3 Stunningly Original LinkedIn HEADLINES

MAD Scientist

Here’s the deal: you are boring…..by default. Yep, LinkedIn forces you to think conventionally by automatically inserting your (boringly functional and unremarkable) job Title in your prominent and most widely seen Headline space. This is a problem if you think about yourself in branding terms. If you are the brand, your Headline is your brand’s slogan. Now ask yourself are you proud of your slogan? Is it what you’re all about? Does it actually achieve anything? If the answer to those questions is no – there is something you can and should do about it. Come up with something unique, something so stunningly original that makes people think, smile or better still, act. Here are 3 of the best ‘stunningly original’ LinkedIn Headlines I’ve seen in a long while.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 2.30.10 PM

 

Sold
What you’ve actually done by making the Headline your own, is fourfold: (1) you’ve taken control of your brand (2) you’ve put yourself in the audience’s shoes (3) you’ve stuck your head above the corporate parapet (the vast majority of LinkedIn users will remain boring) and (4) you’ve sold yourself and not just your job. Many LinkedIn head honchos are using slogans rather than functions, that ought to tell you something. The only information people see when browsing a long list of other LinkedIn users is your (tiny) photograph and your Headline. You should be doing everything possible to make them click on your full Profile.

 

Be Brief
Just because you have 120 juicy character spaces to devour in your Headline, don’t be a glutton. The shorter, the better. Copywriters know this; they have perfected the art of using the right words in a short, powerful sequence. How economical and persuasive can you be? Long Headlines (80+ Characters) are truncated in the default ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile View’ and you have even less space on the mobile app, so that’s another good reason to keep it brief, if you can.

 

But What About Keywords?
If you want to be found by recruiters, having the relevant Keyword in the right place is important. If your Profile is not 100% complete, LinkedIn penalizes you by lowering your search rank, ignoring your Keyword(s), rendering you invisible. The LinkedIn algorithm looks for Keyword(s) in the following places: Name, Headline, Company Name, Job Title and Skills. The LinkedIn Recruiter Package ($8k per year) is Keyword-driven and has 22 custom search fields (incl. Industry, School, Field Of Study, Past Company, Years Of Experience, Seniority Level and Groups). If people don’t have access to LinkedIn Recruiter,  they use LinkedIn search. LinkedIn search is ‘personalized’  – it provides search results which are unique to the searcher and based mainly on ‘relevance’ to your network (showing your 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree connections in that order when you search). A lot of people tend to look on Google first. If you win in Google (people find you by searching on your Keywords or Name) you don’t have to win in LinkedIn. It’s as simple as that. What if they don’t know your Name? You’ll eventually need to win in Skills. How do you win in Skills? Endorsements.  How many of you have less than 50 Skills listed on your Profile? Yeah, that’s going to be a problem going forward.

 

Life Changing
Make your Headline work for you. Think of your Headline as something that gets you noticed and opens doors, as a value statement, as the future, not the present. It’s your opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Own it. Words are powerful, they change lives. Bryan, Mike and Cindy already know this.

Finally: having a stunningly original Headline is important but there are 21 other Sections on your Profile that you need to understand and decide whether/how to use. LinkedIn wants you to share as much professional data as possible, it’s the main reason they can charge Recruiters big bucks. If you don’t share data, by completing your LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn can make you invisible in search. I’ve written an article which explains how to complete your Profile: “Why You Should COMPLETE Your LinkedIn PROFILE”.

 

LINKEDIN CONSULTING
If you liked this article, you’ll love my customized consulting service. I’ve helped many professionals to achieve their full potential on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not somewhere you paste your resumé, sit back and wait for things to happen. It’s a complicated and nuanced website portal that requires action, consistency, insight, branding strategy and marketing know-how. What you don’t know – could hurt you. Whether it’s getting more traffic on your Profile, engaging with a stunningly good Summary or refreshing your LinkedIn presence and brand – share your goals with me and I’ll help you to achieve all of them via LinkedIn.

