The LinkedIn profile “Headline” is the line directly underneath your name. Here LinkedIn has given you a golden opportunity. These are the first words in your profile and your chance to draw your reader in.
I repeat: You get to say something about who you are and what you have to offer, right in the first line of your profile! Hello! Wake up! This is an opportunity!
I ask my clients, “If you were an employer or a client looking for you, what would you want to read here? What would draw you in?”
Maybe something different would be the way to go? Something that turns on the lights a little brighter?
I mean, how many IT technicians are out there? How many Administrative Assistants? How many Project Managers?
In the 32 LinkedIn profiles I reviewed, almost 30% of them had no headline at all, or left out half of what the person did! What a waste of a good opportunity! 60% were just boring. Only about 10% actually took good advantage of the Headline opportunity.
Here are some examples to illustrate what makes a bland vs. attention-getting headline:
1. How much does “Senior Management Executive” tell you about a person? Would you be interested in this person more than the next Senior Management Executive in the queue? Probably not. How about: “Senior Management Executive. Ensuring you meet and exceed your sales targets.” Hmmm… Now at least I want to read more and I know the person is willing to step out in the area of sales — now he is at least selling himself!
2. How much does “International Business” tell you? Not much. It’s boring! What would say more is: “High-Powered Financial and Analytical Trainer for International Businesses.” See the difference?
3. Compare “Program, Process and Project Management Professional” (dry) to “Program, Process and Project Manager. Creating and Implementing Innovative Technological Solutions.” Which one would make you read more?
You get the picture right?
Another Headline issue is whether to put “Open Networker” or “LION” there. Some social media experts recommend stating that you are an Open Networker so that people know you will accept their invitation. I don’t think it’s necessary unless you have a goal of amassing as many connections as possible on LinkedIn. I don’t. I prefer to build a network of people who know me, have worked with me, or have potential to become ongoing relationships in the future.
Ask yourself when you are writing your effective headlines: What would your readers want to hear?
If not, this book is for you. In my do-it-yourself Kindle book, How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile… And 18 Mistakes to Avoid! I provide you with 18 detailed strategies and writing tips that other “LinkedIn experts” don’t cover. First I tell you how to get found on LinkedIn, and then I tell you how to keep people reading.