Whether you use LinkedIn to network or to job search, it's important to properly brand yourself. It will not only help establish your professional image, but it will help potential new connections and employers understand what it is that you have to offer and why they should connect with you and look into your profile.
Related:5 Ways To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile So Recruiters Can Find You
Your LinkedIn Headline is what is shown next to your name in search results on LinkedIn and through search engines results of LinkedIn pages. By default, LinkedIn will use your current job title as your headline, so it'll look like Name, Job Title at Employer Name.
Since the Headline is what most people come in contact with first, it is important to use it to promote yourself. It also has to have the right keywords and captivate the reader to encourage them to want to click on your profile. You're given 120 characters to tell everyone who you are and why it's worth visiting your profile, so take advantage of that prime opportunity to promote yourself.
Here's how you can improve your LinkedIn Headline:
1. Offer information on your experiences and career.
Often a job title does not detail the particular sector or industry you're in or the type of work you do, so add to it. For example, you may be a Sales Executive, but you can tie in that you're a Medical Sales Executive - Consistently Ranked Top Performer.
2. Apply keywords.
If you want your profile to be found and viewed by hiring managers and recruiters, optimize your profile with keywords
. The Headline is a great place for it. Consider a headline that reads “Sales Professional at Pharma Company," versus a headline that reads “Pharmaceutical Sales Executive - 10 Years as Top Performer - Focused on Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer and Skin Cancer."
Note that the latter version includes the keyword “cancer" three times and offers other relevant keywords typically identified with a professional in the specific space.
3. Specify a job title that can be identified with.
Along the same lines of optimizing your headline with keywords, it's important that the title you specify is one that people are looking for. Every company is different in how they define one level from the next in a job, so a VP at one company is like a Manager at another company even though the responsibilities are the same. Or, there may be the case of the overly creative job title that no one outside your work establishment will understand. What you need to do with your headline is use the common standard that is identified with the type of responsibilities you hold.
For example, it would benefit you more to indicate Marketing Assistant in the Headline in place of your given title of Administrative Assistant if your experience and responsibilities are more in line with that direction.
The benefits of being on LinkedIn comes through fully when you have others wanting to connect with you and accessing your profile – and the Headline will help you with that.
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Don Goodman's firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert.