Does Your LinkedIn Headline Make the Right Impact?

linkedin headlineYour LinkedIn headline is one of the most visible sections of your LinkedIn profile. It stretches across the top of your profile page, and attaches to your news feed posts. Just as important, it displays under you name in other users’ “People You May Know” sections.

So whether it’s being viewed by your business contacts, prospective sales leads, or a corporate recruiter, your LinkedIn headline is key to making a positive impression and explaining exactly what you bring to the table.

Your LinkedIn headline is also one of the most important fields for LinkedIn’s search algorithm.

So it should accomplish two critical elements that helps the reader find you:

  1. It must portray you as a credible member of your industry
  2. It should use the strategic keywords sure to help you appear higher in LinkedIn searches

According to LinkedIn’s headline video, “If you want your LinkedIn account to be a way that people discover you or your company, you’ll want to place an emphasis on keywords — words which people will search for on LinkedIn and that will show up on search engines.”

By default, LinkedIn creates your headline based on your current job title and company. For example:

“Web Developer at Jobscan”

With 120 characters to work with, sticking with the default LinkedIn headline is a wasted opportunity. There is plenty of room to include details that will help you show up in more search results. For example, the default headline could be expanded to read:

“Web Developer at Jobscan | Full Stack Engineer | Front End Specialist | HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, JQuery, PHP”

This 111 character headline expands on the user’s skillset and specialization. It also includes specific hard skills that an employer might search for on LinkedIn.

Read on for more some real-life examples of strong LinkedIn headlines…

LinkedIn Headline Examples for Active Job Seekers

Search for “unemployed” on LinkedIn. You might be shocked to find hundreds of users with some variation of this headline:


Unemployed? Use a better LinkedIn Headline.


Recruiters on LinkedIn are after the best candidates for the job. They’re not typically limiting their search to users who are actively job hunting. It’s OK to mention that you’re looking, but what you can actually do is far more important.

It’s also helpful to be specific. “Experienced media professional seeking new opportunities” is better than “unemployed” as a headline. But it still reveals next to nothing about your skillset. List hard skills when possible.

Here are three quality LinkedIn headline examples from real job seekers.

Jan's LinkedIn Headline - Job Seeking

Jan is a long-time software developer looking for a new opportunity. His LinkedIn headline acknowledges that he’s on the hunt. But also includes hard skills that a recruiter might search for.

Amanada's LinkedIn Headline - Job Seeker

Amanda is job hunting after moving to a new city. She doesn’t mention that she’s seeking in her headline, but does in her profile summary. Here, the LinkedIn headline features the specific job title she’s targeting. Geared towards recruiters and hiring managers, this is a highly effective strategy.

Destiny's LinkedIn Headline - seeking

Unemployed job seekers can learn a thing or two from experienced freelancers. After all, they constantly seek a new gig. They’re not unemployed but are always on the lookout for the next opportunity. Destiny is a freelance social media marketer with a LinkedIn headline optimized accordingly. This headline not only contains two in-demand job titles; it lets people know she’s available.

LinkedIn Headline Examples for Students

For a student with limited professional experience, it can be difficult to know what to put in a LinkedIn headline. Here are three examples of students using their LinkedIn headline to find their first real job.

Linkedin Headline example - student looking for first job

Tristan is looking for his first opportunity after earning a degree in digital media arts. His LinkedIn headline clearly states the types of roles for which he’s qualified. And that he’s available and willing to work his way up.

LinkedIn Headline for student seeking internship

Without extensive professional experience, students should focus on the skills they’ve learned and would like to develop in an internship. The word “internship” itself should also exist for any recruiters or department leads searching LinkedIn for interns. Neelam accomplishes this with her LinkedIn headline and uses every single one of the available 120 characters.

LinkedIn headline for a student graduating soon

Like Neelam, Megan uses the full length of her LinkedIn headline to display as much information as possible. She includes her availability date alongside search keywords like “selling,” “sales,” “sales management,” and “marketing.”

Optimized LinkedIn Headline Examples

Whether you’re discreetly trying to attract recruiters or simply making sure your LinkedIn connections know what it is you do, your headline should expand upon LinkedIn’s default [job title] at [company]. Use the remaining characters for your most important hard skills, specializations, or goals.


Great LinkedIn Headline Examples


Think about who you want looking at your profile and appeal directly to them in your headline. And before anything else, type in exactly what they need to know!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Jobscan Blog!





This entry was posted in LinkedIn and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.