Your LinkedIn Professional Headline is very valuable real estate. It’s the first line people see when they view your profile. It’s also the first line people see when they do a LinkedIn search. (That includes recruiters who are trying to fill open positions.)
So it’s in your best interest to make it count.
Unfortunately, most people don’t use LinkedIn’s Professional Headline to their best advantage.
If left alone your LinkedIn headline will default to the title of your current position. This may or may not work to your advantage. If you’re a marketing manager who wants to remain a marketing manager allowing your LinkedIn profile to default to your current position probably won’t hurt you.
Providing you have a robust, optimized profile recruiters trying to fill a marketing manager position may find you. Still, leaving your headline in default mode won’t do much to help you either.
Marketing Manager, ABC Company is not exactly inspiring. It doesn’t give a clue as to what you may bring to the table.
Hoping to attract recruiters many job seekers change their LinkedIn profile to “Open to New Opportunities” or “Looking for New Opportunities.”
This is a huge mistake.
Here are three ways this headline can work against you.
- First, it doesn’t tell anyone looking at your profile in a search anything about you. What do you do? What kind of opportunity are you looking for? What do you have to offer?
- Second, it wastes valuable LinkedIn real estate that might be used to sell you to recruiters and hiring managers who may stumble across your LinkedIn profile.
- Third, and probably the worst reason, recruiters who are combing LinkedIn trying to fill open positions are NOT including “Looking for New Opportunities” in their search criteria.
To make better use of your LinkedIn headline include your title, if you’re unemployed this can be your target title. You can follow this with a few of your top skills, for example, Business Development | New Market Development, etc., and/or a brief blurb about what you do. Maybe, Developing New Markets to Drive Business Growth.
Remember LinkedIn allows a certain amount of characters for each section. The allowance for your professional headline is 120 characters. Don’t waste them.