Creating a Killer LinkedIn Headline

Is your LinkedIn headline less than it could be? The LinkedIn headline is a surprisingly important part of the networking site. It’s one of the key pieces of information used in the search algorithm, and it is the first information someone will get upon doing a search. Yet many people leave the LinkedIn headline as-is with the basic LinkedIn formatting: your current position AT your current company. This is a perfectly fine starting point, but to have a really good LinkedIn headline, you must change it up.

Your headline is a snapshot of who you are and what skills you have to offer. It should be broad enough to end up in searches, but specific enough to be eye-catching. Generally speaking, you first want to identify the title usually associated with your goal position or current position. If your goal title is “Executive Manager,” that’s a pretty good starting point. Do a LinkedIn search using those keywords and see how many people show up. If it’s more than 5,000, then you’ve found a pretty search-friendly headline. If it’s less than 5,000, maybe rethink the wording.

Once you know your broad title, then you need to identify your selling point. Listing “Computer Scientist” only gives us a very vague impression of what this person does. However, “Computer Scientist focused on Tropical Cyclone Eye Detection” provides a lot more detail. The person who not only knows their industry title but also their selling point will be able to capture attention from the right directions. You want to get hired into areas that you find interesting, so make sure you tell potential employers explicitly what those areas are.

Know that you can have multiple titles in your headline, but be wary of overstuffing. On a number of occasions, I’ve seen headlines that are so overstuffed with detail, I get lost trying to determine what the person actually does. Additionally, be leery of including clichéd phrasing. Things like “Experienced,” “Savvy,” and “Problem Solver” are used so broadly that they have lost much of their meaning. Beyond this, you want to come across to the reader as confident and self-assured—so don’t feel the need to praise yourself in the headline! If you are nationally-recognized and experience, your profile should speak for itself.

My final tip is to do a little testing on your headline. This is sometimes referred to as A/B testing. Basically, you will try a few different phrasings of your headline and see which one gets you the most traction. Come up with 3 or 4 differently phrased versions, and change them out every two weeks. Which headline results in the highest views? That’s probably the one you’ll want to use.

LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool for job seekers when used correctly. You’ll get as much out of LinkedIn as you put into it, so make sure you are engaging with your network and developing a praise-worthy profile. It won’t take too long, and you’ll thank yourself for it later!

Career Solutions Group specializes in helping career changers make successful, meaningful transitions. If you’re interested in learning how to network, developing a resume, or determining a good career path for your future, email us at We offer free initial consultations and have helped hundreds of job seekers make smooth career changes.

By: Julia Pillard, Career Solutions Group