A Headlines Worth 1,000 Words, or 220 Characters: How to Make your LinkedIn Headline Stand Out Among the Crowd

Have you ever seen that line on the top of someone’s LinkedIn page and thought, “Hm, that person is a Student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University or is a Principal Engineer at Boeing?” Then you scroll down and see that is already visible on their profile. When you first create a profile on LinkedIn your headline will populate for you from the most recent experience you have had, whether that be your education or a job or internship.

There are many ways to have your LinkedIn profile stand out among the crowd and your headline is the best place to start. It is a succinct statement about yourself that can lead to great possibilities. Think about the headline as how you want to be identified to recruiters, employers, and others in your network. If you were to search for something relating to your professional identity, what would you type into the search bar; how would you want someone to find your profile?

For example, let us say you are studying Aeronautics with a minor in Project Management. For many, they may not know what Aeronautics is, but if your profile just says “Aeronautics Student at ERAU” it may not be the best representation of your skills and aspirations. A recruiter from an aviation company looking for someone with communication and leadership skills with an emphasis in project management may not stumble upon your profile and you may not get a message with a job possibility. If you instead list your headline as Aspiring Project Manager Seeking a role in the Aviation Industry with Communication and Leadership Skills, you are illustrating something for the employer that is important.

The key to a good headline is to showcase the components of yourself that are most important to your professional identity. LinkedIn says, “Tell people what you're excited about now and the cool things you want to do in the future.” So, start with something easy – what is your degree program? What are you studying? Then think, what are my short-term career goals? If you do not know what you want to do yet, think about some skills that you possess that help you stand out from the crowd. Are you involved on campus as a leader? Do you go above just the coursework in your degree by volunteering or working in labs? Do you have an idea about the industry you want to work in after graduation? Even thinking about past experiences like military or work experience can help you formulate a great headline that stands out.

Lastly, look at those in your industry for guidance. If you have an idea of what you want to do, look to those who have perfected their headline, and see what you like and dislike about how they represent themselves. Talk to your Program Manager in the Career Services Office about how to best develop your brand on LinkedIn or attend a program that Career Services is hosting to develop skills. We are here to help you move forward and showcase your professional self and tell your story.