Editing LinkedIn Headlines to Showcase Your Personal Brand

linkedin official iconYou may not realize this but the professional headline on your LinkedIn profile is editable, which opens up all sorts of possibilities within LinkedIn.

Editing your headline allows you to make a statement about yourself, create a mini-ad for your services or products, or add SEO keywords right on your LinkedIn page. Changing your headline also allows you to make LinkedIn work harder for you, showcasing your personal brand in large type right at the top of your LinkedIn profile.

Here’s how to take advantage of this feature.

By default, LinkedIn puts your most recent job title in your profile professional headline. BUT you can change your LinkedIn Professional Headline and put in anything you want instead, as long as it’s 120 characters or less (free version).

All you have to do is go into Edit Profile from the main LinkedIn screen and click on the Edit button next to your headline (the little pencil icon).

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A pop-up box will appear where you can edit your Professional Headline. Type in 120 characters of pure message about yourself. It can be an explanation of your business, a statement of who you are, an expression of activism, anything as long as it passes muster with LinkedIn. Many people also like to add SEO keywords to their headlines so they can be more easily found by recruiters, potential customers, or Google and LinkedIn search.

Click on Save when you’re done and your headline will be changed.

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You can change your LinkedIn profile headline by clicking on the little pencil icon that appears when you’re in the Edit Profile screen

And because your Professional Headline is a headline, LinkedIn puts that information right at the top of your profile instead of burying it in your profile summary.

If you haven’t changed your user profile activity broadcasts, LinkedIn will send your changed headline out as a status update to all of your connections. So changing your headline can serve as a mini-ad that will automatically reach whoever you’re connected to. If you don’t want your headline change to be broadcast on your LinkedIn activity feed, read this article on how to hide your LinkedIn user profile activity from your connections.

Some social media professionals recommend changing your LinkedIn headline on a regular basis, to attract recruiters, keep your profile current, and to show activity for LinkedIn and Google search engines. That’s another option but if you want to send out activity updates on a regular basis, it may be just as easy to send out a regular status update from your LinkedIn home page with a longer more targeted message than it is to continually change your headline.

In my case, I changed my Professional Headline from the default headline to “Project Manager | Content Strategy | IT Mgt (Ops/Data Center/Help Desk) | SME: IBM i  ▶Learn More In My Profile Summary“, which is more in line with my selling value (and <=120 characters, too). It provides much more information to anyone viewing my profile and it’s basically free advertising. Go to my Joe Hertvik public profile to see what it looks like.

So give it a try. You’d be surprised what you can put across in 120 characters.

Click to Tweet: Edit your #LinkedIn headline to make a personal statement, create a mini-ad, or add SEO keywords to your profile http://ctt.ec/nVpjT+

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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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