How Do I Write a Strong LinkedIn Professional Headline
By Danny Rubin
A professional brand is critical to how you market yourself and your business. And your LinkedIn profile is the most prominent place someone would engage with your brand. That’s because when someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn profile is likely the first result.
Right below your name on the LinkedIn profile, there’s a space for your “professional headline.” Most people use the line to write their job title.
Project Manager at Acme Corporation
Sure, that’s appropriate and won’t get you in trouble. But here’s the catch: most people list their job title and company, which makes their LinkedIn profiles blend in with all the rest.
Also, Project Manager at Acme Corporation isn’t a professional headline. It’s just the facts as if to say, “This is what I do, and this is where I work.”
OK. But what’s your brand?
Maybe John Doe excels at data analytics, and he’s become known around the office for his ability. Then his professional headline could be:
Using data to make smarter decisions
Powerful insights driven by data
Yes, your job title and company matter, but your “brand” is more interesting. It might catch readers by surprise and lure them into your profile read more.
So how do you craft a professional headline?
First, ask yourself: “Where do I provide the most value on the job?”
If you’re in customer service, then the headline could be, “The customer always comes first” or “Dedicated customer service specialist.”
If you work in IT, the headline could read, “Ready to solve the toughest tech challenges” or “Cybersecurity and antivirus expert.”
Think about how your skills allow you to make an impact on others. Why do you matter? Then turn the answer into a short phrase.
That’s your professional headline. That’s your brand.
A few more points to consider
- Don’t use the professional headline to brag. For example, “Greatest marketer in the country.” Nope, you’re not. Instead, tell us how you make others better.
- Please don’t write the exact phrase, “Turns complex problems into solutions.” It’s cliché and overdone.
- Keep the professional headline to eight words or fewer. Otherwise, it will drag on.
- Ask a few friends or coworkers what they think of your headline. Tell them to be honest and not hold back.
- Once you set the professional headline, forget about it for a couple of hours and then look again. Do you still like the headline, or does it feel funny? Listen to your gut—it’s usually right.
Danny Rubin is vice president of Rubin Communications, a full-service PR and marketing firm in Virginia Beach. He’s also the author of the new book, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, a collection of 100+ templates for networking, the job search and LinkedIn. For more of Danny’s insights and sample chapters from the book, visit his blog, News To Live By (NewsToLiveBy.net), which highlights career advice in the latest headlines. Follow him on Twitter @DannyHRubin.