It’s only 120 characters, but your LinkedIn headline can make all the difference in whether or not a potential employer selects your profile or simply scrolls right past it. Your LinkedIn headline is essentially your own digital first impression. However, unlike the first impression you give at the job interview and on your first day, you have the unique opportunity to spend time perfecting it until you reach an ideal result. Of course, your entire LinkedIn profile is important for keeping employers and potential partners engaged. Still, you should never underestimate the power of your headline in sparking that initial interest! To make your own headline count, apply the following helpful tips.
1. Focus Your Headline on the Job You Want
It’s good to have a wide variety of professional goals and aspirations, but one of the main purposes of LinkedIn is to connect you with employers who are looking to hire qualified candidates for a specific job. Tailoring your headline to this specific job will help you increase your appeal to HR professionals, while indicating that you’re focused on specific career goals and driven to make them happen.
2. Apply Your Education
Even if you’re still in school, you’ll want to let potential employers know that you have plans for applying your education. Use your LinkedIn headline to discuss your academic focus and achievements, and specifically link these achievements to the career you want. For example, if you’re working toward a business management degree, mention how you are eager to apply this degree to the field of advertising. Talk about any internships or experience you might have in specific fields to appeal to specific employers instead of just a broad range of users.
Your headline has a strict limit of 120 characters (That’s 20 characters less than Twitter!), so you’ll have to think like a salesperson by putting only your best qualities forward. Make a list of at least ten qualities, achievements and goals you have for your professional career. Cut this list down to just six major selling points and then narrow this second list down to a top four. Use these four points to highlight your most noteworthy accomplishments and aspirations and encourage professionals in a relevant field to reach out.
4. Keep it Clean
Aesthetic appeal is just as important as content, since employers will likely be turned off by a confusing, fragmented and cluttered mess on your headline. Always use the bar divider (“|”) to separate portions of your headline. A good example of this would be the following:
- Graduate Student of Business | Business Analyst at Google | Interned at Goldman Sachs | Aspiring Marketing Expert
Just like your resume, your LinkedIn headline has a strong influence over how you are presented to employers and how likely you are to get noticed among thousands of other potential candidates. These four tips will help you get started on an effective strategy for marketing yourself via your headline, but they are only most effective in conjunction with an equally impressive profile. Once you’ve created the perfect headline, get started on enhancing your profile to make the connections you need for success in your field.