Let’s say that you are an Account Executive at XYZ Company. The problem is, so is everyone else with that same role in your industry. And if a potential client or employer wants to hire you, how will they know you are the best person for the job if you look and sound like everyone else?

If you are serious about building your brand and standing out in your market so you can attract better clients or job opportunities, let's start with updating your LinkedIn headline.

What Is The Headline?

It is the line right below your profile picture and name. By default LinkedIn will populate it with your current job title and company name. But this information is already in your experience section, so there is no need to waste valuable headline space repeating information.

You can edit your headline to make it more descriptive using up to 120 characters. Considering it is one of the first things people will read on your profile, you want it to grab their attention by showcasing your value.

The idea here is that when people search for someone with your expertise, they will be using specific keywords. If your headline does not have those keywords, you will not come up in those search results - those are lost opportunities that could easily be fixed.

3 Questions Your Headline Should Answer

To attract the right clients and employers, your headline must be relevant to your audience. Here are three questions your headline should answer:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Who do you help?
  3. What results do you help them achieve?

And here is the format you should use:

Role | Industry | Customers | Expertise | Results | Accomplishment or Honors

Let's break that down in more detail:

StockSnap_ZXOBOKAJEQ1. What do you do?

This should include your job title, area or expertise, or industry. For example, job titles like Director of Operations, VP of Marketing, and Human Resources Manager. Notice these job titles have keywords like Operations, Marketing, and Human Resources. To differentiate yourself you could add more detail like your industry experience. For example, if you have a role in marketing you could add that you have done it in the fashion industry or travel industry or finance industry.

2. Who do you help?rawpixel-567016-unsplash

Now that you have identified your job function and industry, it is important to identify the types of companies or people you help. Using the VP of Marketing example, we can add that you help or work with Fortune 500 companies or socially sustainable companies or international hotel chains.


spreadsheet3. What results do you help them achieve?

The real attention grabber in your Headline will be telling your audience what results you produce or what your expertise is. Continuing with our VP of Marketing example, perhaps you work in the travel industry for an international hotel chain and you are really good at creating campaigns that produce measurable ROI.

Transform Your Headline

Using the above formula, your headline could go from "Counsel at XYZ Company" to "In-House Counsel | Commercial, IP, Technology Law | Helping Media Companies Protect IP & Grow Revenue"

or from "Associate Editor at XYZ Magazine" to "Associate Editor | Tech Start-Up Innovation | Named to Boston Magazine's Journalists to Watch in 2018".

The takeaway here is that if you want to stand out on LinkedIn, your headline can't read like everyone else's. It has to be specific, using keywords to help you rank higher in search results, and show your value by highlighting your results and accomplishments. If you want help optimizing your LinkedIn profile then schedule a free consultation with me today!

How would you improve your LinkedIn headline? Share your best ideas below!

 MoMo Chanmughan, Esq., CPCC, ACC is a certified coach and former practicing attorney who helps professionals that are feeling stuck create more fulfilling careers. He combines strategies from the areas of professional development, emotional intelligence, and personal branding to help people get over their fears and limiting beliefs and gain the clarity and confidence they need to get their careers moving in the right direction.

Learn more about Mo