With 332 million users from over 200 countries and 2 new members joining every minute, LinkedIn is not yet the giant that common social media Facebook and Twitter are, but it’s getting there.

In case you’re wondering how significant LinkedIn is becoming, see some stats:

  • More than 4 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.
  • Over 39 million students and recent grads are on LinkedIn and this is their fastest-growing demographic.
  • 100 percent of Fortune 500 companies from 2013 were on LinkedIn.
  • 92 percent of Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s corporate talent solutions for recruiting.
  • CEO’s have an average of 930 LinkedIn connections.
  • 100% of the top 50 law firms in the US have a LinkedIn page.
  • 57% of US Charities and Non-profits use LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is available in 20 languages.

Whatever your line of work, LinkedIn is relevant with 94% of recruiters using LinkedIn to vet possible candidates. Most people don’t put much effort or attention into their LinkedIn headline and that’s a big mistake. The headline offers you 120 words to get your point across and the better you use this tool, the more effectively you’ll be able to attract recruiters who are interested in what you can offer. Here are some tips on how to do that:

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1. Use keywords

Read job descriptions and identify keywords for the jobs you’re applying for. Use these keywords in your headline. This is like SEO for LinkedIn. Up your chances of getting noticed by the right recruiters by speaking their language. Check out this link for a lesson in dissecting a job description to identify keywords.

2. Be specific

This may be difficult for some people who have many skills or who’ve had established careers in a number of different areas, but specificity is the name of the recruiting game. What job are you looking for at this moment? What career do you want now? Focus on that. If you’re not specific about what you do, how can you expect recruiters to find you? No matter how interesting your profile may be, recruiters are going to contact people who speak to their needs and who leave no doubt as to what they’re about. The sooner you can get this message across (i.e. in your headline), the more likely you will be reached out.

3. Talk about what you do and not what you are

LinkedIn’s default headline is your current job title and company. But job titles can be incredibly vague and don’t say nearly enough about what you do. Office manager? Sales Representative? What does that really tell the recruiter? How about “RN (registered nurse) with 15 years experience caring for end stage cancer patients”? That tells a story and it’s specific. Recruiters looking for an RN with experience caring for cancer patients would likely contact a person with this headline.

4. Be creative

This one can easily go wrong, so pay attention. You want to be specific, use keywords and talk about what you do, but if you can manage to squeeze in some personality that lets them know you’re also human or actually make them smile, well, that’s recruiting pay dirt. Remember, it must be done right, otherwise, you may find yourself featured on “LinkedIn’s Most Cringeworthy Headlines” and nowhere closer to your dream job. Tactful humor is the way to go here. Try investing in one of the recommended LinkedIn profile writing services if you want to maximize the potential of your LinkedIn profile. Here are some examples:

Early Childhood educator with 8 years of experience taking your children off your hands and molding them into angels. You’re welcome.

The Mercedes Whisperer, 20 years of specialized Mercedes auto mechanics.

5. Test it

The above tips are a formula with many variables and the most successful headline could include any number of combinations. Do some A/B testing by changing your headline every couple of months. Keep track of the responses you got with each headline and see which one seemed to work best. This not only gets you in the practice of writing effective LinkedIn headlines for yourself but keeps your profile fresh and interesting for the ones checking it out.

Good luck and happy job hunting!

Cari Bennette, professional writer and content manager for custom writing service JetWriters.com. She has 4 years of experience in writing, editing and proofreading in different areas.

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