Have you ever noticed every time you open LinkedIn, what parts of a person's LinkedIn profile are visible on your feed alongside their posts?
Profile Picture, Name, and Headline.
And this article is your one-stop guide on “how to write a powerful LinkedIn headline”
Every time you send a connection request, comment on someone's post, apply for a job through LinkedIn, or even when your profile is recommended to others' feeds and appears in the search results, the headline is always there. It speaks for you even before your educational qualifications, work experiences, summary section, and certifications.
This article unveils the best tips and tricks to write the most compelling LinkedIn headlines. It covers;
- What is the LinkedIn headline?
- Why can LinkedIn headlines be a game changer for your career?
- How to write an eye-catching headline?
- How not to write a LinkedIn headline?
- Best LinkedIn headline examples for job seekers and students (Jump to examples).
- How to update a LinkedIn headline?
- Check if your LinkedIn headline is boosting your visibility on the platform.
- Busting myths about LinkedIn headlines.
Before we begin!
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And if you don't have time to read through the entire article but still want to give your LinkedIn profile a boost, sign up for Careerflow's FREE, easy-to-use and interactive LinkedIn Optimization Tool.
What is the LinkedIn headline?
Simply put, a headline is a section of your LinkedIn profile that briefly describes your professional journey. LinkedIn allows 220 characters in the LinkedIn headline. In a poll conducted on LinkedIn, out of 1,164 people who voted, 46% of people had chosen ‘LinkedIn headline’ as the most significant part of a profile over the ‘about section’ and ‘experience section’.
Fact: If you don't write a headline for your profile, LinkedIn will automatically use your job title and company name as a headline. But FAANGPath’s mentors recommend having an optimized and personalized headline.
Why LinkedIn headlines Can be a Game-changer for Your Career?
Here are the reasons why you should write the “right” headline on your LinkedIn profile.
1. To boost your search 🔍ranking.
LinkedIn has 822 million 🤯registered users, but on average, it displays only ten profiles on the first page of search results.
That's shocking, isn't it?
But if your profile headline is compelling, it's not that difficult to make it to those ten profiles.
Because LinkedIn's internal search engine and Google's search engine 🔍 use the headline to rank your profile in the top search results.
Also, hiring managers and recruiters mostly use “LinkedIn Recruiter”, the hiring platform of LinkedIn, thus they have access to many filters and targeted search options. They often narrow down their search results by skills, positions, titles, and locations. A search engine-optimized headline is therefore essential.
2. To increase the chances of your connection request getting accepted.
Suppose you receive two connection requests on LinkedIn with the following headlines:
"Certified frontend developer | Built 5 ReactJS web apps | 4-stars on CodeChef | Tech blogger"
"Student at X University | interested in computer science | actively looking for a job"
Whose request are you more likely to accept?
Of course, the first one. Right?
Although the first headline is not extraordinary (like Harvard graduate or Research Scientist at Google) but it still stands out because it mentions the exact skills and interests of the person.
The conclusion is, that even if you don’t have exceptional achievements, you can still write a LinkedIn headline that can set you apart from the crowd. And this brings us to our third point.
Now that you know why you should write a compelling LinkedIn headline on your profile, let's find out how you can write one that will make an everlasting impression on hiring managers and potential connections.
How To Write an Eye-Catching Headline?
Of course, there is no fixed formula for writing the best LinkedIn headline. However, here are some rules that you can follow while drafting a headline for your LinkedIn profile.
1. Research Research Research🕵️♀️.
Before you dive into the actual process of writing headlines, do your research.
- Check LinkedIn headlines of people who are working in the same industry as you to get inspiration and new ideas. Please do not copy the headline.
- If you are actively looking for a job, jot down all the job titles that you wish to get hired for. And use these titles in your headline.
- Find out the keywords that recruiters and hiring managers are using while searching for candidates in your industry. This will give you an edge over other candidates.
Bonus Tip 🔉: Use job search websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, AngelList, and LinkedIn jobs to understand the employer's perspective. And also check the keywords they are using while posting the job openings.
2. Discuss Your "Value Proposition".
A good LinkedIn headline lies in the interaction of a person's skills, education, experience, and achievements. In short, it describes how much value you can add to a company. You can describe your experience, education, and achievements briefly in your headline.
Expertise: Mention your core skills as job titles.
