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How to Write a Captivating LinkedIn Profile Headline

Contrary to popular job searching advice, a LinkedIn profile headline is not the place to announce your availability for employment. Informing visitors to your profile that you’re seeking new opportunities or unemployed and looking (yes, I’ve seen this many times) doesn’t attract the career leads you might think it would. It’s the same theory behind why broadcasting a global announcement that you’re single and ready to mingle doesn’t exactly make potential partners want to bang down your door.

In fact, your LinkedIn profile headline should not even be the default headline LinkedIn automatically inserts for you if you fail to change it on your own. LinkedIn automatically inserts your position title at your current place of employment. This isn’t exactly the most effective way to promote yourself when you’re in the job search market—or make the most of the 120 characters LinkedIn affords you in the headline section.

A captivating headline can mean the difference between a recruiter or employer viewing your profile and contacting you about an opportunity and being passed over. We take LinkedIn profile headlines seriously because they have such an impact on our clients’ search-result placement and whether they’re contacted or not.

Did you know that your LinkedIn profile headline dramatically affects where you land in search results when an employer completes a “people” search on LinkedIn?

This means that your profile needs to do two things:

1.  Your LinkedIn profile headline needs to be keyword specific to the position you want.

2. The headline needs to compel the person reading it to review your profile.

 

My LinkedIn profile headline reads like this:

 

Jessica H. Hernandez, Executive Resume Writer

Highly Acclaimed Executive Resume Writer | LinkedIn Profile Writer | President and Chief Executive Officer

 

My profile includes the words Executive Resume Writer and Executive because these are the keywords I’ve optimized my profile for so that it will attract executive-level clients.

This method works well for someone in my position because I’m trying to place higher for the search term “Executive Resume Writer”.

For someone looking for a different position, a one-line headline may work more effectively. I found this great article on LinkedIn profile headlines that includes some great examples of what others have done.

This one is my favorite:

“Copywriter who knows how to craft web content that goes viral. Oh, and you’ll never beat me at Scrabble.”

What’s great about this headline is that it includes keywords (copywriter and web content), and it’s catchy and fun!

Instead of reinventing the wheel, I thought I’d share this also: equally amazing article with some great examples of LinkedIn profile headlines. What’s so great about this article is that it will give you a formula for writing an awesome headline yourself, based on your job search goals.

Here’s your take away … you need to take a second look at your profile headline. View it as a tool to leverage in your job search, and consider rewriting your headline to match your job search goals. If you’re not the creative type, and you’d rather leave the branding and strategy to the experts, we are happy to help. We write LinkedIn profiles that generate employer interest, initiate contact, and help you reach your job search goals. Questions about our LinkedIn profile writing service? E-mail me today for more information.

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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. Leveraging more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, Jessica's innovative and brand-driven resume development strategies have secured a 99.6% interview-winning success rate for her clients. As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted numerous times throughout CNN.com, The Chicago Tribune, Monster.com, Local Job Network Radio, International Business Times, and more.
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