Most LinkedIn profiles I see are boring. Their headline tells me nothing. They miss the opportunity to ‘Tell me their Story’ – at a glance. Further, they miss the opportunity to be found through important keywords.

Everyone has the ability to edit their headline, so why do so few of us do it?

optimise your linkedin headline

‘Managing Director of ABCo. PLC’ and ‘Branch Manager at XYX Ltd’ tell me nothing.

…and the worst of them all:

“Looking for a new opportunity”

“Seeking a new challenge”

Desperate or what! Trust me, no recruiter goes to LinkedIn and searches for people ‘Looking for a new opportunity’!

This is THE place to tell your story. It’s your 2 second elevator pitch, so why suck at it?

Technically you have 120 characters to use, but let me give you an #Advanced Tip.

Just use 96.

Why?

Because when you use 120 characters the copy divides itself over two lines and looks like this:

optimise your linkedin headline

When you craft that copy in only 96 characters it stays on one line and looks neat and tidy, like this:

optimise your linkedin headline

Visually, I believe this makes much more of an impact. Telling your story in 96 characters also forces you to get to the point.

So what should you say?

I have two criteria:

Include the keywords that you would wish to be found for.
Let me know how you can help me.

Interestingly this can be a really difficult task. In my LinkedIn training sessions I get people to take 5 mins out and write down their own keywords. This is something many have not done before. Then I ask them to put the words into a sentence. Writing it in the first person is best, after all, this is about YOU!

Then you have it – the perfect headline.

But wait – there’s more….

The new-look version of your LinkedIn profile now includes a clip of your Summary, like this:

optimise your linkedin headline

You see how the first two lines of your Summary appears directly underneath your headline?

optimise your linkedin headline

This is the first paragraph of your Summary that people will see. It is your extended headline. It should tell a further story in itself.

So how many characters appear in this place that will be viewable on the desktop version of your profile?

It is between 223 and 226.

And the very special tip is this. End the sentence with a full stop, followed by two spaces, then another full stop. .

The reason is this. There is a glitch in the algorithm that displays the content in this area. The sentence will either tail-off midway through….. Or it will close up.Like this.

Either way it looks sloppy. Being really accurate with the number of characters that tells your extended story gives your profile the added advantage of:

Looking really clever

Getting your key message across

Makes you someone more likely to be connected with

So there you have it. How to create the most impactful headline ever. As the saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. Make sure it is a stunning one!


Nigel is a Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Strategist, Trainer & Advisor, helping businesses and organisations grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. He is an accomplished and engaging LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. He helps decision makers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients. He is a connector of people and opportunities and has a passion to improve the value people and businesses derive from better use of marketing technology, not forgetting the human touch.

Nigel has worked with a wide variety of clients, from one-man businesses through to FTSE 100 companies, firms, universities, charities and central UK government.

He can be reached via email at nigel@valueexchange.co.uk

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