HowTo LinkedIn #2: Write a killer headline

by Kristi on February 3

If you missed it, you can check out HowTo LinkedIn #1: Creating your unique URL here.

Go check out the competition.  Search LinkedIn for keywords that might find someone like you.  Chances are, you see hundreds or thousands of search results within miles of you.  Your profile can easily be lost in a sea of people with similar backgrounds and career interests.  How do you get attention from a potential client, employer or influential contact?

One way to break through the clutter: a killer headline.

A headline is your chance to make a personal statement about who you are, what you believe, and what you have to offer.  It’s an opportunity to pique a reader’s interest or connect with an employer’s need.  While the profile speaks to qualifications for a job, a headline can speak to motivation.  Profile: professional, Headline: personality.  Use this space to sell yourself as the individual that you are.

Some things to keep in mind when writing a headline:

  • Keywords — Ultimately, the higher in a search you appear, the more likely you are to be scoped out by a potential connection.  Understand what keywords are most likely to be used in a search for someone like you.  You’ll want to pepper them through your profile, but having them in your headline will help your search positioning.
  • Catchy — If your headline can make a reader stop and wonder, you’re in good shape.  Try to craft something that will induce someone to click on your profile, even out of sheer curiosity.

Some examples:

Marketing maven with a passion for online communities.

IT specialist devoted to creating stable, scalable solutions for small business.

Office Manager and your next indispensable right hand.

Or, whatever makes sense for your situation.

Now, if you’re looking for a new opportunity like me, you may also want to consider putting that information in your headline.  Here’s my current headline as an example:

linkedin headline2 HowTo LinkedIn #2: Write a killer headline

So, go take a crack at making your own splash in LinkedIn search, and let me know how it goes.  What’s your headline?  Share it in the comments below.

Related posts:

  1. HowTo LinkedIn #4: Your professional experience
  2. HowTo LinkedIn #1: Creating your unique URL
  3. HowTo LinkedIn #5: Add a photo
  4. HowTo LinkedIn #6: Linking out
  5. HowTo LinkedIn #3: Connect with the people that you know

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

sandra407 September 9, 2009 at 8:47 am

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

Usman Sait October 12, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Thats was a classic bit of information,, very helpfull… thanku soooooooo very much,,,, U do great

A.B. Robinson February 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I’ve read several of your articles over the weekend. Extremely insightful!!
Thanks for sharing the fine work!

Kristi February 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Glad you’re all finding it useful!

Richard July 10, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Excellent advice! What advice can you give some one who can not come up with creative tag lines / headlines or is having a hard time coming up with a creative tag line /headline?

Kristi August 2, 2010 at 7:54 am

Hi Richard! You can look for creative inspiration — find others who seem to be doing it right and figure out why it’s working for them. Or get help from someone who’s good at putting thoughts together that way. Many people engage a pro to help them with positioning and messaging. You can also make that a discussion topic with some of the free services out there — career centers, etc. Good luck!

Erin June 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Hi Kristi,

What would you recommend for a recent college grad? I have experience, but none of it is related–I worked odd jobs to pay for my education. I have an English degree and sociology minor; I would like to work in the nonprofit sector serving children and families. Thanks! Erin

Kristi June 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Hi Erin: Without a deeper look at your experience, the best bet is for you to work on reaching out to people in the types of organizations that you’re interested in and ask for their feedback. Be clear that you’re only looking for advice — what types of roles would be good for an entry level person, what kind of experience they’d want to see. That should give you a good starting point. Good luck!

Erin June 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Thank you so much for your reply! I have compiled a list of organizations I am interested in and will begin requesting information interviews. Thanks again, Erin

Kiné September 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

What would you recommend for someone without much experience? For instance, I am in school and have had a few internships, but I am not sure how to describe myself yet because I am figuring out what I want to do. I am looking for more experience working in public relations.

I was thinking – Public Relations Intern and soon-to-be expert!

Is my LinkedIn headline a place for humor?

Sandra C. October 19, 2011 at 6:20 am

I’m torn about recommending people use the best key words and the catchy tagline. Unless they really have something unique, I tend to recommend sticking to key words. I like it when people use both but they also seem to get “stuck” trying to come up with a clever tagline. Thanks for an excellent resource I can now refer my students to.

Sachin February 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

Hi Kristi,
Stumbled upon your blog which I found very useful and interesting, while looking for an effective headline for my linkedin profile, well I have experience in Media Planning and buying, but right now I am unemployed and looking out for a job within the same field, can you please suggest me a regarding a professional headline would really appreciate your help.

Clara March 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

I came up with this.

Passionate about community, language and personal finance. Seeking internship opportunity. Chinese & Spanish proficiency

Thanks for the advice! I was having trouble finding advice for what a student could realistically put in their headline.

Brian March 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Hi Kristi,

I am a financial adviser for a bank and this is what I came up with: Sales Professional who helps clients maximize income distribution, establish a retirement plan, and achieve financial peace of mind.

What do you think? I feel like it could be much better.

Thank you for any advice!

dannie bryan May 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hello, I am looking to hire someone that can update my linkedin profile to be the best it can be. I travel 5 days out of the week and I simply do not have time. Do you know of someone that I can hire to help with my request?

Lisa September 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Thanks for the insights. What is your view on a headline for a company. Is it needed and / or useful? Do you have any examples?

Kelly April 12, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Thank you for writing this!!!! I would have been lost without it….It always takes me a long time to figure out what to say, but at least you are pointing me in the right direction!

I came up with “Resident specialist devoted to creating a positive living environment for all.”

Robt December 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

Thesee are truly impressive ideas in conceening blogging.
You have touched some goopd factors here. Anny way keep up wrinting.

Rise Gold Will Fall March 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm

You are so cool! I do noot suppose I’ve truly rsad a single thing like this before.

So wobderful to find someone with a few unique thoughts on
this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up.
This site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with
a little originality!

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is getting more from this web site, and your views are good designed for new users.

Jessica August 1, 2014 at 8:58 am

Thank you so much for these posts! I’ve been at a loss/overwhelmed…. trying to get my linkedin profile up to par! You are saving me! Thank you!

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