 

Contact me now: linkedinsights@gmail.com / 773.469.6600 to get started.

 

By Andy Foote

 

p.s I find it interesting that all of my stunners opted for an unusual black background picture (most LinkedIn pics are white/light colored). Some of you eagle-eyed readers may be wondering why “shit” is highlighted yellow in Cindy’s Headline. This is because I actually searched on that word, don’t ask why – let’s just say that I go to great lengths on this blog to bring you truly original content!

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47 Responses

  1. Andy, I think that these are amusing LinkedIn profiles.

    But, I wouldn’t do business with any of them.

    I like your emphasis on the summary, probably because I just wrote something on profiles.

    People scan your summary profile & use the following rules in this order.

    Rule 1. You aren’t good at anything – Leave.

    Rule 2. Yes, you are good at something, but what you are good at isn’t what I need – Read more, and then leave.

    Rule 3. Yes, you are good at something that I need, but I don’t need it now – Read more, and ask to connect.

    So, we want the summary in the LinkedIn profile to reveal at a glance what you might be good at.

    (Not sure how many people need a fancy tagline, like the funny people you have selected.)

    • Andy Foote says:

      I beg to differ. These folks are deadly serious and all about business. ‘Funny’ to me is a joke/punchline. When I’m happy about something I smile – these folks all made me smile. There’s a 4th category missing from your list: interesting people when so many are ‘beige’ and ‘bland’. These are not fancy taglines, they are hella powerful & effective slogans.

      Also – in order to transfer those readers to your Summary/Profile, you absolutely need to engage with your Headline first (in a sea of Headlines) – that’s a cold hard fact.

  2. Erik Oswald says:

    Refreshing discourse, Andy and Michael. I appreciate when people can discuss opposing or varying viewpoints online without resorting to petty insults. And thank you for the tips! I wish we didn’t have to resort to playing games to get noticed, but the reality is there. It may be time to review the presentation of my own LI profile.

  3. Petra Fisher says:

    Love how you sum up in four points why it is so important to write a headline that really matches who you are. Going to put a link to this article in tomorrows newsletter!

  4. Debra says:

    My headline works for me because it is my company name ‘Put It In Writing’ and it succinctly says what I do – I can ‘Put It In Writing’ for you.

    I like quirky company names, but from a marketing standpoint they don’t always work. I’ve received some interesting assignments just from people Googling or searching my company name on social media. Nice article – thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Andy – loved this feature and took it on board. Not sure if you’re up to speed with British press but the timing was perfect so coupled your advice with a major weekend celebrity story – let’s see what happens; i’ll let you know. Karen

    • Andy Foote says:

      I’m intrigued Karen….tell me more!

      • Gary Barlow (of Take That fame) had received an OBE (order of the british empire – one of the most highest civilian honours available here in uk) for his services to charity and for his contribute in organising Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee event in 2012. This weekend’s press and tv headline was all about a £20m tax bill he faces for a fraudulent investment scheme he was involved in (aka tax avoidance scheme!!!). So having read your article I changed my headline message accordingly – hope you like it!

        • Andy Foote says:

          Now it all starts to make sense! I do like your Headline – inventive & memorable. The only downside (if you’re targeting non-Brits) – only Brits will get it.

  6. Andy

    great article and examples. I think if the headline gets you the results that you were after than that’s all that matters. None of your examples are foolish enough to put something that totally repels.

    Great job, thanks!

    • Andy Foote says:

      Thanks JoAnne. LinkedIn users often don’t see (or understand) how they are presented (marketed) on the LinkedIn platform. The Headline is a great example of how they can promote their professional brand.

  7. Shay says:

    Hey Andy,

    i enjoyed this post…very informative…and it gets me thinking of ideas! I can clearly tell that you write according to your personality and character ( I guess that’s the same thing…lol), and that is great. I think by doing that..people will know exactly the type of person you are when they do business with you.

