When it comes to personal branding on LinkedIn, headlines are everything. They’re how you get noticed online. They’re how you make yourself memorable. And they’re how you build trust with potential clients.
In order to create killer LinkedIn headings, you must understand the psychology behind headlines, master the art of headline writing, and practice writing these headlines yourself. In the process, you’ll want to convey a clear sense of what makes you unique, and let your personality is like in a business-friendly way.
If you want to learn how to write killer LinkedIn headings, then read on. I’ll share some tips to write killer LinkedIn headlines and 15 examples of them from top professionals.
About LinkedIn Headlines
Before we talk about how to write LinkedIn headlines, let’s talk about the what and the why. After all, as busy professionals, we need a reason to spend time doing something that isn’t immediately job-related. However, so-so LinkedIn headline examples aren’t very effective, especially if you’re using LinkedIn as a way to find the next job. With that in mind, here’s what to know about LinkedIn headlines.
What is a LinkedIn Headline?
Briefly, a LinkedIn headline is a brief description at the top of the user’s profile that appears next to the user’s name in the search results. Because they appear in search results, they’re part of the first impression that LinkedIn member makes on people who want to learn about them.
However, these headlines aren’t just a “free for all” place to say anything you want. Rather, the headline should describe what you do for a living, and you’re limited to 220 characters or less. In other words, when writing the headline, you’ll want to keep it short and sweet, almost like an elevator pitch. Describe what you do.
In other words, a LinkedIn headline is similar to the meta description on SERPs: They should entice readers to click and find out more about you. Write the headline well, and you should get the right people to view your profile and, hopefully, present you with an opportunity. On the other side of the coin, a good LinkedIn headline can tell a potential recruiter you aren’t the right person (because their job isn’t relevant) and move on. This reduces the chances that you’ll get inundated with unnecessary requests.
What are the Benefits of a Customized LinkedIn Headline?
I’ll say this first: Don’t let LinkedIn choose your headline. These headlines are a cookie-cutter approach to filling in the blanks, and they rarely put you in the best light. While a default headline won’t say anything bad about you, they also don’t let you differentiate yourself from others. And as we know, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.
Control the Narrative
Secondly, writing your own LinkedIn headline lets you control the narrative around your personal brand: It’s the first thing that other users see. Giving people a narrative that YOU design is one of the best ways to convince people that they want to get to know you on whatever level you’re seeking. So, a snappy headline can convince a recruiter to click on your profile instead of a different one.
Tell People Who You Are
Similarly, it’s an opportunity to show the world who you are, what you’re capable of, and what you do. For instance, there are a lot of administrative assistants, but each one has their individual talents: some are better at talking to callers on the phone, while a different administrative assistant can have a special knack for hospitality. Furthermore, some professionals in similar roles have a passion for their job or their employer, while others are just pulling a paycheck.
Distinguish Yourself from Others
Everyone is unique, and even people in mundane jobs have something that sets them apart. Your LinkedIn headline is a valuable opportunity to build your personal brand, which helps recruiters know if you’re the kind of person that they, or their clients, need. Corporate “fit” is real, and the worst employment situations often stem from a bad fit. By distinguishing yourself from others, you boost the chances of hearing from the right employers.
Provide A Value Proposition
Finally, explain the value you’ll deliver for future employers/clients. Most industries have a significant amount of competition, even in a historic labor shortage. This isn’t surprising, because there are always going to be some professionals that are better at certain jobs than others. With the right LinkedIn headline, you can help prospective employers or clients understand that you provide value to their companies. In other words, you can make a case that you’re a competent professional that they need to talk to.
What Should You Say in Your LinkedIn Headline?
It’s one thing to talk about the benefits of great LinkedIn headline examples, and something different to discuss how to reap these benefits. Crafting the perfect headline requires certain ingredients, though there’s some flexibility that helps adapt for different situations. Here are some important elements of a great headline.
Describe Who and What You Are.
Your name is obvious, but that’s above your headline. In this case, what kind of job do you perform, and what makes you a great professional. For example, I am a marketer who helps businesses grow.
Reasons Why Should They Connect with You.
There are lots of people who do the same sort of job, but you want the reader to hire you instead. To that end, give some sort of hook that makes them click, so you can persuade your visitors to explore further.
A Simple Formula
You don’t have to follow it by any means, but the simple formula to write a LinkedIn Headline that many uses, courtesy of Hubspot, is: [JobTitle]: Helping X do Y – where X is your ideal prospect and Y is their ideal outcome or state of mind after using the service/expertise you offer.
Putting one of the best LinkedIn headline examples on your profile isn’t difficult, so long as you think it through.
Best Practice on Writing LinkedIn Headline
Even using the formula given above, there are several best practices that you should be aware of. After all, like so many other things on social media, there are some pitfalls to avoid. In addition, you need to ensure that the headline is effective.
- Tailor it to your audience. As with a product on the shelf, you need to market yourself by pitching to a particular client. For instance, an accountant might specialize in high-net-worth clients, while another may prefer middle-class small business owners. Each accountant will write their headline differently.
- Include your value proposition. It’s important for your audience to be immediately impressed by the value you represent. While you may not ultimately “seal the deal,” saying things the right way does boost the quality of your “leads.”
- Use your prospect’s language. Businesses like buzzwords and technical terms. If you use the right terminology, you’ll boost the chances of having your profile show up in a prospect’s search.