Example: Web developer, content writer, Business Analyst, Technical recruiter, software engineer, and so on.
Experience: Adding proof of industry experience to the headline enhances your credibility.
Example: SDE-2 at Amazon, Management Consultant at Deloitte, Product manager at Walmart.
Achievements: Highlight your achievements in the headline.
Example: Microsoft Fixathon 2.0 winner, Harvard WECode’22 winner, Generation Google Scholar’21.
Interests: You can use this part of your headline to share your side hustle or passion project.
Example: DSA instructor, Technical content writer, blogger, tutor, and club leader.
Final Result: Software Developer at Microsoft (SDE-2) | Gold Medalist- X University | Educator at CodeChef
As you see, the right combination of skills, work experiences, achievements, and interests can do wonders for your LinkedIn profile.
3. It should be the right balance of “facts” and “creativity”.
We must strike a balance between "facts-only" headlines and "overly creative" headlines. It doesn’t matter how creative your headline is if it doesn’t appear in search results.
4. Don’t lie because it won't last.
Lying in the LinkedIn headline is not a clever idea. It might seem beneficial in the short term, but in the long run, it will not help you anyway.
5. Seek feedback.
Getting feedback from industry experts will help you remove ambiguities in your
headline. And their suggestions will also help you in improving your headline.
6. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes.
Did you know ❓
95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find skilled employees.
One search query from a hiring manager and recruiter results in thousands of profiles in their result feed. And They are most likely to click on a certain profile based on the LinkedIn headline. It’s part of your profile section that has the potential to grab a recruiter's attention.
Bonus tip🔉 : Join the FAANGPath discord server and connect with industry experts and people working in your industry to get feedback.
Try this LinkedIn Experiment.
Here are a few search recommendations that we suggest you try on your LinkedIn profile and we will show our search results.
Here are a few search recommendations that we suggest you try on your LinkedIn profile and we will show our search results.
Keyword: Open to work
As you can see there are plenty of people on LinkedIn who have added "unemployed" or "Open to work" in their headlines.
Do you think employers are going to search for these keywords?
A big NO.
This brings us to the more important topic - “how you should not write a LinkedIn headline?”
How To Not Write a LinkedIn Headline?
1. Don’t use offensive language.
It’s an obvious one but still, make sure that you don't end up saying something in your headline that can upset your potential employer.
2. Using too many titles.
"Business Analyst | Digital Marketing Manager| Content creator | Educator"
Headlines like these can lead to confusion. Even if the recruiter wants to reach out to you for a particular role, he/she will not be able to find out your core competencies and interests.
3. Avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes.
Any sort of grammatical or spelling error in a LinkedIn headline would affect the search results. And it would also leave a negative impression on the employer.
Bonus Tip 🔉: Use tools like Grammarly to write an error-free headline.
4. Too much of anything is harmful.
A good headline should include keywords but not too many. Because keyword stuffing may help you with search results in the short term but it will leave employers confused in the long run. So avoid keyword stuffing.
5. Mention what you have, not what you want.
It's not uncommon to come across a headline on LinkedIn that says-
"Looking for job opportunities in Analytics and Marketing"
"Looking for a job in advertising"
"Actively looking for full-time opportunities"
These kinds of headlines will never help you land a job. This is a highly prevalent practice among LinkedIn users and as a result, they end up wasting a lot of their precious time and headline space. Your headline should focus more on what you can offer to any organization than what you want from that organization. However, if you are actively seeking job opportunities then use LinkedIn’s “Open To Work” feature to show recruiters that you are ready to take up a new job.
Bonus Tip 🔉: Don’t use short forms or jargon that your employers or prospects are unaware of.
Examples of Best LinkedIn Headlines.
Here are some great examples of LinkedIn headlines. Take inspiration from these and craft your own.
LinkedIn headlines of FAANGPath’s mentors.
"Senior Technical Recruiter @Uber | Founder @FAANGPath | Ex-Amazon | TEDx Speaker | Resume and LinkedIn Coach | Ex-TBWA | Ex-WPP"
"Cloud Customer Engineer (Data) @ Google | Guest Lecturer & Thesis Tutor @ EMLYON
| #IAR Cloud Facilitator Lead | Mentor"
“Applied Scientist at Amazon | 6+ Years of ML Experience | Machine Learning | Deep
Learning | Computer Vision | NLP | Python | PyTorch | TensorFlow | AWS | C++ | Data
Science | Recommender System | Reinforcement Learning”
“SWE ll @Google | Mentored 1000+ students | Speaker at 50+ Events | Institute Gold Medalist @IITH | First Inventor @Adobe | Ex-Researcher @Predog”
Best LinkedIn Headline Examples for Job-Seekers
Formula: Title at a current company or target job role | Specialization or key skills | Industry-related keywords | Accomplishments | passion project or side hustle.
For tech background:
- "Software developer | MERN stack | System Design and Development | Passionate Teacher."
- "Technical Consulting engineer @X | Former cyber security intern @Y | CCNA | DevNet Associate"
- "Java backend engineer @X company | System design (HLD and LLD) | 500+ problems on DSA"
- "Technical Product Manager (TPM)| Agile Product management | Fintech | Digital banking | E-commerce"
- "Android developer | Kotlin and Java | worked on 10+ Android apps | 100+ blog posts on example.com"
Best LinkedIn Headline Examples for Students
Formula: Aspiring or certified "title name" or seeking "target role" | Skill set | Achievements.
Of course, this is not the ideal formula. In effect, we would encourage you to make changes as per your requirements.
- "Seeking Backend developer role | Node.js, MySQL | Finalist at American Express Codestreet '20 Hackathon."
- "Frontend developer intern at X company| Google Scholar | AWS Student Cloud Ambassador"
- “FreeCodeCamp certified backend developer | Coding- C++ and Java | Coding Mentor at ‘college name’ "
- "Summer intern at Amazon | Competitive coder | 5 ⭐ @Codechef | DSA instructor"
- "Ex-intern @Amazon | Advance certification in Cloud Computing and DevOps | Teaching Assistant @X"
- "SDE intern @Uber | Competitive Programmers | DSA mentor | Ex Android developer intern at @X"
- "Frontend Developer- React.js, Next.js, Bootstrap | GSoC'22 @INCF | 3 ⭐ @Codechef"
How To Update a LinkedIn headline
Here are a few simple steps you can follow to update your LinkedIn headline;
Step 1: Open your LinkedIn profile.
Step 2: Click the pencil-like “edit” icon.
Step 3: Scroll down through the “edit-intro” page. Find the “headline” field and write your original headline.
Step 4: Click the "Save" button, and a "save was successful" message will appear.
Bonus tip 🔉: In case you are facing any issues updating your headline, check LinkedIn's official guide.
Finally, you are done updating your headline!
But now what?
It is time to check if your profile headline is doing the right thing for you or not.
Check if Your LinkedIn Headline is Boosting Your Visibility on the Platform
A well-written LinkedIn headline is a simple yet effective way of increasing your visibility on the platform. A notable indicator of a successful LinkedIn headline is the number of search results your profile appears in each week.
But how can you determine whether recruiters can see your profile in search results?
The answer is LinkedIn's weekly search report. Using these LinkedIn statistics, you can find out-
- How often did your profile appears in search results last week?
- What are the main keywords you were found for?
- Where do your searchers work?
- What are the job titles of your searchers?
Experimenting and then evolving according to requirements is the most effective strategy. You may not get it right in one go but at the end of the loop, you will end up with a powerful headline for your LinkedIn profile.
Busting The Myths
Here are some popular LinkedIn headline myths:
- You need too many achievements to write a compelling and catchy headline.
- Only fancy words in headlines will grab the recruiter's attention.
- Your LinkedIn headline should be your current job title.
These are not actual truths. You just need to follow the points we stated above to craft a unique headline for your LinkedIn profile.
In simple words, your LinkedIn headline should tempt recruiters to know more about you. It is your chance to convince employers to go through your entire profile and see if you are the ideal candidate for their company.
Jotting down an impactful headline can be a tiring process, but the long-term benefits of a good LinkedIn headline far outweigh the initial tiresome process.
This entire guide can be summarized into three key points:
- Use the 220 characters of LinkedIn headlines wisely to convey your professional journey.
- Read before you write. Explore options, search for people who are working in the same domain as you, and find out - who recruiters are searching for.
- Avoid lying, grammatical and spelling mistakes, and using too many conflicting titles while crafting your headline.
All the best 👍!