Favorite Friday: LinkedIn Professional Headline: Yours probably sucks

This is from July 2010, on my LinkedIn blog.  It is a really short post about that uber-important branding statement next to your picture on your LinkedIn Profile.

The post took a life of it’s own when people started asking for feedback on their headlines.  Fortunately, Peter Osborne jumped in to respond to people… I finally had to close the comments before it became a full-time job!

Here’s the post – click here to read the excellent comments:

So many times I see LinkedIn Professional Headlines that … well, suck.Yours probably sucks (unless you got my LinkedIn book or my LinkedIn DVD, as I talk about this quite a bit in those).

Here’s a quick test:

(a) Does your LinkedIn Professional Headline have your TITLE?

(b) Does your LinkedIn Professional Headline have the name of your company?

If it has either of these you have a great chance of having a sucky professional headline.

Why do I say this?

  1. The title doesn’t tell me a whole lot. If it’s a big title in a small company I’m not impressed. If it’s a regular title in a company or industry I’m not familiar with, I might not really know WHAT YOU DO.
  2. Beyond that, though, your title doesn’t tell me WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). I don’t care that you are a CEO, or analyst, or any of that other stuff. If I SHOULD care, I can find that in the rest of your LinkedIn Profile, right?
  3. Use your Professional headline as a change to educate me on why I should care about you. Title/company doesn’t do it.
  4. With regard to the company, most companies I see out there have cute names… that mean nothing to me. They are not branded enough to tell me anything. Thus, putting the name of a no-name company in your headline does not help me understand your value proposition… IT ONLY TAKES UP SPACE.

How’s your LinkedIn Professional Headline?

3 thoughts on “Favorite Friday: LinkedIn Professional Headline: Yours probably sucks”

  1. I don’t know, I think self-inflicted titles are often even worse. For example, the horribly popular “[Something obscure] Evangelist”. Way to tell me you either don’t have a real job, or will be trying to smuggle product placement in your interactions…

  2. I agree, that is an interesting title. There are very few people who have this title legitimately, and others who have it…. I really question their role and value to the company.

  3. Glad I saw this again – was a great motivator to change my title as I ramp up into job search mode again (and dive back into my JibberJobber account!!!) Jason, you’re the Man!

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