What Does Your LinkedIn Headline Say About You?
How much time did you spend creating your Linkedin headline and what does it say about you?
Did you slap your headline together or let it default to the current company name? Or did you carefully analyze your offerings and consider how to best summarize who you are and what you are known for in the allocated character count…to create a solid impression?
If you are the latter – congrats. The former – take notes.
The LinkedIn headline is an important part of your profile real estate. In fact, your name, headline, and photo are often the only things people see about you until they click on your complete profile. When you send a connection request – these details introduce you. For job seekers and professionals, this ‘first impression’ is not only critical (shares your value offering) but helps you get found (keywords).
With this in mind, you need to craft your headline with care.
I get dozens of connection requests each week. Seriously. And I review them all. Why? Because I want to connect with actual people and I like to learn about the people I am connected with.
Yet I often only have time to scan the headline. Here are the things I’m looking for:
❓ Does your headline tell me who you are? I want to know *quickly* what kind of work you do, the position you hold, the skill sets you to possess, and/or the industry you work in. Recruiters do the same when they hunt for candidates!
❓ Are you a legitimate person? This may seem silly, but trust me, over the years I’ve gotten requests from some shady/fake accounts.
❓ Are we a good fit? I often pass on connections when the headline isn’t clear – unless a personalized note is included. Recruiters are also looking for very specific criteria; so help them out. Spell out your offering and value in the headline.
For those without a personalized connection note, here are the things that cause me to pause:
Your headline is just a phone number. Why? If I don’t know you, I’m not going to call you.?
Your headline is so general I have no idea what you do: “Transformational Leader | Problem Solver | People Person | Go-Getter”. Uh-huh, ok. Of what??
Your headline is just a famous quote, like: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. You don’t say.?
Your headline is completely blank. Wow.
Other strange headlines that do not create a good impression:
❌ Your headline (and/or name) is written in all caps, making it seem like you are SHOUTING at me: “JANE DOE: SUPPORTS LARGE MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES WITH ACCOUNTING STRATEGIES”. My eyes…my ears!
❌ Your headline contains fluffy superlatives or declarations that demonstrate no unique value: “Jane Rockstar Doe” or “Your Best Local Car Salesman”, or “Excellent and Amazing at Everything I Do”. Nope, not convinced.
❌ Your headline (and/or name) is in all lowercase or there is no proper punctuation or grammar: “b level welder journeyman san francisco”.
❌ Your headline contains cringe-worthy spelling mistakes: “Assisstant Manger ” or “Distribution Warhouse Supervisor”. Hm, unique.
❌ Your headline is the number of connections you have (11,000+). No matter what number this is, I’m not impressed and I doubt others are either.
❌ Your headline says you are “Open to New Opportunities” or “Looking for a Job”. The problem here is most recruiters don’t search for these criteria. They search for specifics like industries or job titles. They also want a candidate that really shines. A generic headline doesn’t scream confidence or help you get found.
Finally, remember to pair your strong headline with a strong photo. These two things go hand-in-hand. A photo of your pet, your family, an avatar, a company logo, or you wearing sunglasses or a low-hanging hat won’t help others feel engaged with you. These images rarely represent you so stop using them to introduce yourself. Avoid creating a poor impression, or sabotaging your chance to connect with others, by giving your LinkedIn headline plenty of attention.
✔️ Looking for ways to create a stronger, more impressionable, headline? Check out my post: Clean Up Your LinkedIn Profile with a Little S.O.A.P – which outlines a handy formula that can help improve headline performance.