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Apr 18 2014

linkedin headlineIn the psychology of design, your LinkedIn headline is known as Caption Text, that is, any text that appears beneath or next to an image as if to explain it’s context.

Think about the last magazine you read. Your eye went to the picture, then the text below it looking for context.

It’s no wonder that eye tracking studies of people looking at LinkedIn profiles routinely show the headline as the #2 area just after the picture.

Furthermore, the headline is the only text presented next to your photo on a search results page. A good headline gets the click. A boring headline and the entire profile get’s ignored.

Despite the Headline’s relative importance, it amazes me how little time people devote to it.

Look. You have 120 characters to make a powerful first impression. Why not take full advantage of that opportunity.

If your headline is less than 100 characters, chances are you’re just using your job title.

I saw a headline once, “Senior Software Engineer | QA”. The guy lived in the San Francisco area. Do you want to guess how many other engineers he’s competing with for attention? Thousands.

Don’t commoditize yourself. You are more than your job title.

He might have added, “Enabling quality time to market products for 9 years” to show that he understands the business problem, time to market deadlines.

Here are some Headline writing guidelines:

  • Use up as much of those 120 characters as possible

  • Include your job title but…

  • add more than just your title, make your profile unique and interesting

  • Show you understand your target audience by mentioning a problem you solve

Privacy is an illusion. If recent events haven’t proven that, then a simple Google search for your name would. Yet more importantly, any attempt to be anonymous on LinkedIn undermines the entire reason for having a profile there. Ask yourself, what do I want to accomplish from using LinkedIn? If your answer is somewhere in the vicinity of, “I’d like
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Apr 16 2014

You might not know this, but there’s a way to flag Google search results  and have them reviewed by Google’s lawyers. Through a law project called Chilling Effects, you can automatically send Google a Cease & Desist using this form: Google’s Removal Form. Keep in mind that requests are honored only if they see liability, or a potential breach in the law…afterall
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