If you want to increase your visibility and gain exposure on LinkedIn, you need to start with an eye-catching headline.
Your headline is the first thing recruiters and potential employers see. It’s the reason they either click on your profile or keep scrolling. It’s what makes your headline prime real estate.
This article will look at the best LinkedIn headline examples for job seekers, including students, recent graduates, experienced job seekers and career changers.
How to Write a LinkedIn Headline That Gets You Noticed
It can be difficult to reduce your professional persona to a single headline, but there are a few tips you can follow for the best results.
The best LinkedIn headlines include all (or most) of the following:
- Your core skills or abilities.
- One or more keywords for the job you either have or want (see next section)
- Your existing job title and position.
- Something that makes you valuable. This could be a qualification, an accomplishment, or a future goal.
- The number of years of experience you have.
How to Choose the Right Keywords
While LinkedIn is many things, it’s first and foremost a search engine.
If you want to be noticed by potential employers and recruiters, you need to identify the keywords and phrases they might use to search for you, then incorporate those phrases into an eye-catching headline.
These keywords might include basic and technical skills, job titles, positions held, geographical locations, or even qualifications.
Another way to find keywords is to do comparative research.
This would typically include searching for people on LinkedIn that hold similar qualifications to you, or those employed in your desired industry, then making a note of the keywords they include on their profile.
Lastly, LinkedIn itself can help you identify keywords. When you add skills in the dropdown list on your profile, LinkedIn will suggest keywords regularly used by headhunters and recruiters.
The Best LinkedIn Headline Examples for Job Seekers (Unemployed)
To create an effective LinkedIn headline when you’re unemployed, focus on the positions you’re looking for and how you can help your future employer.
As an unemployed job seeker, your aim is to come across as enthusiastic without also seeming desperate.
Try these LinkedIn headline formulas for unemployed job seekers:
1. “Desired Role Keywords / How You Help Employers / Call to Action”
“Graphic Designer / Let me bring your designs to life / Call me!”
“Photographer / I Produce and Preserve Images / Portfolio in Profile”
“Video Editor / I help with on-demand video design / Check out the video testimonials below”
This formula allows you to present yourself as the professional you are without addressing your current unemployment, while also leveraging keywords to optimize your position in LinkedIn search results.
The second part of this headline exists to highlight your value, which will net you a far better response than simply listing your qualifications (which, by the way, is already stated on your profile).
Lastly, the call to action at the end tells recruiters how best to get in touch with you, making it more likely they will actually do so. This is a proven copywriting technique used in all forms of advertising.
2. “Role You Want / Your Qualifications / Problems You Solve”
“Talent Developer Leader / PHR, CEBS / Improving Organizational Outcomes”
“Copywriter / BSB4215, BA-AD / Increasing Collaboration between Marketing and Design”
“Business Analyst / MBA / Improving Business Analytics Through Data Insights”
This LinkedIn headline example starts out similar to the previous one but has a stronger focus on qualifications.
This is ideal if you have particularly impressive qualifications, or if you’re seeking work in an industry where certain qualifications are given more weight than is typically the case.
As before, it also doesn’t scream “I’m unemployed”, which, while not necessarily a dealbreaker, isn’t something you want to advertise in a headline.
3. “Role You Want / Quantifiable Past Achievements”
“Sales Director / Generated $5 million in AD Revenue in 2020”
“Digital Advertising Manager / Generated $2.4 million in 2019”
“CFO / Controlled Team Budget with a Budget Variance of 1%”
This headline is suitable if you have measurable achievements or even just a single notable achievement relating to the desired role.
Not only does this communicate that you’re qualified for the role, but it also offers tangible proof that you get results few others in your field are able to replicate.
The Best LinkedIn Headline Examples for Students
As a student, most of the same headline rules apply as if you’re unemployed, except now you have little to no work experience to work from.
For that reason, the best LinkedIn headlines for students are those that focus more on industry-related keywords, goals and aspirations, and any outside (but reasonably related) achievements.
Try these formulas yourself:
4. “Role You Want / Industry Specific Keywords / Hard Skills”
“Financial Analyst / Forensic Accounting and Auditing / Cost Accounting”
“Digital Marketer / Facebook Ads, Lead Gen, Low CPA’s / Google Ads and Analytics Certified”
Software Developer / Full Stack Engineer / APP Building in C#, Java and Rails”
This headline makes plenty of room for keywords and common phrases in your industry, but with the added bonus of advertising your hard skills.
