Navigating LinkedIn is a skill that every professional should cultivate. For better or worse, this is the industry standard for online networking and everyone needs to ensure their profile has all the right information. So, have you considered your LinkedIn headline? This may be the most important field in the LinkedIn profile and many people allow it to default to their most recent job title. You can, and should, change it to reflect what you really want. Here are some things to think about.
What does a recruiter or company see when they search?
Understanding why you need to optimize your headline comes down to how recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to find potential employees. When they search keywords, the first thing that comes up is completed profiles with a match. They will only see your name and a quick summary, and that summary is your headline. If their keyword match is in a headline, it appears higher up in the list. The higher up on the list you are, the more likely your profile will be clicked through to see more.
What does the headline say?
So, what does your headline say? Is it your most recent job title? That might not be enough to entice a recruiter or hiring manager to click on your profile to learn more. Rather than simply saying “Administrative Assistant at ABC Company,” it should offer slightly more detail. For example, “Administrative Professional Specializing in Travel Arrangements and Office Organization.”
How does it convey your goals?
Another thing you can communicate with your headline is your ultimate goal. You may occasionally see headlines that read, “Searching for a new position in accounting.” While that specifically states the goal, it isn’t as attractive a headline as one that incorporates the goal seamlessly. For example, “Accounting Professional on Track for Staff Accounting and Management Opportunities.”
Does it make them want to read more?
Ultimately, the goal of the headline is to convince someone to click on your profile to learn more. How does your experience do that? One of the best strategies is to position yourself as the solution to a common problem. For example, “Legal Expertise in an Uncertain World.” You can be creative, but don’t go overboard with the creative language, use just enough to make someone curious to learn more.
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