LinkedIn training tip – Your Professional Headline should be a marketing phrase, not your job title
The Professional Headline in your LinkedIn profile should not just be your current title. It should be a marketing slogan.
If you were looking at a Professional Headline in LinkedIn, which one would be more memorable?
Sales/Marketing Consultant, making you a “ferocious competitor”
In my opinion, the second one is more memorable, more powerful, and more intriguing.
The important thing to note is that your Professional Headline does not have to be your current job title. The field is 120 characters in size, meaning that you can fit 15-20 words in there, so you should make it more of a marketing slogan than a simple title. At the very least, you may want to add some flair, some detail, or some personality to your title.
Alternatively, you could add any of the following:
- More detail about your company
- Your location
- Something cool about your job
- The fact that you are looking for a job
For instance, if your job title is something like
- Sales Professional
- Event Planner
- IT Manager
you might want to consider changing it to one of the following:
- Sales Professional with the hottest disk technology in Boston
- Accountant who was responsible for the demise of AIG
- Event Planner, preparing golf outings for executives in Phoenix
- IT Manager seeking employment in New York
Ok, maybe not #2, but you get the idea. These all convey much more information that the simple title would provide. Remember that it is called your Professional Headline, so take the story of your work life, summarize it in a few words, and try using it for a while. You can always change it later.
Realize that your Name and Professional Headline are the only two things that others will see in the some places in LinkedIn, like when
- you answer questions in the Q&A section
- you leave messages in the Group discussion forums
- someone looks at their own connections
- someone is looking through another person’s connections
Therefore, if you give a few great answers in the LinkedIn Q&A section, you also have an opportunity to tell people (in a subtle way) that you are “seeking employment in New York”. If your answer is credible enough, you may be a click away from getting contacted for a job interview. After all, the people reading it were interested in the solution to a problem, and you had one. If they have a lot of problems, you may get a job solving their problems. If your Professional Headline just said “IT Manager”, the reader might just move on.
I have gotten business using the exact technique above. In fact, I got a recent contract from someone named
General Manager at Web Industries; Itinerant Writer; and Decent Little League Coach
which I thought was a very memorable example of a Professional Headline. In just 11 words, you learn Josh’s job, his passion, and you learn that he is an active father. He also appears to be a really good guy (and he is). If you combine his Name and Professional Headline with the hundreds of great answers he’s given in LinkedIn’s Q&A section, you really begin to feel like you know a lot about him, and I think that’s a big part of what social media is all about.
Therefore, think about dressing up your Professional Headline a little, and see what results you get. Look at the ones your connections have set up, and get some new ideas. Look at the Q&A section of LinkedIn, and consider using some of their thought processes to reform your own.
What are the best Professional Headlines you have seen?