How to Write a Killer Professional LinkedIn Headline and Summary

    4 min read time

    linkedin visibility

    Your LinkedIn summary is one of the most valuable pieces of real estate you’ve got when it comes to showcasing your authentic, genuine, and unique self. It’s the place at which you get to be more personal than on your resume or in a job application. It’s where you get to show off an incredible first impression to recruiters, decision makers, potential clients, and the world of other professionals who are going to head to LinkedIn first when they want to “check you out.”

    So, don’t squander this moment.

    You want a killer LinkedIn headline and summary?

    Want a simple way to increase the visibility of your LinkedIn profile, land more job interviews, and generate more leads?

    THEN YOU NEED TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SUMMARY AND HEADLINE! 

    These two are the most visible parts of your LinkedIn profile - the first words anyone sees when searching for professionals. They are also a huge factor in a person’s decision to reach out to you or move on to the next person.

    Note: Your headline is a MAJOR factor in LinkedIn's search algorithm - as they carry a lot of weight when deciding which profiles to serve up for different queries. When you optimize your headline, you show up in more searches; the more searches you show up in, the more views you get; and the more views you receive, the more opportunities you have to be seen for jobs!

    So where do you start? You don't want to show up too serious, but still show your personality because that's part of what makes you unique. 

    The goal is to find an interesting and genuine way to describe your professional background and also come across as a subject matter expert.

    YOUR HEADLINE

    If you don’t customize your LinkedIn headline, it will automatically default to your job title and company. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that is exactly why it won’t help you stand out from the crowd.

    Content marketers and journalists understand the persuasive power of a  capture attentionheadline - its ability to grab someone’s attention and make the case to keep reading. It’s not enough to just summarize what’s in your story, especially in today’s overloaded media environment; you need to very distinctly explain WHY readers are missing out.

    The same principles apply to your LinkedIn profile headline. This a high-visibility area for search engines. Using the right keywords can increase relevant traffic to your profile.

    Here are just a few examples of basic headlines versus ones that are more creative and standout:

    Sales Representative --> I help marketers meet their demand generation goals

    Sales Development Specialist --> Client cost savings identification expert

    Make sure your headline communicates your unique value proposition to catch the eyes of headhunters, recruiters and hiring managers. What traits or abilities have enabled you truly help your customers? Maybe you’ve repeatedly heard people say they appreciate your diligence in listening to their needs and thoughtfully recommending options. Or maybe feedback always includes accolades for your timely and thorough communication. 

    Some other examples are: 

    Helping Smart Managers Keep Their Employees Engaged and Productive

    Disrupting and innovating how companies market and sell in Latin America

    High-caliber hospitality director skilled and creating memorable dining experiences

    Senior Operations Leader with strategic drive and history of successful continuous improvements

    YOUR SUMMARY

    Your LinkedIn summary should include 3-5 sentences that describe: your years of experience in your industry, your area of expertise, the types of organizations you've worked with, your skills, and what you're most known for professionally (plus awards if you have them!). Think of your LinkedIn summary as your digital elevator pitch/personal brand to tell people the most important things they need to know about your career in under 30 seconds. 

    Here are a few ideas to get started:

    Explain why you're so fired up about coming into work each day. What excites you? Why do you love your company? What makes your product, culture, and/or team different from your competitors? Then end with a few tidbits about yourself because you are unique!

    OR

    Start with a bold statement like, "I love solving business problems". 

    Use a short, impactful one-liner to highlight WHY you're successful or what you're best at. Then, provide a couple of examples of how this skill or desire has manifested itself throughout your life. Discuss your areas of expertise, then wrap it up with your favorite topics of discussion.

    OR

    One of my favorites - absolutely captivate your audience. I saw this on a summary recently and it made me want to dive in deeper to the person's profile and learn more about them!

    "I was the kid who didn’t break apart my Rubik’s cube so that I could get all the colors lined up—I was the kid who solved it. And, I’ve not stopped taking on impossible, beat-your-head-against-the-wall challenges since."

    Once you have stated the top things about you and what you can do for a company, you need to lead people to action. Tell people what you’re looking to accomplish, and what you’d like for them to do next.

    Give them a call to action. Obviously, if you’re a covert job seeker, you don’t want to bust out a call to action like, “I’m actively seeking new career opportunities. Please contact me.” However, you can be pretty clear on what you’d like to happen next, without outing yourself.

    Your LinkedIn headline and summary are make-or-break sections of your profile! Take every opportunity to add a meaningful picture of your ROI in these sections, with extra steps to boost your keyword content. The result will be more views, opportunities and renewed employer interest.

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