Your headline is the text that immediately follows your name on LinkedIn and is one of the most viewed sections of your LinkedIn profile. As such, you want to use this valuable space to quickly grab the attention of recruiters. But how do you write a LinkedIn headline? What do you include?
In this article, I explain the importance of customizing your headline when looking for a job and how to leverage this space to communicate what sets you apart from other applicants. I also share my trusted headline formula as well as several example headlines for job seekers, career changers, and executives.
Why Do You Need A Customized LinkedIn Headline?
When you add a new position to your LinkedIn profile, your headline will automatically default to your current job title and company. However, this fails to set you apart from other people in your same role or company. As a job seeker, you want to update your headline to something more tactical, enabling you to stand out in the saturated job market.
As you develop your headline, keep in mind that it must effectively speak to two target audiences when you are job searching. First, your headline must showcase your unique value proposition to the recruiters and hiring managers viewing your LinkedIn profile. Second, your headline must stand out while networking with people at your target company.
What Do You Include In Your LinkedIn Headline?
I recommend a three-part formula for writing your headline. Begin with your target job title (or job titles). Then, highlight your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Conclude with three to four relevant industry keywords. Here is what that headline formula looks like all put together:
Target Job Title | Unique Value Proposition | Relevant Industry Keywords
The following is a breakdown of this three-part formula. I also share tips when deciding what to include in each part of your headline.
LinkedIn Headline Part 1: Your Target Job Title
Begin your headline with your target job title. Doing this notifies prospective employers of the types of roles you are targeting. Even if you have never previously held that exact title, including your target will help you appear in recruiters’ LinkedIn searches for the role you want.
If you are targeting multiple target roles, include each of those job titles in your headline. That said, try to keep the roles related and aim for a maximum of two or three target roles. You want to avoid the mistake of coming off as unconfident in your area of expertise or unfocused in your job search.
LinkedIn Headline Part 2: Your Unique Value Proposition
Next, list your UVP. Including it helps prospective employers quickly identify what sets you apart from other candidates. Your UVP can also provide people with a conversation starter when first contacting you on LinkedIn.
If you are unsure what sets you apart from other job seekers, take a moment to look back on your career. Reflect on the knowledge, experience, or qualities that have enabled you to deliver value to your colleagues, supervisors, and clients. You can also text a few colleagues, friends, and family members to ask, “What makes me fabulous?” to see how you are perceived by others.
LinkedIn Headline Part 3: Relevant Industry Keywords
Finally, conclude your headline with three to four relevant industry keywords. This is important as you want to quickly help prospective employers pinpoint your relevant skills. Moreover, including relevant keywords will increase the chances of your profile appearing in LinkedIn searches.
You can quickly find relevant keywords using LinkedIn Jobs. Begin by compiling five to six target roles from different companies. Then, locate the Skills section in each job posting and see which keywords are most often repeated. Now, add your three to four favorites to your headline.
Note: These keywords can also be incorporated throughout your profile. You can deliberately inject them into your About and Experience sections to further illustrate your areas of expertise.
LinkedIn Headline Examples
Now that you understand why you need a customized LinkedIn headline, as well as what to include in your own, I want to end by sharing five sample LinkedIn headlines that leverage this three-part formula.
Technical Customer Success Manager | Former Software Engineer | Customer Relationship Management, Customer Experience, Business Development
Senior Product Manager | Hyper-Growth Startup & Fortune 25 Experience | User Experience, Product Management, Project Management, Growth Marketing
Director of Fundraising | Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) | Fund Development, Annual Giving Campaigns, Event Management
Head of Marketing, Vice President of Marketing | Fluent in 5 Languages | Go-to-Market Strategy, Integrated Marketing, Marketing Analytics
Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), Chief of Staff | Former Meta & Google | Business Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Diversity & Inclusion
Are you ready? It’s time for you to put these tips into action and update your LinkedIn headline. I hope these tips and examples provided you with some helpful inspiration. You’ve got this!