The people who use LinkedIn on a regular basis do so for a variety of reasons. They could be part of a corporate entity looking to identify potential recruits or doing further research on new hires. There are also consumers who utilize LinkedIn to further investigate referrals for vendors and professional services. The list of uses and benefits for those who use LinkedIn is constantly expanding.

If someone is conducting a search that you happen to appear in, does your headline make them pause and click on your profile to learn more, or do you blend in and get passed over?

The headline of your LinkedIn profile is probably the most important piece of real estate you can find on your entire profile. Do not waste this precious space.

There are two pieces of information that someone has the potential to see before they ever decide whether to even check out your full profile or not.

  • Your name
  • Your headline

The mistake that is made far too often on the headline of a profile is simply listing your current position and company. For example: Sales Rep at Brand X.

Your headline is NOT the place to list your title and company – that information is available elsewhere in your profile. You have a maximum of 120 characters to use in the overall headline space, but in a Linkedin search, there are only about 80 characters (depending on screen size) that others will see as they scroll through the results.

This means you need to make sure you list your best qualities first. So instead of using this space to list your title, use it to explain what you do in an effort to encourage someone to click to your full profile so they can find out more about you.

Although you do want to add keywords that the search engine will be able to identify, you still need to expand your headline in order to be noticed. For example, if someone is doing a search for a speaker, you need to have more than just the word ‘speaker’ in that space or you will not be a ‘stand-out’ choice. So what else can you add to your headline that will draw them in?  

You have less than 5 seconds to grab their attention and make them want to know more about you, so let’s talk about ways you can enhance your headline – and in turn, enhance your overall appeal to consumers as well as other synergistic professionals looking to connect.

Other than adding keywords related to your profession and what you do, this is also a good area to let a little bit of your personality and brand come alive. Here are some ideas and strategies you can utilize to enhance your headline: 

  1. Identify what makes you different from the rest. Here’s my headline:

Energize Your Events Black Hawk Pilot Motivational Speaker Specializing in Leadership, Sales, and Safety keynotes

For me, listing that I was a Black Hawk Pilot draws people in – there aren’t many of us around. I also get a lot of people who are specifically looking for an energetic, motivational speaker who specializes in leadership and sales. So, just through my headline, they can see I am a great fit for their next event and it draws them in.

2. List a related award or accommodation. Here’s the headline of a co-author we’ve published through Soar 2 Success Publishing division, Sandy Lawrence:

Top 25 Social Influencers Houston | PR Junkie | Author, Speaker |Break through | Get noticed | Be known

If you are looking for an influential person to help you with your PR, this headline will help attract you to her profile.

3. Tell people what they will experience if they connect with you. Here’s the headline of another co-author we’ve published, Kelley Moore:

Perspective is Power. It’s time to See Your Possibilities

If you are an individual, executive or team leader who is looking for help to motivate your team, or you’ve hit a wall and have lost your energy and drive and you’re looking for a consultant or coach, this headline could speak to you as you search for new perspectives and ways to identify your own or your team’s power and possibilities.

4. Communicate your skill set and area of expertise. Here is the headline for co-author AJ Amyx:

Keynote Speaker | Twitter Expert | Business Coach | Social Media Consultant | Digital Marketing Consultant

He is not just a social media and digital consultant, he is a Twitter expert. So, if you are looking for someone to help you with your social media and help jump-start your Twitter following, AJ’s profile will be more appealing than those who only list out their area of expertise as being “social media.”

5. Find a way to quantify your value, be creative, and make a statement. One of our online marketing co-authors, Toni Harris Taylor, communicates this well in her headline: 

I help entrepreneurs get known, get connected and get paid to make six figures in record time!

This headline is a lot more descriptive and appealing than just saying, “online sales and email marketing expert.”  

6. Don’t waste words. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform, so it is not necessary for you to state that you are a “professional” in your headline. That word takes up valuable real estate (12 characters!) telling people something that is already understood on LinkedIn. Also avoid statements like “seeking clients” or “looking for opportunities.” Everyone on LinkedIn is generally seeking to grow their professional status, so don’t overstate the obvious.

Take the tips and strategies in this article and develop your own attention-grabbing LinkedIn Headline. Once you have it, here’ show to update it in LinkedIn:

1a or 1b. Open your LinkedIn Profile.

2. Click the Pencil (the edit icon) to the Top-Right of your Profile.

3. In your edit window, update your Headline and click Save.

Real estate is valuable, especially when it is used to draw in prospective business. Your online real estate is just as valuable so make sure you use all your LinkedIn real estate effectively so you can make the connections necessary to see the results you desire.

It is also helpful to first determine what your target audience is looking for. You might be targeting an industry that is more “buttoned-up,” or you might be targeting a group that is more casual and informal. Are you a serious and focused person or an outgoing, energetic, and high-energy personality? Since no one will fit every audience, use this as an opportunity to speak to the audience you are trying to reach. Don’t worry about everyone else. Let them see the real you!

As a final note, keep in mind that your headline is a living entity, just like you. Feel free to adjust and update it often as it fits your needs. Now, go update your headline and share your awesomeness with the world!

Isn’t it time to Soar 2 Success with LinkedIn?  For more strategies and tips to enhance your LinkedIn profile, be sure to pick up the “Soar 2 Success on Linkedin Tip Book. After all, YOU are responsible for your own success! For even more on how you can enhance your experience on Linkedin, click here to see our other Linkedin-related articles. 

As Featured in:

Soar 2 Success on LinkedIn: 50 High Performing Tips to ENHANCE Your LinkedIn Profile” [Amazon Link]

Coauthored by Elizabeth McCormick and Chris Rollins

Click here to view the Soar 2 Success book description page.


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