There are millions of Financial Analysts out there, but do they all specialize in cost accounting? Not likely.
Including your hard skills in your headline is another way to help you stand out on LinkedIn, and it gives recruiters and employers more reasons to click on your profile over someone else’s.
5. “Aspiration + Passion”
“Graphic Illustrator with a penchant for Retro Design and Old-School Animation”
“Child Psychologist with a passion for Family Dynamics and Play Therapy”
“Project Manager / Helping Manufacturers Increase Their Efficiency”
The focus is on aspiration in this headline, so lead with your future, not with your past or current situation.
Start by writing down what you’re aspiring to be in your professional life, then explain your why. A simple brainstorming exercise should net you plenty of ideas to run with.
If there’s one thing that makes up for a lack of skills or experience, it’s having the drive, passion, and enthusiasm to push forward anyway.
6. “Area of Study / Career Goal / Notable Accomplishments”
“Honours English Literature Student / Writer and Aspiring Editor / GPA 4”
“NYU Law Student / Personal Injury Lawyer / Dean’s List 2021”
“Engineering Student / Chemical Engineer / President’s List”
As before, you can’t leverage the experience you don’t have or list quantifiable work outcomes if you have none.
However, your grades are quantifiable, so let your hard work speak for itself.
These examples show recruiters you’re still a student, but they also highlight that you’re already excelling in your chosen field.
The Best LinkedIn Headline Examples for Recent Graduates (Entry-Level)
As a recent graduate, employers will understand that you have no experience, but they’ll still want to see you’re willing to work hard and are passionate about your chosen field.
Try these LinkedIn headline examples for entry-level graduates:
7. “Recent ______ graduate with a focus in ____ and ____.”
“Recent Business Graduate with a focus in Economics and Advisory Services”
“Recent Finance Graduate with a focus in Auditing and Budget Analysis”
“Recent Journalism Graduate with a focus on Corporate Communication and Public Relations”.
While it may seem counterintuitive to advertise the fact you recently graduated, doing so sets you apart from job seekers with no qualifications.
Not only that, it also signals to potential employers that you’re ready to dedicate yourself to a career you’ve been learning/training years for, and that often translates well into successful hires.
8. “Job Title / Skill Set with Individual Skills / Seeking Entry-Level Jobs”
“Social Worker / Adoption and Casework / Seeking Internship”
“Teacher / Early Childhood and Education / Seeking Entry Level Teaching role”
Including a job title and skillset ensures you show up in more search results than a graduate who leads with the headline “NYU Graduate”.
On the same note, there are always entry-level positions out there with recruiters looking to fill them, but these recruiters are likely to use the phrase “entry-level”, so it doesn’t hurt to use it.
9. “Keyword Phrase 1 / Keyword Phrase 2 / Keyword Phrase 3”
“Financial Advisor / Retirement Advisor / Investment Advisor “
“Information Technology Manager / IT Manager / IT Solutions Architect”
Human Resources Manager / HR Manager / Talent Acquisition Manager”.
This is obviously a very keyword-focused headline, with the primary goal of showing up in as many LinkedIn searches as possible.
Run with this one if you have a lot of potential keywords. For example, a recruiter looking for a Financial Advisor might search for “Financial Advisor”, “Retirement Advisor”, or “Investment Advisor”, so it’s best to include all three.
The Best LinkedIn Headline Examples for Experienced Job Seekers
Experienced job seekers often have the most competitive headlines, or at least the ingredients for it.
This is because they have a good mix of skills, experience and knowledge of the industry to be able to put something together that ticks all the right boxes.
There are many ways you can slice this, but let’s look at a few the most effective and commonly used LinkedIn headline examples:
10. “Role / Specific Achievement”
“Business Developer / 180% Increase in Revenue Growth”
“Communications Manager / Increased Facebook and Twitter Followers by 300%”
“Managing Director / 10 – 12% Growth Year on Year”.
This formula is all about being as direct as possible, and it allows you to showcase exactly what you do and how you excelled in it.
We recommend including a measurable statistic in this headline, as facts often speak for themselves.
