career-advice

How to Write a Standout LinkedIn Headline

Matt Glodz
How to Write a Standout LinkedIn Headline

Expert LinkedIn Headline Tips That Drive Profile Visibility

When someone comes across your LinkedIn profile, you only have 220 characters (including spaces) to make an instant impression and get them to visit.

Simply put, an effective headline is key to:

  • Increasing your number of profile visitors
  • Gaining the attention of recruiters
  • Attracting the right viewers
  • Growing your network

You may have noticed that LinkedIn recently increased the character limit for headlines from 120 to 220 characters.

While this increase allows you to incorporate additional keywords to help you appear in relevant searches, you still have limited space to work with.

There's a lot of debate as to what makes an effective LinkedIn headline.

Rest assured that by applying our tips, you'll be able to optimize your headline to get more people clicking through.

Should I mention that I'm open to new opportunities?

We don't recommend saying that you're open to new job opportunities in your headline.

Your headline serves as your first impression when you come up in searches, and you already have very little space to work with.

Think carefully about how to make the most of it.

When you come up in searches, all your visitors see is your photo and headline:

LinkedIn Headline Example

If you use the headline to simply say "open to new opportunities," you're not providing potential visitors with any clue as to where your expertise lies and why they should contact you.

In addition, LinkedIn already gives you the option to let recruiters and your network know you're open to new opportunities via the new #OpenToWork feature.

This feature already puts a banner on your profile photo, which recruiters and hiring managers will be easily able to recognize in searches.

As such, there's no reason to repeat information.

Should I include my company name and job title in my headline?

Yes.

We highly recommend including your job title and current (or most recent) company in your headline.

You want to give visitors information that they expect to see and will immediately recognize.

Recruiters want to see what you are currently doing, as it gives them an instant idea of your expertise and seniority level.

From a networking and new opportunity generation perspective, you'll also benefit from having this information in your headline.

Industry colleagues want to see whether you work (or have worked) in a related position, as this will influence their decision to connect with you.

Potential clients and customers also want to know who you are and what you sell.

How do I incorporate keywords?

By listing your company name and current position title, you naturally incorporate relevant keywords into your headline, making it more like that you appear in recruiter searches.

If you have extra space, we recommend adding a set of "pipes": |

Then, include keywords related to your industry expertise or target positions.

LinkedIn profile headline examples that incorporate this strategy include:

Investment Analyst at Hilton | Hotel Development | Feasibility Analysis | Underwriting

Sales Executive at Pfizer | Pharmaceutical Sales | Medical Sales Representative

Partner at Latham & Watkins | Real Estate Law – Financing, JVs, Project Development

By incorporating the right keywords, you'll appear in LinkedIn searches more frequently.

Do you recommend a creative, personal LinkedIn headline?

No.

You'll likely find differing opinions on the topic, but we're strong proponents of keeping your LinkedIn profile clean and professional.

If you want to include your value proposition after your job title to give visitors an idea of how you can help them, go ahead. However, be sure to incorporate relevant keywords into it as well!

An example of this strategy would be:

Recruiter at Spencer Stuart: Helping Executives Secure Roles in Finance & Private Equity

Otherwise, we don't recommend getting any more creative with descriptions of your personality and enthusiasm, for example.

What's an effective LinkedIn headline formula?

Keep it simple.

[Job Title] at [Company Name] | [Area of Expertise #1] | [Area Expertise #2] | [Area of Expertise #3]

You can't go wrong with the formula above if you want a professional headline that drives results!


About Resume Pilots

Resume Pilots is an award-winning executive resume writing, career coaching, and outplacement firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.

Here's how we can help you:

Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Writing: After a one-hour phone consultation, one of our expert writers will prepare your top-quality personal marketing materials from scratch. 

Resume Content Review & Resume Editing: A professional pair of eyes will look over your existing resume to catch any errors and advise on areas of improvement.

Career Transitions: A powerful combination of our document writing and career coaching services helps position you to secure a new role.

To learn more, book an introductory call here or email team@resumepilots.com.

We're a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. All of our writers have studied in the Ivy League and other top-tier universities and have solid industry experience.


About the AuthorMatt Glodz


Matt Glodz is the Founder and Managing Partner of Resume Pilots and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

After studying business communication at Cornell University, Matt worked within Fortune 500 companies, where he noted that qualified candidates were frequently denied interview opportunities due to poorly written documents.

At Resume Pilots, Matt combines his business and writing background - which includes prior work for a Chicago Tribune publication - to craft resumes that give his clients the best chance of landing interviews. He works with clients ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing resumes for over eight years.


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