What are the best LinkedIn headline examples? If you ask 20 people what they think rank as best, you’ll probably get 20 different answers. Choosing the best for anything calls for a subjective opinion. However, when you rephrase the query slightly, you stand more chance of reaching an answer.
So start by asking, “What makes the most effective LinkedIn headlines for job seekers?”
To rank as effective, the headline must offer great content. In fact, it needs to do at least one or more of the following (the list could easily run longer):
- Catch the attention and interest of your target audience–most likely recruiters and hiring managers.
- Set you apart from your competition–other job seekers who are aiming for the same kind of roles you are.
- Show how well you fit the employers’ needs–in other words, the value you offer them.
What are some best LinkedIn headline examples that “make the cut”–that is, merit the term “best” because they work?
LinkedIn allows up to 220 characters and spaces for headlines (increased from 120). You don’t need to use all the space; you can take up what you need within that amount. These are just a few examples:
- SALES DIRECTOR: Deliver best-in-class sales performance and expansion into target key accounts. Strategies that drive revenue growth, profitability & market development. Sales funnel & lifecycle management.
- CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER: Thought leader, business partner, and financial trend spotter with focus on business goals. Financial analysis & forecasts, reporting, tax, controls, M&A, and regulatory requirements.
- VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS: Drive focus on operations excellence to increase profits and efficiency. Scope: General management, supply chain, warehouse & distribution, inventory, safety & compliance.
The first and third examples include target keywords and an employer value message. The second implies a value that isn’t explicitly stated, by its emphasis on achieving business goals and seeing emerging trends. However, a reader could well assume this means aspects such as fiscal prudence, focus on profit (revenue that exceeds costs), changing financial benchmarks, and so on.
NOTE: Job postings don’t always provide as much helpful guidance as you might like in terms of what you need to focus on for your LinkedIn headline. On the other hand, you should pay close attention to what they do provide, so you can ensure that you touch on the most salient terms and concepts.
LinkedIn’s own use of headlines to catch attention could give you a clue as to how to use a value message to attract attention. Here’s one example of what you might see:. Four of the first five words highlight benefits you could gain from using LinkedIn. [For additional ideas about how LinkedIn can help with job searching, read “LinkedIn Job Search Tips.”]
How can you tell what headlines for job seekers would fail the “test” as best LinkedIn headline examples?
Ideally, your headline options will include two main focus points: keyword-rich content and an employer value message. You might find many choices that hit one of the two major goals, but often not both of them. Fairly common but weak choices include listing only your current position title and employer.
- Marketing Manager, ABC Company.
- IT Specialist, Roman Technology, Inc.
- Technology Sales, Solutions Selling, Domestic & International Customers
The first two choices above fall into the trap of defaulting to current position title and employer. The third choice includes several keywords but doesn’t send a strong value message.
How to get your job title to show up in search results:
- Include your job title in the profile headline. This contradicts the advice about not using your current position as part of your LinkedIn headline. However, I note one difference. You don’t stop there. Instead, make sure you add a value message and target keywords that focus on the desired job.
- Choose the title wording carefully so it reflects your target job. Reword it slightly if needed to match the title employers use. For instance, suppose you want an executive-level position in the sales function. Searching for “Sales Executive” brings up some jobs that are sales-related but not senior level. On the other hand, using “Sales Director” or “VP of Sales” should bring up more useful results.
How do you deal with the “seeking new opportunities” issue in terms of the best LinkedIn headline examples?
Is this really the message you want your profile to shout to the world? No matter how you word it, it’s going to stress something you’d likely prefer not to focus employer attention on. (Even if you do want to “seek new opportunities,” making that a key part of your LinkedIn profile headline message doesn’t do you any favors.)
Keep this basic fact in mind: Recruiters and hiring managers do not search for job seekers who use the phrase “seeking new opportunities” in their LinkedIn profile headline. You waste valuable space when you include it. What’s more, it highlights the fact that you’re probably either unemployed or afraid you soon will be.
The best solution centers on the value you can add to employers because you have done it consistently in the past. For example: “Turnaround expert: Transformed three under-performing business units in seven years.”
As you can see, the above statement offers clear, quantified results without any statement about employment status. Of course, when employers look at your experience section, they will see you don’t have a current position. However, you will have front-loaded a value proposition to whet their appetite for more value to come. In addition, if you can show valid current activity (paid or unpaid), you could help negate the problem.
Other aspects to consider with regard to your LinkedIn profile–the headline as well as other areas:
What skill set should I showcase when I am writing my LInkedIn profile?
This question relates closely to the point about headlines for job seekers. The terms you choose for the headline must show direct relevance for the role you’re focused on., Moreover, they will ideally include the top 3-5 terms that target employers search for in that role. Therefore, the bulk of the profile should showcase that same skill set.
Should I hire a career coach to help me update my LinkedIn profile?
Occasionally, you might consider hiring an expert to help you with any number of tasks or projects you undertake. You should consider two points up front:
- Do I have enough knowledge about the situation on my own?
- If not, can I find an expert I can trust to help me?
Avoid letting your ego kick in and say, “I should always do things like this myself.” On the other hand, you need to be able to identify trustworthy sources to contact. Looking for coaches who belong to a professional association offers a good starting point.
Wrap Up for the “Best LinkedIn Headline Examples”:
Obviously, your profile consists of more than the headline, and all the sections deserve thoughtful effort. However, the headline falls into the top five sections, and it’s the first thing people see when they visit your profile. That makes it critical to your online visibility and job searching success.
In view of the profile’s importance, I urge you to think carefully about the choices you make. Look back at the LinkedIn headline examples included in this post and explore profiles you find online to see how well they stick to the guidelines for effective content. Then try your hand at creating yours.
P.S. If your own efforts don’t strike you as compelling and you feel your profile needs expert help, I invite you to contact me. I create and revamp entire LinkedIn profiles, starting with the headline. You can reach me at 508-263-9454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.