Your LinkedIn headline is the first thing people see when they search your profile. That makes it prime real estate and a critical place to make a strong impression. Sadly, many people waste the space with generic or basic phrases. While it can be daunting to find your career voice, it is worse if you don’t at least try. When you don’t make the attempt it is quite obvious and it comes off as lazy, complacent or out of touch. A far cry from the traits you’d like to have associated with your name. The following three headlines are some of the worst offenders. If you are using any of these, it’s time to make some major changes.
1. Currently employed. If you're chuckling at that, you aren’t alone and I will remind you these are examples from real user profiles. When I see this on a profile I just want to contact the user and beg them to change it. I fight the urge but here’s why it’s so flawed. This headline gives off the impression that you have nothing exciting to share and you have no idea what you bring to the table. Talk about building a brand no one wants to know more about! It is great that you are employed, and hopefully, since you are putting so much emphasis on it, you really love your job. Either way, you can do better than this lackluster statement.
2. Job title, no specifics. Program Director, Writer, Sales Rep… the list goes on. This headline choice is baffling because it means you went a step beyond LinkedIn’s default only to include LESS. By choosing to be so vague you’ve willingly given up any chance to stand out among a sea of people with the same job title. You've gone out of your way to include the bare minimum and therefore sold yourself short. There is much more to you than a bland title but you’ve failed in every way to assert your unique value.
3. Seeking employment. It’s one thing to spread the word to your network that you are looking for a new job but advertising it on LinkedIn should be cautioned against. Using it as your headline reeks of desperation. By solely using those two words to define your current status you’ve basically proclaimed to anyone that stumbles across you, “I just need a job”. It destroys any work you've done on your profile to try and paint a cohesive picture of who you are and what you can deliver. You paint an oh-so-sad picture: instead of a professional powerhouse, you’ve diminished your brand to the last kid to get picked for dodgeball. Turn perception around; use this area of high visibility to toot your own horn and share specifically what you do better than anyone else. Put what you have to offer front and center and don’t allow your brand to be defined by a short-term bump in the road.
Banish these three headlines from your repertoire. They don't serve a purpose and they actually can undo all the smart branding you've done up to this point. Seize every opportunity to take control of your career story; you'll regret it if you don't.
Ready to take your career to the next level, land the job of your dreams, or just tell your story in a way that doesn’t make you sound like everyone else? Red Letter Resumes crafts a brand around YOUR experience and skills so you can have the career you’ve always wanted. (No templates or clichés here.) If you have ambition, focus and won’t settle for anything less than you deserve, work with us. If you just want a paycheck and will settle for the status quo, we aren’t the team for you.
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