How To Write A LinkedIn Headline (With 12+ Real Examples)

By Chris Kolmar and Experts - Nov. 8, 2021

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Your LinkedIn profile can be a huge part of your job search success. In many cases, hiring managers will refer to a job candidate’s LinkedIn page to quickly summarize the applicant’s professional experience, background, and expertise.

Building an eye-catching LinkedIn profile will improve your chances of advancing to the next stage of the job application process.

And to make something that catches the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers, you’ll want to start with an engaging headline. Something that says “read more about me and you won’t be disappointed.” We’ll cover exactly how to make a LinkedIn headline to be proud of, as well as real examples of great headlines from folks in varying industries.

Why LinkedIn Headlines Are Important

As a general rule, you should pay the most attention to those parts of your LinkedIn page that are likely to come under a hiring manager or potential employer’s closest scrutiny. In light of that, you should be sure to pay extra careful attention to your LinkedIn headline. There are three reasons for this:

  1. Your headline is likely to be the first bit of information that a hiring manager or recruiter on your LinkedIn page is going to read, and

  2. Your headline provides you with the perfect opportunity to summarize your work experience, skills, and background in a succinct and eye-catching manner.

    When you’ve crafted a high-quality LinkedIn headline, you’ll make it that much more likely that a hiring manager will also be interested in viewing your resume and cover letter.

How to Write a LinkedIn Headline

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to LinkedIn headlines, using a few of these general approaches should help ensure a solid end result.

  1. Don’t leave your headline as the default. For starters, you should know that LinkedIn uses your current job title for your headline as a default (e.g., Editor at XYZ Inc.). That’s not horrible, but with 220 characters to work with, you have much more room to add keywords to get you found in recruiters’ searches.

    Bonus tip: If you haven’t set up the rest of your page or you don’t have a current job set on LinkedIn, recruiters might be seeing your name followed by “Unemployed at unemployed.” You’re much better off setting up a headline describing your most recent role or discussing your current job search goals.

  2. Talk skills. Most savvy job seekers know the importance of keywords in resumes for getting past ATS. But many fail to realize they’re equally important in getting inbound interest from recruiters. Your headline is a great place to put some of your most valuable hard skills that recruiters are 100% using to search for quality candidates.

    There are varying degrees of “keyword-stuffing” you can try (again, there’s no singular approach to a good LinkedIn headline). You could go with something straightforward like “AutoCAD | Project Management | 2D + 3D Rendering,” or a more subtle “Senior Engineer with a specialty in AutoCAD projects.”

  3. Talk opportunity. If you’re a recent graduate, a career-changer, or have been out of work for a while, you can use your headline to describe what type of career you’re looking for. Still mention your background and relevant experience/skills, but focus more on what you’d like to with them.

    For example, “UVM graduate w/ communications degree seeking role at local marketing agency” or “Software engineering graduate seeking entry-level opportunity | Java, SQL, C++”

  4. Think about how your job helps people. This is a great hack for describing your job duties as well. Interior decorator? “I help people arrange homes in a way that promotes good mental health.” Warehouse worker? “I help ensure that people get their deliveries on time and in good condition.”

    This little formula can help you sell your perspective on your role and/or the field as a whole, and it can be a much more natural way to work some keywords into your headline.

Tips for Crafting an Eye-Catching LinkedIn Headline

Just like every other step in your search for a new job, you should approach the process of crafting your LinkedIn headline carefully and methodically. If you rush the process by, say, creating a vague and uninformative headline, you’re likely to leave hiring managers and recruiters confused and uncertain about hiring you.

Including too much information, on the other hand, is also a reliable way to lose the interest of a potential employer who has gone out of their way to visit your LinkedIn page.

In other words, the key is to craft a brief (but comprehensive) LinkedIn headline that provides a legitimate introduction to your unique professional profile. Put another way, your LinkedIn headline should grab a reader’s attention and tell them: “Keep reading – it will be worth your while!”

To give you a clearer picture of those ideas in action, here are five simple rules to keep in mind as you start to craft your LinkedIn headline:

  • Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Again, most hiring managers are very busy people, so they typically don’t have time to read through a dissertation-length LinkedIn headline. In fact, the length of your LinkedIn headline should ideally not exceed one or two sentences, and it should also not be too wordy.

    Keep the information that you include in your headline succinct and directly relevant to your goals. Think of it like an elevator pitch, only shorter.

    Don’t do this:

    Software engineer with a master’s degree from Cornell University and a passion for helping companies in the gaming space improve and grow. During my tenure with Y Company, I oversaw the successful launch of an innovative piece of application software that drove brand engagement up 45% over the span of two years. I specialize in helping to make innovative dreams a reality!”

    Do this instead

    “Software engineer with Y company – Passionate about developing innovative systems that will usher in the future of gaming.”

  • Make it clear from the very beginning what sets you apart from the crowd. As a job applicant, you should always remember that hiring managers tend to peruse application materials rather quickly. Only rarely will a hiring manager have the time or bandwidth to carefully analyze every tiny detail of a candidate’s application (which almost always includes their LinkedIn profile).

    Therefore, it’s crucial for your LinkedIn headline to clearly communicate why you’re unique from other candidates. Don’t just give hiring managers a generic overview of your professional background – give them some concrete details that will make them want to keep looking into you.

    Don’t do this:

    Product manager, X Company”

    Do this instead

    “PMC-certified product manager, specializing in planning and facilitating successful product launches in overseas markets.”

  • Keep your target audience in mind. Your LinkedIn headline should be crafted so that it directly addresses employers in your target industry. This might sound obvious, but it’s actually a frequently overlooked fact.

    Don’t do this:

    “Copywriter with extensive background across multiple industries.”

    Do this instead:

    “Copywriter with a background in project management, helping to organize, revitalize, and craft innovative content strategies.”

  • Be as specific as possible. Remember, your LinkedIn headline should be directly relevant to the industry, company, or role that you’re looking to be hired into. And the more specific you can make your headline, the more relevant and useful your profile is likely to be to a hiring manager’s needs.

    Don’t do this:

    “School teacher with a passion for education and providing children with a rich learning environment.”

    Do this instead

    “Passionate elementary school teacher focused on providing rich learning experiences for socioeconomically disadvantaged children.”

  • Don’t be boastful. You want to come across as competent and capable, but not braggy. It can be counterproductive to your goals, for example, to describe yourself as “the best” or “amazing.” Oftentimes, using hyperbolic language like this can produce the opposite of your intended effect.

    So, rather than using boastful descriptors for yourself, try inserting some details that will actually prove to a hiring manager that you’re a cut above the rest.

    Don’t do this:

    “Top-of-the-line registered nurse with a perfect track record of providing hospice care.”

    Do this instead

    “Dedicated registered nurse with more than five years of experience providing empathetic hospice care to patients in multiple New York City hospitals.”

Examples of LinkedIn Headlines from Twelve Influential People

Now that we understand some of the basic rules of crafting a LinkedIn headline, it’s time to turn our attention to some real-world examples.

Here are twelve examples of actual headlines that are currently featured on the LinkedIn profiles of twelve influential people (as well as brief bios of the people themselves):

  • Tim Ferriss: Bestselling author, human guinea pig. Experiments: tim.blog

    Tim Ferriss is an author, blogger, and podcast host. In the headline above, he manages to perfectly balance humor with practical information. He also includes a link to his blog, enabling readers to quickly and seamlessly access some of his work.

    As a job candidate, you might consider mirroring this tactic by including a link to a portfolio or other personal website in your LinkedIn headline.

  • Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes: Co-Founder President at Black Mountain – International (Battery Metals, Tight Gas)

    Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes is an entrepreneur who is focused on developing cleaner practices for extracting natural resources. She was also recently featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list. Ashley’s current LinkedIn headline is an excellent example of a concise and to-the-point summary of one’s professional background and specialties.

  • Allie Miller: Forbes AI Innovator of the Year | Artificial Intelligence at Amazon | LinkedIn Top Voice 2019 and 2020 | 800K+ followers

    Allie Miller is a highly influential AI researcher. In the LinkedIn headline above, Allie provides us with a straightforward and informative outline of her credentials, accolades, and social media influence.

  • Boyan Slat: Founder and CEO at The Ocean Cleanup

    Boyan Slat is a Dutch entrepreneur and CEO who is becoming increasingly prominent in the worldwide effort to remove garbage and other pollutants from the world’s oceans. His LinkedIn headline provides a brief overview of his current role, as well as the name of the organization that he founded in 2013.

  • Nadia Genevieve Masri: Forbes 30 Under 30. CNBC Top 100. TEDx Speaker. Building the next generation of consumer insights.

    Another member of the prestigious Forbes “30 Under 30” list, Nadia is an influential thought leader and entrepreneur in the marketing and advertising industries. Her LinkedIn headline is a great example of how one can provide practical information and outline their professional accomplishments without coming across as boastful.

  • Selby Drummond: Chief Brand Officer at Bumble

    Selby’s headline is the perfect example of a no-fluff introduction to a LinkedIn profile: Simple, unpretentious, and straight to the point.

  • Sujan Patel: Co-founder of Mailshake – We’re hiring!

    Like Selby Drummond’s headline above, Sujan Patel lists his current role and company name in an easily-digestible, no-nonsense manner. At the same time, he also provides readers with a call to action (“we’re hiring!”) that is likely to prompt further engagement with his personal profile and his company.

  • David Edelman: Former Fortune 50 CMO; Current: Executive Advisor, Digital and Marketing Transformation.

    In the LinkedIn headline above, David Edelman gives us a clear and concise description of his most notable previous role, as well as an overview of his current position and specialty.

  • Nate Higgins: Products that help people.

    Nate Higgins is the founder and CEO of Kure, a Portland, Oregon-based juice bar and health foods company. He provides an illustrative example of how a LinkedIn profile can be leveraged for more than just communicating concrete facts; it can also be a great opportunity to share a brand value that will appeal to potential new partners and customers.

  • Kelly McCarthy: Senior Vice President, Director, Global Brand Communications (Marketing) at Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy/LVMH, Inc.

    Kelly provides us with a comprehensive and detailed outline of her (highly decorated) professional experience without being excessively wordy.

  • Tristan Harris: Co-Founder at Center for Humane Technology

    Tristan is an entrepreneur and activist who was recently featured in “The Social Dilemma,” a documentary that premiered on Netflix in 2020. His LinkedIn headline provides us with an instructive overview of his primary professional focus, and it also gives us a hint into his personal values and ethical goals.

  • Clair Coder: Founder CEO, Aunt Flow. PPE Production. Forbes 30 Under 30. Thiel Fellow.

    Yet another great example of how a LinkedIn headline can provide a reader with a vivid snapshot into an individuals’ professional life and notable achievements. In this headline, Claire provides us with the perfect balance of information and brevity.

How to Change Your LinkedIn Headline

Changing your LinkedIn headline is pretty straightforward:

  1. Go to your LinkedIn profile.

  2. Press the edit icon (looks like a pencil) on the right-hand side of the page.

  3. Change the text under “Headline” (it’s between “Pronouns” and “Current Position”)

  4. Press save.

Final Thoughts

Taking the time to craft the optimal LinkedIn headline can go a long way towards helping you to land your dream job. As you set out to prepare your LinkedIn headline, be sure to study the headlines of influential people who are currently in similar roles. This will give you a much clearer idea of the tone, length, and style you should aim for in your own LinkedIn headline.

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Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

Expert

Matt Warzel, CPRW, CIR

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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