When it comes to having a great LinkedIn profile, there are 5 most important things to consider.
- A great LinkedIn profile headline that describes you in 120 characters.
- A professional picture showing your clear face and a cover image.
- A detailed About section with all the information you want to convey to a potential recruiter.
- Featured section to showcase your digital assets and content.
- Your work experience section.
In this article, I will tell you everything you should know to write a compelling LinkedIn profile headline for yourself.
Before we start, let’s understand why a headline is needed on your LinkedIn profile and how it helps.
If I go to LinkedIn and search for Django developer, I see the following results:
Did you notice that all the top 4 search results have one thing in common?
They all have Django + Developer in their profile headline.
This means that the search algorithm of LinkedIn prefers profiles with keywords in their headline over profiles without them.
I hope you are now getting an idea of what your LinkedIn profile headline should look like.
Let’s look at the top 5 things you should consider while writing your LinkedIn profile headline:
1. Include keywords in your LinkedIn profile headline
As we have seen above, it is important to have the keywords included in your LinkedIn profile headline.
Keywords are the words that a recruiter might search for when they are looking for a candidate like you.
So, identify the keywords that match your skillset and then update your profile headline accordingly.
The simplest and straightforward way is to simply list your top 5 skills on the LinkedIn profile headline.
e.g: Python developer at Infosys | Django | Vue.js | DevOps | Frontend developer | Backend developer | Fullstack developer
This profile headline is simple, straightforward, and also contains all the relevant keywords.
2. Don’t say you are JOBLESS
I came across 100s of profiles within my network itself who has the keyword “jobless”, “looking for an opportunity” or “unemployed” etc.
As per my understanding, these are the words that you should strictly avoid putting on your LinkedIn profile headline.
No HR or head hunter is looking for a jobless person to join their company. (Sorry if I sound too rude here).
If you want to display that you are open to new positions, then you should use the official feature offered by LinkedIn for this.
On your profile page, you will find a section that says: Show recruiters you’re open to work
Click on the “Get Started” link and follow the wizard to display an “Open to work” badge on your profile picture.
Once you complete the wizard, your profile picture will start showing a green colored frame with the text: #OPENTOWORK
This also lets the recruiters know that you are looking for a job change.
This method of displaying your availability is much more professional than adding “unemployed” or “jobless” on your LinkedIn profile headline.
3. Utilize the 120-character limit
As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn allows you to have a profile headline that has up to 120 characters.
Try to use this limit to the maximum extent by inserting as many keywords as possible.
At the same time, make sure that the headline is readable.
Some people try to fill up their headlines using emojis and ASCII characters.
Those special characters are not search-friendly and using them on your LinkedIn profile headline is kind of wasting the precious space available.
You can of course use separators like “|” or a comma “,” or even a dot “.” to separate the keywords from each other.
1: Python developer at Infosys | Django | Vue.js | DevOps | Frontend developer | Backend developer | Fullstack developer
2: Python developer at Infosys, Django, Vue.js, DevOps, Frontend developer, Backend developer, Fullstack developer
3: Python developer at Infosys . Django . Vue.js . DevOps . Frontend developer . Backend developer . Fullstack developer
My personal favorite is #1 using the pipe “|” separator. It looks more readable and is also a widely used separator in the web and SEO world.
4. Avoid the default LinkedIn profile headline
You must be aware that LinkedIn also assigns a default profile headline.
This is set to your current job title and the name of the company.
e.g.: Python developer at Airbnb.
The default profile headline is just ok.
But, you can leverage the capabilities of the headline further by adding your custom text there.
So, my recommendation is to always have a custom text on your profile headline with all the relevant keywords that match your skillsets.
5. Be creative with your LinkedIn profile Headline
If you are a creative person and want to stand out from the crowd, then the profile headline is one place where you can try your creativity.
You can add your achievements, goals, or even what you love to do as part of your headline.
Below are some examples that are not very keyword-rich but are creative and catchy.
The best headline is the one that uses both creativity and keyword-rich text in equal proportions.
Tip: Do not make your headline creative at the cost of keywords.
We have seen the 5 most important points you should consider when it comes to your LinkedIn profile heading.
Try these suggestions on your own LinkedIn profile and see the impact.
Measure the impact for at least a month after making these changes and you will see a huge improvement in your search appearance.
Once your profile starts appearing in search, you will automatically start receiving job offers from recruiters in your domain.
If you have further questions or would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, then here is a link to my LinkedIn profile: Anoop Nair
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I also wish you implement these suggestions on your profile and let me know if it works for you.
Anoop is a German PR holder and a Software Engineering manager with over 12 years of experience in the IT industry. He worked for several renowned IT companies in India and many startups in Germany. Anoop was featured on YourStory Germany, Zeit Online, Imagine Foundation, Tech Job Fairs Berlin, and many other platforms.
Interested in discussing the above topic in detail? Schedule a 30-minute 1-1 session with Anoop here.