Getting started on LinkedIn – Part Two – Your LinkedIn headline

Getting started on LinkedIn: Part Two – Your LinkedIn Headline

Why is your LinkedIn headline important?

Your LinkedIn headline is a vital part of your LinkedIn profile because:

  • It appears at the top of your profile and is one of the first things people see about you
  • It shows in search results (and if you don’t have a photograph it is the only thing that is shown)
  • It appears next to any comments you make anywhere on LinkedIn (in groups, on other’s status updates etc)
  • It appears on any posts you publish

  • It shows in search results (and if you don’t have a photograph it is the only thing that is shown)
  • Any keywords placed or repeated within it influence how high up you appear in search results (together with the rest of your profile)
  • It gives you the opportunity to highlight the skills you want to be known for on LinkedIn
  • It also appears on your Slideshare profile

What to put into your headline

By default LinkedIn will copy the job title from your most recent position and put make it your headline. If you’ve put Owner or another similar job title that’s a wasted opportunity.

It needs to be attractive and tell the viewer what you can do for them. Sentences or phrases are fine. If you are an expert in what you do, say so! If possible mention who you work with.

I recommend choosing the top 2 or 3 skills in your profile (the ones that you really want to be known for on LinkedIn) and crafting a headline based around them.

For example:

  • Financial advisor specialising in wealth management for high net worth individuals. Tax planning expert.
  • International author, trainer & public speaker specialising in corporate leadership, vision, values & communication.
  • ICF Accredited Coach specialising in leadership development, executive & group coaching | Leadership facilitator
  • Experienced Chartered Surveyor for Commercial Property | Lease Advice | Property Management.
  • Amazon Bestselling Author and Professional Speaker helping women climb the corporate ladder.

In Phyllis’s example below we worked together to establish what these skills were, created a sentence around the most important one and added the others as secondary phrases.

linkedin headline 4




If you are stuck for ideas then search for some of your competitors and see how they describe themselves and adapt for your own headline.

How much space do you have?

120 characters is the limit and you can fit a lot into it. (As of 2018 you now have 220 characters rather than 120 so make the most of it!)

You can find out more about the space available in each field in LinkedIn in my previous LinkedIn post here.

How can you make it look more interesting?

Separate sentences or phrases with special characters such as | or * or ♦ or ◊ or >. One thing to bear in mind, if someone prints off your profile these may not be displayed.

Tweet: You are 14x more likely to be viewed if you have a photograph on your LinkedIn profile #LinkedInTip #LinkedInStatistic  Your #LinkedIn #Headline: Be creative, what’s in it for your reader?


Quick Tip No 1: If you update your job title in your current position remember to un-check the box to update your headline.

Quick Tip No 2: Change your headline to reflect current circumstances.

What have you chosen for your headline? Please add your comments below.

If you’d like to know why your LinkedIn profile photograph is important please read this blog post.

Next time I will blog about your LinkedIn contact details.

If you’d like help with updating your profile take a look at the LinkedIn services we offer here.