Your LinkedIn headline is a really important part of your profile. It's the label that will show up in search results and encourage others to click to see more. Don't skip over this step by assuming you should just use your job title. Rather, you should customize your header based on what you're using the platform for – establishing credibility as a leader in your field, looking for a new job, generating business leads, etc. Here are some tips for writing a strong headline.
First, consider how you want to brand yourself. What’s the most concise way to describe yourself that will help you achieve your goals on LinkedIn? If you're using LinkedIn to generate leads for your current company, it may make sense to lean into your title, and if your company is well-known, including its name can help, especially with search results. If you work in multiple areas, you can use your headline to indicate the different aspects of your professional persona and showcase why your interests complement one another (think: Writer-Producer and Board Member of Non-Profit X / Passionate about Impact Storytelling). If you're openly searching for a job, you can use your headline to indicate the kinds of opportunities you're seeking and use keywords to show why you'd be right for those types of roles (for example: Marketing Producer & Social Media Expert Seeking New Opportunities).
Then, consider what you want to show up in search results. What will the people you want to see your profile be searching for? Who among your peers do you want to show up alongside? Include specific keywords that are going to help the right people find you in a search. Avoid making your headline too long, but make sure the important info is there.
As always, you want your headline to feel authentic to your voice, so do what feels right for you. Look at the headlines of others in your field to get some ideas. What headlines are appealing to you, and what headlines turn you off? That should be the biggest indicator of the right direction for you. After all, this is your profile, and you're in control.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan