Your professional headline on LinkedIn is one of the first ways you’re identified by other users. Unless you specify, LinkedIn will default to displaying your current employment position as your headline.
Because of this default setting, and because the space seems so small, most people don’t know that you actually have 120 characters to work with when creating your professional headline. You can use this space to start optimizing your LinkedIn profile to appear in more searches and to increase the number of people clicking on your profile.
Here are the 3 easy steps to optimizing your LinkedIn professional headline:
1. Before you begin editing your headline, take some time to really think about what you want it to say about you as a professional.
- Use the headline space to quickly and clearly communicate your value.
- Add keywords and phrases about your job that will allow your profile to appear in more searches as well as help you stand out.
- Don’t just think in terms of your job title. It’s fine to include it, but think about the functions you perform as well.
- Try searching within LinkedIn for other people with similar roles to see which keywords they use.
- Come up with a few different versions and decide which one represents you best.
2. Now let’s dive in and update our headlines.
First, go to your profile and click Edit. Next to your professional headline you’ll see a blue pencil. Click that to get started.
Once you click the blue pencil, you have the option to see what others in your industry are using. If you click this, a new window will appear where you can scroll through your connections and other LinkedIn users’ profiles to get some inspiration. Pay special attention to people who are using the headline space creatively.
3. When you’re ready, begin typing your new headline.
You may want to use a tool like Character Count Online to make sure your new headline is within the 120 character limit before you start.
I changed my professional headline to reflect the range of duties I perform in my job and to be more searchable within LinkedIn by including more keywords to describe myself.
Optimizing your LinkedIn headline is not only good for getting found, it also helps you stand out from the crowd of people who use LinkedIn’s default settings.