Your Professional Headline How to improve the most valuable piece of real estate for your online resume (your LinkedIn profile)
Job titles and company names, in your LinkedIn Professional Headline, are a waste of valuable real estate <ul><li>By including those here you’re missing out on the ultimate opportunity to market yourself </li></ul><ul><li>There’s space enough within your profile to let your reader know those things </li></ul><ul><li>A job title doesn’t tell what value you can contribute </li></ul>
<ul><li>– Job titles – </li></ul><ul><li>tell little to the person reading your headline </li></ul><ul><li>a big title in a small company doesn’t impress recruiters </li></ul><ul><li>a title in a company or industry the viewer isn’t familiar with doesn’t tell them what you do – or did </li></ul><ul><li>– Most company names – </li></ul><ul><li>usually mean nothing to the person looking at your profile </li></ul><ul><li>usually don’t suggest the industry that it’s a part of </li></ul><ul><li>usually don’t give an indication of its size – thus job title means little </li></ul>
Most companies aren’t well known enough to tell the reader anything about them The reader would need to stop what they’re doing and take the time to research it On the Internet you never want to: leave the reader wondering or make the reader look up the information because in cases like this – they won’t do it and will move on to the next profile It’s all about “the 5 seconds”. There are plenty of other talented people out there who can impress them enough in 5 seconds with the information they’re looking for (in their headline).
The Professional Headline is like a Newspaper Headline <ul><li>It’s the main factor to determine if someone will read the story </li></ul><ul><li>People will scan it quickly to see if the story (you) would interest them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Would the story (you) be relevant to them? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If they think the headline is relevant to them, they’ll continue to read to find out more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If they think the headline isn’t relevant to them, they’ll search to find another headline that is </li></ul></ul>
The Professional Headline is like a Newspaper Headline (continued) <ul><li>Should grab their attention </li></ul><ul><li>Should build credibility and trust </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it have keywords that they’re searching for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it tell something about your expertise? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it tell what you can do for them? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(WIIFT – What’s In It For Them) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it avoid corporate speake? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(“Visionary Results Driven Senior VP” – </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>cheesy, uninspired, overtly self-promotional) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it tell what you’re looking for? (a job, a business partner, a JV partner, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
Your name and professional headline are the only thing people will see when: Looking in the LinkedIn Q&A section Looking in the LinkedIn Group Discussion forums Looking through another’s LinkedIn connections Looking at your LinkedIn connections If they find your Professional Headline of interest to them they’ll want to read and learn more about you
There are several thoughts to creating a Professional Headline <ul><li>Using keyword phrases with a vertical line ( | ) between the phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Writer | LinkedIn Trainer | Blogger | Content Developer </li></ul><ul><li>The vertical line ( | ) is found on the same key as the backslash ( ) key – above the [ enter ] key </li></ul>
Experience with a vertical line | Company Name | Education +8 years microprocessor sales always exceeding sales goals | Acme Chips | University of Michigan
Expertise + a value statement +6 years project management bringing in projects early and under budget
Being straight forward Looking for a corporate training position with a medical device company or Google Local Business expert | Call me 555-555-5555 to move you to 1 st page listings
Experience plus a little something personal Not-For-Profit Fund Raiser constantly exceeding goals | state champion hockey coach | way cool dad
Examples <ul><li>Experienced in event planning and looking for a new opportunity within the event planning industry (notice this doesn’t tell you if she’s unemployed or employed and looking) </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced global executive with a track record of developing & delivering large complex transformational solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Talent Acquisition Leader specializing in Recruiting, Process, Sourcing, Social Media and Employment Brand </li></ul><ul><li>*President of Office Computer Concepts – Boring </li></ul><ul><li>*Building the Tools that Make Your Business Life Easier – Intriguing </li></ul><ul><li>*Consultant to Industry, NFPs and the Wealthy – CEO/CFO – Boring </li></ul><ul><li>*Solving urgent leadership problems…when your CEO steps down Bill Harper steps up </li></ul><ul><li>– WOW! </li></ul><ul><li>*Certified Health Coach – SNORE! </li></ul><ul><li>*Holistic Health Coach | Foodie | World Traveler | Recovering Corporate Executive | </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging Speaker | Pilates Addict – WOWSERS Indeed! </li></ul><ul><li>*Source – www.linkedin-makeover.com </li></ul>
Create the headline so you feel comfortable with it AND so it creates curiosity so the reader will want to learn more about you Just remember not to use corporate speake or be: – self-serving – full of “puffery” – HINT – **The decision maker will determine if you’re “visionary”** **They already assume that you’re “self-motivated”**
Also, ideas to include Target Market: Keywords (always if you want to be found) Value Statements Benefits
What to write when you’re unemployed can be an issue *You want to present yourself in a positive light to prospective employers and network contacts *You want to be honest because potential employers can, and will, check your background when considering you *Prospective employers want to know that you’ve been doing something with your time. *Unfortunately, employers can/do see being unemployed as a negative.
Examples of headlines for those unemployed <ul><li>High energy retail manager interested in new opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Highly dedicated administrative assistant with planning experience exploring options </li></ul><ul><li>Medical device sales professional in transition </li></ul><ul><li>Health club operations manager currently in the market for a new challenge </li></ul>
You have 120 characters * to tell the story that is your work life. – Take lots of time to build your Professional Headline. – Peruse other LinkedIn profiles in your target industry, profession, business, etc. for ideas. Remember not to plagiarize them. – Test your headline for results. You can change it whenever you want. *120 characters is approximately 15 – 20 words
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