Your LinkedIn Headline – DOs and DON’Ts and More

1. DOs
• Say WHAT you are.
• Say WHO you help.
• Say HOW you make a prospective employer’s life/work better.
• Give PROOF that you are credible.
• Highlight your past achievements and future value.
• Use your headline proactively.
• Promote your brand statement, core marketing message, most enticing expertise.
• Showcase your specialty, value proposition, or your “so what?”
• Speak directly to the audience you want to entice.
• Be specific.
• Focus on and include important key words.
• Be creative but appropriate to your goal.

2. DON’Ts
• Use the LinkedIn default header (current title and company name).
• Have a headline that is confusing.
• Have a headline that is boring or doesn’t add value to your profile.
• Make obscure references.
• Make quirky statements.

3. Headline FORMULAS
• Expert status headline formula: {Keyword/subject matter expert area} who {does what} for {client, company, audience, project}. {Proof point}.
o Personal Chef specializing in gluten-free diets. Winner Seattle Personal Chef of the Year 2012.
o Social Media Expert driving successful campaigns on a shoestring budget. 800%+ ROI in the past 12 months.
o Bestselling Author and Professional Speaker energizing audiences to overcome limiting beliefs. 90%+ sat ratings.

• Claim your niche headline formula: {Keyword(s)} | {your specific benefit or focus area}
o Six Sigma Master Black Belt | Dedicated to process excellence in auto manufacturing
o Tax Accountant CPA | Specialist in family-owned businesses with revenues of $1-$5 million
o Childhood Autism Psychiatrist | Specializing in diagnosing, treating and supporting families with autistic children

 Direct to customer headline formula: {Attention-grabbing question} + {Who you are} + {who you help}. {Proof point}. OR {Attention-grabbing question} + {Free resource}.
o Need capital? Banker for early-stage technology growth companies. Clients include XYZ and ABC.
o Need talent? Exec Recruiter helping mid-size manufacturing companies find top talent. Clients include LMN and OPQ companies.
o Need to recharge your career? Join my FREE webinar on 5 things you MUST do before you search: {short link}

4. Some Successful Headline EXAMPLES:
• Executive Recruiter/Speaker/Author/who helps you create a better career | Featured on Fox/CBS/CNN
• Fundraising consultant who helps major non-profits raise more money | Clients include the Red Cross and YMCA
• Personal Trainer who helps high school athletes get stronger and faster | Certified by the American Council on Exercise
• PMP-certified project manager | Known for successfully leading multi-million dollar projects in developing countries
• Customer-focused pro who can program every robot in your manufacturing facility | Specializing in ABB, FANUC, and Kawasaki robots.
• Reliable pet-sitter who will find out and report back to you exactly what your dog is up to when you’re not home
• Copywriter who knows how to craft web content that goes viral. Oh, and you’ll never beat me at Scrabble
• Tireless, caring Registered Nurse who helps pediatric cancer patients and their families feel at ease throughout treatment and recovery
• Manufacturing & Supply Chain Executive | Asia
• Procurement & Contract Specialist | Treasury Manager
• Account Executive | OEM Sales | Field Sales | Territory Manager
• Director Communications | Branding | Online Marketing | Social Media
• High-Powered Financial and Analytical Trainer | Propelling International Business Teams to the Top
• Program, Process and Project Manager | Creating and Implementing Innovative Technological Solutions
• Managed Care Professional | Building relationships with attention and integrity

5. Another TIP
In edit mode on your profile, LinkedIn has two options: “Show examples” and “See what others in your industry are using.” Find a few you like (it will take some time, but keep looking) then craft your own, original Professional Headline. Change it often, trying out different headlines and seeing what works.

With thanks and credit to Forbes, LinkedIn contributor Pete Leibman, MarketingProfs, Brazen Careerist.

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