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Published
Aug 12, 2022
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Updated
Sep 15, 2022

LinkedIn Headlines for Job Seekers: The Complete Guide

Melissa Ripp

Those 220 characters under your name are the most important part of your profile. Here's how to craft a great LinkedIn headline and 16 inspiring examples.

As you're updating your LinkedIn profile, don’t sleep on what might be the most valuable real estate on your entire profile: your headline. Those 220 characters may not seem like a big deal—but they’re the most important piece of content on your entire page. 

Here’s a guide on why LinkedIn headlines for job seekers are so valuable, how to update your headline, as well as some tips and tricks—and many examples from your job-seeking peers—to make sure yours is working hard for you. 

Why Is Your LinkedIn Headline So Important?

 

In addition to being a professional network, LinkedIn is a search engine. And when someone searches for you there, your headline is one of the first pieces of information people see about you — along with your name and profile photo. 

As part of your job seeker to-do list, you’ve given your LinkedIn profile a complete overhaul. You’ve written your bio in the About section, crafting it in a way that tells your story and what you bring to the table. You’ve built out your Experience section with keywords that recruiters and hiring managers are looking for. You've sourced recommendations from your peers and previous managers, and even utilized the Featured section to highlight the top posts and content you’ve created. You feel good. And, you should! LinkedIn is an important tool for job seekers, and it’s critical to level up the information above.

Think of your LinkedIn headline as a one-line resume to entice recruiters and hiring managers to learn more about you. The more compelling that headline is, the more likely they’ll take the next step to click into your profile and learn more. 

Your LinkedIn headline also shows up in the results of Google and other search engines. 

  

How To Update Your Headline on LinkedIn

 

In case you need a refresher on how to update your LinkedIn headline, all it takes are four easy steps:

 #1: When logged into LinkedIn, click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn profile.

 #2: Click View Profile. 

 

How to update LinkedIn profile step 2

 

#3: Click the Edit icon in your introduction section (on my profile below, it’s the pencil icon right above my company name). 

 

How to update LinkedIn profile step 3

 

#4: In the Edit Intro pop-up window, make your changes in the Headline field. 

 

How to update LinkedIn profile step 4

After your changes have been made, click Save. That’s it!

 

Tips for Crafting a Great LinkedIn Headline

 

It can be intimidating to try and pack what you’re looking for, your experience and the results you’ve had all into one tiny headline, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to make it easier:

 

Simplify and use a formula

The best way to start crafting your headline is to think about it as a formula. For job seekers, the general rule of thumb is to concentrate equally on keywords (remember that part about LinkedIn being a search engine?) and the value you’d bring to a role or company. 

Here’s a sample formula to get you started:

Title you are targeting | Relevant Skill 1 | Relevant Skill 2 | Relevant Skill 3 | Mini-pitch that illustrates your value and accomplishments (“I help X do Y” or “I drove X in Y way”).

 

Build in keywords using skills and potential roles

How do you decide which keywords to build into your LinkedIn headline? Chances are, you already know many of the industry and skill-based keywords your target audience is using to find job seekers like you.

If you want to be sure you're aligning your keywords to the jobs you’re looking for? Teal’s Job Tracker is a great tool. In the same way the tracker can reveal and highlight keywords to update your resume, the tool can also be used for helping to narrow down LinkedIn keywords. Create a list of the most common keywords for your dream roles—and try to elegantly use as many of those in your LinkedIn headline as you can.

Show your value

Your relevant skills and roles are important, but the other critical component of a LinkedIn headline for job seekers is a clear value proposition. Your professional value proposition, in fact.

Letting recruiters and hiring managers know what kind of value they can expect from you will set you apart from the “sea of sameness” often seen on LinkedIn profiles. With the right headline, you might even get recruiters reaching out to you on LinkedIn.

Let’s say you’re a sales manager, looking for another sales manager role. Did you consistently lead your team over quota for consecutive quarters? Do you have data you can share on your success? Or, if you’re a marketing manager: do you have analytics on how your programs and initiatives generated leads and increased overall product revenue?

Or, taking a cue from our “I help X do Y” example above, you can simply share what you love to do, and how this work lights you up. 

Putting these tips together, here’s what this looks like in real life:

 

Jessica Cieply LinkedIn

 

You’ll see Jessica has a clear “I help X do Y” statement at the beginning of her headline, and then leads into her keywords — a blend of roles and skills she’s looking for.

One thing to remember: Just like the other information on your profile, you don’t have to lock yourself into one LinkedIn headline. Test out different variations—with other keywords and relevant skills, or results you’ve had in previous roles—to see if that increases the number of people (and type of people) who are viewing your profile. 

 

16 Inspiring LinkedIn Headlines for Job Seekers

 

As you’re working to craft your own headline, draw some inspiration from these examples. You’ll see a great mix of intentional keywords, individual value propositions, and in some cases, small personal details that make you want to click in and find out more:

 

 

Tori Whaley LinkedIn
Tori Whaley

 

 

James Gilchrist LinkedIn
James Gilchrist

 

 

Courtney Warman Recio LinkedIn
Courtney Warman Recio

 

 

Christina McIntyre LinkedIn
Christina McIntyre

 

Dahlia Cole LinkedIn
Dahlia Cole

 

A. Michelle Lee LinkedIn
A. Michelle Lee

 

Stephanie Walker LinkedIn
Stephanie Walker

 

Katherine Bui LinkedIn
Katherine Bui


Kaylee Cannizzo LinkedIn
Kaylee Cannizzo

 

Jake Rhea LinkedIn
Jake Rhea

 

 

Sonja Vulic LinkedIn
Sonja Vulic

 

Jill Astoreca LinkedIn
Jill Astoreca

 

 

Christian Jordan LinkedIn
Christian Jordan

 

Montana Hallock LinkedIn
Montana Hallock

 

 

Bash Kamara LinkedIn
Bash Kamara

 

Mary Ellen Androsky LinkedIn
Mary Ellen Androsky

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I’m actively looking for a job. Should I explicitly say that in my LinkedIn headline?

 

If you’re using LinkedIn’s “Open to Work” banner, you shouldn’t need to repeat that you’re looking for new opportunities. You only get 220 characters, and if you start your headline by saying “Seeking a new opportunity,” you’ve already used up 25 of those characters. 

And, put yourself in a recruiter or hiring manager’s shoes. Would they rather spend their time reading about how someone is actively looking for a new role, or do they want to see how a job seeker will add value to the organization they’re hiring for?

 

I’ve had a lot of success in my career. I should brag about it in my headline, right? 

 

Yes and no. If there’s a clear win that you’ve had in your career that adds value (you’ll see examples of this in the headlines we’ve gathered below!), by all means, add it! A good rule of thumb, however, is to concentrate on nouns, not adjectives. Meaning: try to avoid words like “top-performing,” “hardworking,” “successful,” and “driven.”

Part of the reason for this is that you have limited space to make an impact. The other reason is that while you are undoubtedly all these things, it’s best to focus on making your headline the reason they click into your profile — and then use your Experience to further talk about your successes. 

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Melissa Ripp

Mel Ripp is a freelance writer and communications strategist who loves sharing new perspectives on career change, employee and candidate experience, and company culture. When she’s not working, she’s most likely buying another houseplant, rearranging her record collection for the millionth time, or planning her next travel adventure.

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