4 Mistakes Job Seekers Make With Their LinkedIn Headline

If you’re job searching, being on LinkedIn is a must! Not only can you find recent and relevant job openings, but it also opens up the opportunity for employers and recruiters to find you, for you to do research on the company and specific individuals within the organization, and for networking.

Related: 6 Things Recruiters Want To See On Your LinkedIn Profile

Most of LinkedIn’s revenues come from recruiters who use it as a major source for finding talent and you want to make sure you come up in their searches. You also want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is compelling and gets people to want to contact you. As the Headline is the first thing people will seem, here are some tips on how to optimize it.

1. Don’t let it default to your current job title and company.

When you don’t manually change your LinkedIn Headline, it’ll default to your current job title and employer name. While it’s alright to leave it like that, especially if you have a self-explanatory job title and work with an employer that is recognized, you can get better results when you take time to customize it. Present a Headline that’s relevant to your target audience while you make your personal brand statement. The difference is a Headline that reads: “Sales and Marketing at XYZ Company” vs. “Sales & Marketing Executive for Fortune 500 Financial Services Firm.” The latter Headline does a better job informing others of what this person does, who they do it for and in what field.

2. Present your selling point.

Your LinkedIn Headline needs selling points or a value proposition that makes you stand out. What is it that makes you stand out from someone else who may hold similar skills and experience? That’s what you need to think about.

3. Pepper your Headline with keywords.

If you want your profile to show up in search results, it has to have the relevant keywords others are searching for. Determine the keywords that recruiters will search for and make sure that is in the headline. In fact having the keyword multiple times increases your ranking. If a recruiter is searching for talent to fill a sales position at a pharmaceutical company that sells cancer drugs and your Headline only reads “Sales Professional,” it’ll probably show up much lower in the search results than someone with a Headline that hits on some of the keywords. A good headline might be:
Sales Executive | Pharmaceutical Sales Rep with Over 10 Years of Top Ranked Sales Performance
Note that the word “sales” is mentioned multiple times. For more tips, read: "How To Keyword Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile."

4. Get creative. Be memorable.

Like the creative advertisements, a Headline that is written creatively and that is memorable will entice others to want to know more about you. Work your brainpower to come up with something powerful and unique. A major battle job seekers have on LinkedIn is getting others to look at their profile, but with a customized Headline that speaks to the audience you want to reach, you’ll get results. The LinkedIn Headline may only allow 120 characters, but that’s your chance to hook others to view your profile. This post was originally published at an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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