Writing a LinkedIn Headline that Stands Out

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

Crafting a stand out LinkedIn headline in just 120 characters is no small feat, which is why many professionals seek the assistance of a certified resume writer in crafting a winning LinkedIn headline.


An attention-grabbing LinkedIn headline distills a vast amount of information into one clear, concise, and captivating sentence that leaves readers wanting to learn more. Consider it an advertisement for your LinkedIn profile, eye-catching LinkedIn headlines describe who you are, what you do, and how you’re different from the other 600+ million users on LinkedIn. Doing all this in just 120 characters is no small feat, which is why many professionals seek the assistance of a certified resume writer in crafting a winning LinkedIn headline.



The Best LinkedIn Headlines


There’s no template for creating a winning LinkedIn profile—different industries, personalities, and career points all influence what a person’s headline will say. Although there may not be a tried-and-true formula for writing a stand-out headline, the best LinkedIn headlines do have some common traits. Most notably, exceptional headlines are specific, compelling, and memorable.


Think of a LinkedIn headline like the logline for a movie. Would you watch Jaws if it was described to you as a movie about a town terrorized by a shark? What if it’s described like this? A police chief with a fear of the ocean battles a great white shark terrorizing a beach community. Now think of whose LinkedIn profile will most likely get read, Person A: Marketing | SEO | Writing | Editing, or Person B: Consumer marketing expert with a focus on strategy, promotions, and campaign management?



Keywords, Keywords, Keywords


Before worrying about getting the attention of hiring managers and recruiters, you need to get in front of them first. After all, a wow-worthy LinkedIn profile isn’t doing you any good if no one is looking at it. LinkedIn’s algorithm places a great deal of emphasis on the words used in the headline, meaning the most effective LinkedIn headlines incorporate keywords that employers will use when searching on LinkedIn and search engines. Since keywords are crucial to getting discovered on LinkedIn, research industry-specific terms, know what words employers are searching, and incorporate them into your headline.



What You Offer


LinkedIn is overrun with salespeople, marketers, administrators, and managers. In addition to blending in with the numerous other LinkedIn users with these vanilla job titles, these descriptors tell employers nothing about you. If a job title is an important word, and it likely is, you’ll want to keep it in the headline, but flesh it out to be more interesting. Don’t just state what you do, sell what you can do to potential employers and be specific.


For example, Strategic manager with proven track record becomes Talented customer service manager who loves people, building teams, developing talent, and solving problems. Remember, a LinkedIn headline is like an advertisement, so sell yourself.


If you are curious what a great LinkedIn headline that showcases what you offer looks like, take a look at SoCalResumes' founder and writer, Ashley Milano's headline:




Pop Off the Page with Pizzazz


A LinkedIn headline that features keywords and clearly describes the value you bring to an employer puts you ahead of the vast majority of LinkedIn users. To further separate yourself from the competition, you need to make it sing by adding a human element. This is your opportunity to make a connection with recruiters and hiring managers on a more personal level. Do you have a unique talent? An interesting education? Something you’re passionate about? Here’s the place to add it—just remember to keep it professional.


For example, our Talented customer service manager who loves people, building teams, developing talent, and solving problems becomes:


Customer service manager who loves building teams, developing talent, and solving problems. Food pantry volunteer.


Customer service manager who loves building teams, developing talent, and solving problems. Classical pianist.


Customer service manager who loves building teams, developing talent, and solving problems. Little League manager.



Other Things to Consider


Use every word: If you’ve been working on writing your LinkedIn headline already, you’ve learned that 120 characters isn’t very many. The best resume writers and LinkedIn specialists know to use them all.


Know your audience: If you’re writing for a particular field or industry, make sure your headline is written in their language, using industry-specific terms and phrases.


Sell yourself: Talking about accomplishments is hard for many people, but this is the place to do it. If you have an achievement that spotlights your work and value, showcase it here.



Things to Avoid


Over-the-top adjectives: Selling yourself is good, but avoid using over-the-top adjectives like excellent, exceptional, and expert. Not only are these words overused and ineffective, but they take up valuable characters. Check out LinkedIn’s The 10 Words You Shouldn’t Use in Your LinkedIn Profile and make sure they don’t appear in your headline.


Jargon: Using industry-specific terms and phrases is an ideal way to establish credibility with potential employers; however, jargon is often subjective and unclear.


Seeking new opportunities: Don’t include “seeking new opportunities” in your headline. At best, you’ll come off as overly eager. At worst, you’ll look desperate.



We're Here to Help


Your LinkedIn headline plays a vital role in the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile. If you’re a strong writer with a solid understanding of how to brand yourself, you might be able to craft a headline that catches the eye of employers. However, if you get stuck, have a profile that isn’t getting views, or simply want assistance from someone with extensive experience writing effective LinkedIn headlines, SoCalResumes is here to help. The headline is often the hardest part of a profile to write and a certified resume writer can assist you in making the most out of the little space LinkedIn provides.


Click on the following link for more resume-writing and LinkedIn profile development advice.


Need help with your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile? Our SoCalResumes professional resume writers can help!



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