11. “Role / Years of Experience in Your Industry”
“Human Resource Manager / 15+ years of People Management and Staffing Experience ”
“Project Manager / 10+ years Measuring and Tracking Project Progress ”
“Graphic Designer / 5+ Years Communicating Ideas with Virtual Art Forms”
This formula allows you to display your current role along with your level of experience.
You aim to advertise you’re an experienced candidate which sets you apart from recent graduates and the unemployed.
12. “Role / Specializing in _____________”
“Accountant specializing in Budgeting and Billing”
“Occupational Therapist specializing in Customized Intervention and Adaptive Devices”
“Lawyer specializing in Family Law and Divorce”
This simple formula highlights your skillset above everything else.
You’re not just a lawyer, you’re a lawyer who specializes in Family Law and Divorce, and you want recruiters to know that.
The Best LinkedIn Headline Examples for Career Changers
If you’re a career changer looking to shift into another industry, you need to pay particular attention to the keywords and phrases being used by others in your desired role.
Your headline should primarily be focused on the industry you’re transitioning into, rather than the one you’re currently in.
Let’s look at some LinkedIn headline examples for career changers:
13. “Type of Position You’re Interested In”
“Evolving Writer ready for your Newspaper”
“Developing Brand Manager ready for your Ad Department”.
“Emerging Chef ready for your restaurant”.
Are you an Ad Exec who wants to become a writer? Currently in marketing but want to move into advertising? Maybe you’re a lawyer who wants to be a chef?
Your headline should suggest a transition but you also don’t want your current position to be the focus. This headline formula is a strategic way to achieve that.
14. “What You Do / Keywords / Credible Experience”
“Creative Marketer who Builds Brands / Digital Content and Social Media / Digital Strategist”.
“Career Strategist and Life Coach / Personal Branding, Career Coaching / HR Executive”.
“Freelance Writer / Content Creation and Editing / Copywriter”.
This one is more suitable for those who are moving into somewhat related fields, meaning they can leverage at least some of their existing experience, skills and qualifications.
For example, you might be looking to move into a consultancy position where your years of experience will be valued, despite a technical “change” in career.
15. “ Role / Looking for Opportunities in”
“Financial Analyst seeking a Management Opportunity”
“Copywriter seeking Editing Position”
“Data Scientist looking for Opportunity in Analytics Management”.
This headline is for those who want to make it clear they’re transitioning without actually writing ‘transitioning’.
If you’re short for time (or maybe just creativity) and prefer an upfront and honest approach, this is the headline for you.
3 LinkedIn Headline Mistakes To Avoid
Let’s highlight some common mistakes people make on their LinkedIn headlines, and how to navigate around them.
Mistake #1. Using a Default Job Title and Company
If you allow LinkedIn to default to your job title and company you could end up with something like:
“Marketing Executive at ABC Company”.
It’s self-explanatory, but the only time this will show up in searches is if the recruiter searches for ‘Marketing Executive”.
Customizing your headline increases your chances of being seen by the right people.
A much better version would be something like:
“Marketing and Sales Executive / Advertising / Social Media / Data”
Mistake #2. Including ‘Unemployed’ in Your Headline
While it’s tempting to be open and include your employment status in your headline, you want to avoid using words that have negative connotations such as ‘unemployed’ or ‘in-between jobs’.
It might be unfair, but recruiters are biased against the unemployed, preferring candidates who already have jobs.
We suggest avoiding any words that indicate you are unemployed, including ‘seeking employment’ and ‘unemployed’. They take up valuable space in your headline and communicate that other employers haven’t found you valuable enough to hire.
Instead of highlighting your unemployment, why not focus on your values and goals?
“I offer broad-based IT Management and Application Development”
“I Help Tech Companies Grow and Develop Excellent Web Applications.
Mistake #3. Not Using Keywords in Your Headline
Which one of these headlines is going to rank higher in a search?
“Sales Executive / Advertising / Lead Generation / Digital Marketing”
Or one that simply says:
As we’ve said multiple times already (because it’s so important), the keyword optimized headline is always going to get more love from the LinkedIn algorithm.
Put yourself in the position of a recruiter. Think how they would think. Search how they would search.
That’s a Wrap!
Your LinkedIn headline may only be 220 characters, but it provides you with a platform to show prospective employers who you are and what you can do.
Use our LinkedIn headline examples and formulas above to craft a winning headline without years of copywriting experience.