- Be accurate and honest. Always be upfront. A lot of people have used puffery and deception to get the interview, and even the job, only to get fired or rejected because falsehood is discovered. Don’t be that person.
- Be creative to stand out. Of course, you want your LinkedIn headline example to make your profile pop. So, use a bit of creativity or (appropriate) humor. That’ll make you more memorable.
When you’re writing something that’s only 220 characters maximum, it can be difficult to remember all of these items. However, if you take the time to think about what you’re writing before you finalize it, this job becomes much easier.
Examples of LinkedIn Headline Examples
Now that we’ve discussed what makes an effective LinkedIn headline, let’s look at some great examples that I found from my own LinkedIn connections – if you’d like to connect with me, please send me an invite to my LinkedIn profile and let me know you read this blog post!
These headline examples from my network are broken down into professional types so you can see how different job types influence headlines. Hopefully, you can get some inspiration.
Corporate Marketer Headlines
For marketers, their LinkedIn headlines will not only be part of their personal brand but also the corporate brand that they represent. For this reason, they need to be especially mindful of what they say because the wrong headline can come back to bite them.
Marketers need to walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to their LinkedIn profile, so they should talk about what are their specialties, what industries they are experienced in, and what they are currently doing for what company. At the end of the day, their headline should sell not only their company but what they as individuals bring to the table.
1. Brian Fluhr
Here, Brian lists the kinds of marketing he does, and the industries he works best with. This way, you can easily identify if he’s the type of marketer you need.
Maria talks about her specialties, including influencer marketing. Then, she lists her job title so you know where she works. Adding keywords such as Storytelling and Digital Culture further differentiate her skill set.
Amanda lists her job title and employer, then specifies what she does there, adding key buzzwords such as brand awareness, content strategy, and public relations.
Entrepreneurs usually have a lot going on, so their LinkedIn headlines can be challenging to fit everything into the small character count. That being said, a good LinkedIn headline for an entrepreneur will focus on what they bring to the table, what they are doing in, what they are interested in, and if space is available, a little about who they are to further differentiate them. Since entrepreneurs are usually the head of a company, the job title is less important.
4. Jon Correll
Jon tells you what kinds of projects he works on and his current venture. He also uses finger-pointing emojis effectively to control the flow of what he wants you to read where.
5. Darin Tuttle
Darin shares that he’s a self-employed investment advisor and published author, which sets him apart from many others.
Melani gives her current position-then briefly describes her past experience in the business world, which gives you a well-rounded view of what sets her apart.
Small Business Owner Headlines
Small business owners’ LinkedIn headlines are to attract more clients, solicit new employees, and network with competitors and colleagues. For this reason, they tend to be more personable than some other LinkedIn headline examples. Nonetheless, these headlines should be effective and unique.
Vernessa starts off by saying what tasks she performs, then gives a catchy sentence about her specialty. Her specialty statement is memorable and demonstrates her strengths.
8. Lisa Olinda
Lisa also gives her company name. Then, she gives a memorable job description of “chief chaos whisperer.” Who doesn’t get the point?
Danielle gets down to the point. She runs two businesses and is a podcast host. But she gets your attention with a clever hook that demonstrates why her businesses are different from competitors.
Further Reading: LinkedIn Lead Generation: 20 Strategies That Work in 2024
A freelancer should be very clear as to what skills they bring to the table so that potential customers can immediately grasp how they can help. After all, many freelancer niches are highly competitive, and a boring headline will get a freelancer passed over. Throwing in some personality or emotion can further differentiate from the competition and inspire the reader to take action. If that’s you, these LinkedIn headline examples are very helpful.
10. Mic Adam
Mic’s LinkedIn headline is very mundane-until you get to the end, where he mentions walking the dog. It will make a dog lover smile and hopefully message Mic about a job.
As a freelance marketing professional, Alexandre gives a catchy description of the sales funnel and how he moves people along it.
12. Jens Polomski
Jens has two businesses that he runs as part of self-employment. Watch the custom hashtag, emojis, and “craziness!” It really gets your attention.
These LinkedIn headline examples should help establish credibility for the sales professional AND their present company. After all, the LinkedIn headline is a sort of low-key sales pitch. Each of these should include information about their company and how they can help.
13. Stan La Ferr
Stan doesn’t even mention his company. Instead, he gives a value proposition right away and lets that sink in, rather than belaboring the point.
14. Mary Ann Stitch
Short and to the point. If you own an SMB, Mary is ready to connect you with the most empowering tools available. Whether you want to grow to hire more people or enable the employees you already have, it is clear what Mary’s strengths and specialties are.
15. Jason Hanson
Jason uses an @mention for his company and says upfront why it’s awesome. In other words, it isn’t about Jason, but about his company. Jason can thus leverage the credibility afforded his company to better promote them at sales director.
Now that you’re ready, LinkedIn has a great FAQ on how to edit your LinkedIn headline here.
In conclusion, if you want to build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn, start with a concise, creative, and honest headline. Don’t use generic terms and cliches but focus on specific details that show your personality and interests. This will help you stand out from the crowd and inspire potential employers to hire you. Or, for freelancers and entrepreneurs, you want people to engage your services or otherwise benefit from your expertise. Inspired by the examples? Armed with the tips to write great LinkedIn headlines mentioned above, go to your LinkedIn profile and craft a personalized headline that’s uniquely yours. Then, you can watch the profile views increase, and with them, opportunities.
Hero Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash