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How to Spice Up Your LinkedIn Profile Headline

The 120-character space right below your name, known as your LinkedIn headline, defaults to your current position title and company name. Boring. That’s why I have some tips on how to spice up the most precious real estate on your LinkedIn profile.

How to Spice Up Your LinkedIn Profile Headline

While not quite as exciting as when I took the above pic while spicing up my life on a four-month solo backpacking adventure in India in my early 30s, here’s a way to spice up your professional image, capture attention and showcase your most marketable skills within your LinkedIn headline.

As LinkedIn ambassador Lindsey Pollak affirms in her free, info-packed monthly LinkedIn Job Search Fundamentals webinars, your headline is the most important real estate on your profile, and I’m gonna help you work it.

For those on the more conservative side, why not use the headline to highlight a passion point from your current role, like Team-Empowering Sales Leader, or splash some of your most marketable attributes, like Business Development Leader | Marketing Strategist | Creative Competitor? You can also add skills or achievements highly desired by recruiters, such as Python, Six Sigma Green Belt, MBA or CPA. Or simply use the space to define your reach and expertise, like Local, Regional & National Media Expert. And if you’re hesitant to position yourself as an expert, you can always substitute with enthusiast, guru or pro.

And what about those of you interested in showing a bit more personality? The headline of my absolutely fabulous editor, Jennifer George, Smart Person for Hire, inspires grins and profile peeks. My equally fabulous life and career coach, Amy Peloso, shows her playful side and defines her value through her headline, Happiness Advocate, Chief Advice Giver & Personal Growth Igniter. And when I recently received an invite to connect from the headline, Entrepreneur | Futurist | Righter of Wrongs | Wicked Cool Guy, he grabbed my attention and prompted me to see what he had to offer.

Has a symbol in someone else’s headline or profile, like a star, check mark or arrow, ever caught your eye, yet you weren’t quite sure how to add that touch of bling? It’s easy. Simply copy and paste the symbol where you want it. You can also check out Symbols for Your LinkedIn Profile, by Donna Schilder, MCC, Executive & Career Coach, as she provides a great one-stop shop of options.

With one of my techie clients who’d recently earned a master’s in mathematics, I packed her headline with keywords and spiced it up with simple math symbols to create a Technical Visionary + Product Innovation Enthusiast = Patented Software Designer & Developer.

If you’re a creative freak like I am, you can also dig for other choices by browsing symbols offered through Word or Pages. That’s how I added a new look to my current headline, Career Storyteller ⌘ Resume Revitalizer ⌘ LinkedIn Wordsmith. Since not all symbols copy and appear on LinkedIn as they do within a doc on your desktop, you might have to test a few options, but when you find the right accent, you’ll grin with satisfaction.

Need more inspiration to get your headline juices flowing? You can easily scope out your connections’ headlines by scrolling down to that section of your profile.

A word of caution. Even if you’ve unchecked the box within your Privacy Controls section, thinking that you’ve turned off your activity broadcasts, if you change your headline it WILL show up as an update to your connections. So, if you’re worried what your coworkers or boss might think of a snazzy new headline you had in mind, then I might recommend taking a more conservative approach or reserving your headline makeover for a more ideal time.

On the flipside, those actively seeking employment can add to the tail end of their headline something like, Seeking New Opportunity or Seeking New Challenge, but by all means avoid adding the term unemployed, as no recruiter or hiring manager would ever search using that word.

And while LinkedIn allows you to create a headline up to 120 characters, your headline could be cut short when recruiters view your profile or your updates on their mobile devices, so remember to put the most prominent words up front.

LinkedIn’s Help Center entry, Editing Your Professional Headline, is rather lean on details, but by all means check out the post if you need help getting back to basics – like finding where the heck you need to go to edit your LinkedIn headline in the first place.

Good luck!


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