    I’m super bubbly 95 percent of the time, so I always want my writing, blogs, etc…to reflect that. It can sometimes be a fine line of going above and beyond, but not doing too much. I think it also depends on the reader or the person reviewing your LinkedIn, for ex. If they are somewhat bubbly like me, they can relate. If they are slightly more “blah” they may think that I’ve done or said too much. Oh well…you cant please them all!

    Anyway, all that to say…nice job!

  8. Great post, Andy.
    I am not personally drawn to the examples you use either but they are all excellent branding – when you magnetically attract some people, you also need to lost others.
    Else, all is bland!
    Sandra

    • Andy Foote says:

      Thanks Sandra. Yes – clearly, they’re not for everyone but they are great examples of originality, impact and resonance. I hope that the main takeaway from this article is that ALL LinkedIn users have an opportunity to do/achieve something with their Headline. Keep the default functional label if you want – but don’t then expect people to click on your Profile 🙂

  9. melissa says:

    LOVED these examples! Any headline suggestions for a dental office manager??

  10. Mohammed Soliman says:

    Love them! Specially the Bryan one. Not sure about Mike’s headline, what “coolest” word could do in business?

    I so much like the idea! An attractive headline in LinkedIn would distract people’s attention. I think mine need a modification! Thanks Andy for sharing this with us!

  11. Debasree says:

    Great article Andy. any suggestion for a Programme manager working in a FI ??

  12. Marcel says:

    great article, thanks. I rewrote my summary accordingly and am very happy about it. However I did not post it yet on Linkedin. Reason being that I am not sure that it will work here in the Netherlands or elsewhere in continental Europe as this way of doing it is very uncommon and problably too “American” in flavour (I do not mean this in any negative way). Still I might give at a try anyway as many profiles are copycat and it is very hard to stand out, even as one does have a very strong cv (well that is what I have been told…..)

    Marcel

  13. Brandon says:

    “They pull teeth. I pull invoices?”

    I’m DEFINITELY subscribing.

    I really enjoy your articles, but what about a headline for a social media manager??

  14. Tom says:

    Any thoughts on what should be stated in the headline and summary for someone transitioning from the military after a long career? It’s different that someone in the business world since we are in the business of “killing people and blowing things up” (and spending money — my $.02.)

    • Andy Foote says:

      Lots of thoughts Tom. Many of your skills (leadership, planning, logistics etc. etc.) are all very much in demand in the civilian world – your Headline needs to speak to those transferable skills and qualities.

  15. Ujwala says:

    They are funny, eye-catching, but I know they wouldn’t work for non profits which is the field I am looking for work in. The summary on the other hand is key.
    So do you have any suggestions for non profit management fields at all?
    Thanks

  16. Giuseppe A. D'Angelo says:

    I noticed many of these fun headlines even before reading this article. And they were even better than the second and the third ones, because while joking, those profiles gave an idea of what they could actually offer.
    Then I read this article, I enjoyed it and it made me think.
    Can this kind of headlines work with anyone? For example, if I’m a plumber with a kick-ass profile full of experiences and case histories, do I really need to write something like “Hey mate, let me help you in getting that big crap of yours out of your pipe!” ? Hi think a normal “plumber” would go straight to the point for someone looking for my services.
    Hi think this kind of funny headlines can work only for two kind of people on LinkedIn
    1) People who work in the creative industry: they really show to have a flair for the creativity
    2) People who have such a high profile and a work experience who are sought for thanks to their actual accomplishments in the real life, and would work anyway even without being reached online… so they can give a sh** about what they write.
    What’s your opinion on that?

    • Andy Foote says:

      Thanks Giuseppe – the point of the article is that anyone can get creative with their LinkedIn headline. These 3 super creative examples, are meant to inspire and show how it’s possible to grab the attention of your browser.

  17. Anne Stone says:

    I’m fairly new to LinkedIn and I’ve found this article and all the comments a great help. Thanks. Yes, my title of financial adviser/ associate partner of ***/ wealth manager sounds sooooooooo boring but I’m far from it! Any suggestions to stand out from the HUGE crowds?

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