achieved for previous employers that relate to the goals of your job target. You want to make sure you have examples from your work history that support this.
Example: Completing projects on-time and within budget
List The Top Skills Needed
Then, you want to list 2-3 of the top skills needed for the job target that you know you possess. Skills are also common keywords that recruiters and hiring managers will use to search for candidates like you on LinkedIn.
Example: scheduling, cost control, risk management
Create Your LinkedIn Headline
Here’s how to put it all together. If you’re staying in the same or a similar field, start with your current job title and add in the value you offer. You get bonus points if you can add in your years of experience. Employers love numbers!
Example: Project Manager with 8+ years of success in cost control and delivering completed projects on-time & under budget
Example: Communications Specialist with 10+ years of success in growing revenue & awareness through marketing & public relations
If you’re changing careers, you can either list your top skills and job target or describe what problems you fix and for who (a.k.a. your ideal employer or department).
Example: Sales Leadership, Account Development, Revenue Growth, and Relationship Building for Technical Equipment Sales Teams
Example: Helping technical sales teams secure new business and surpass sales goals
Make sure your 120-character Headline is attention-catching and encourages others to get to know you more. Settling for the default Headline, which LinkedIn generates as your most recent job title and company name, is hurting your profile views. Instead, optimize it with keywords employers will be using to search for a candidate like you and use it to showcase the value you offer.
I challenge you to create a more attention-catching Headline and see how many more profile views you get in a week!
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What are some other attention-catching Headlines you’ve seen on LinkedIn lately?