Job seeker’s guide to mastering the art of writing a LinkedIn headline

Nick KossovanAfter your name, your LinkedIn headline, limited to 220 characters, is what employers and recruiters see first. Therefore, if you want to catch their attention, you need to create a headline that gives a reason to stop scrolling and read your profile.

The best LinkedIn headline for your job search will:

  • Display your skills and expertise. (What is it you do.)
  • Include your current or past job title if relevant to the position you are currently pursuing.
  • Communicate the value you would bring to a new employer.
  • Include at least one keyword/phrase for the type of job you want, whether a job title or keyword(s).
  • (Optional) Include something unique (a fun fact about yourself) to make your LinkedIn profile stand out, such as a specific accomplishment, an award, a hobby, where you volunteer or something quirky.

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Bottom line: Your LinkedIn headline is prime real estate for highlighting what you can bring (your value-add) to an employer; thus, use it strategically!

Here are examples of headlines that would attract attention:

  1. Headline Formula: Role | Specific Achievement
  • B2B Inside Sales Rep | $2.8M generated in 2022.
  • Digital Ads Manager | 5 Years Experience Managing 7-figure ad budgets.
  • Software Sales Director | Increased [COMPANY] revenue from $250M to $650M within 18 months

This is your first go-to headline formula.

Numbers are the language of business. Numbers paint a picture of what you have accomplished. Employers understand numbers. You cannot go wrong with creating a LinkedIn headline that boasts quantifiable results. Your LinkedIn profile and resume should contain as many quantifiable numbers as possible to increase your job search success.

Regardless of your role, it is possible to quantify – provide numbers – your work and the results you achieve. If you are a writer, how many articles, along with average word count, did you create last year? If you are in tech support, how many users do you help per week, or how many requests do you solve? If you sweep a warehouse floor, how many square meters? In what time?

If, for some reason, you do not feel comfortable with this headline formula, consider one of the following.

  1. Headline Formula: Role | Years of Experience in Industry | Fun Fact
  • Human Resources Manager | 10+ Years of People Experience | Toronto Maple Leafs Season Tickets Holder
  • Senior Manufacturing Engineer | 6+ Years in GMP Manufacturing | 2022 Dundee Award Winner

Employers love experience, so be bold and mention it in your headline along with something unique about yourself.

  1. Headline Formula: Role | Industry/Expertise | Value You Bring
  • Director of HR at Oracle | Software Technology | Certified HR Trainer
  • R&D Scientist at Pfizer | Oncology Research | Science Blogger

This is similar to the previous headline examples, with one key difference: The middle section is focused on your industry rather than the number of years of experience. This headline is a good option if you have less than five years of experience.

  1. Headline Formula: Role/Job Title | specializing in ____, ____, and ____.
  • Content Marketing Strategist specializing in press releases, blog content, and social media.

This simple formula puts your job title and main keyword in your headline, making your profile search-friendly.

  1. Headline Formula: X Years of Experience in ____ | Helping companies ____
  • 5+ Years of experience in software product management | Developing mobile and web applications that help companies grow.
  • 8 years of experience in customer support for multiple Fortune-500 companies | Helping global brands deliver an outstanding customer experience.

Use this headline formula if you consider your experience your biggest strength.

  1. Headline Formula: # 1 Area of Expertise | #2 Area of Expertise
  • Creative Advertising Expert & Digital Marketing Strategist
  • Engineering Team Lead & Project Management Professional

Sometimes, less is more. If you are looking to stay in the same role, consider this headline formula, which is straightforward and effective. Pick your top two skills or areas of work relevant to the next job you are seeking and state them in your headline without any distractions.

Jobseekers often ask me whether they should mention in their LinkedIn headline that they are “Actively Seeking Opportunities.”

My answer: No!!!

First, this communicates absolutely nothing other than that you are out of work and need a job. Second, an in-demand, highly skilled job candidate would never put “Actively Seeking Opportunities” anywhere on their LinkedIn profile; they are already inundated with being contacted by recruiters and employers. You want to position yourself as an in-demand job seeker, and advertising to the world that you are actively seeking a job makes you look desperate and lack a network you can leverage. Appearing desperate is a massive turnoff.

A Final Note: The job of your LinkedIn headline is to get recruiters and employers to stop scrolling and read your profile. If your headline does its job, your profile will get more reads. Therefore, your profile must have a professional picture and a summary that provides a compelling career story populated with results (numbers, stats) you have achieved for your employers; otherwise, your headline will have done its job for nothing.

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job.

For interview requests, click here.


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