12 Best LinkedIn Headline Examples For Job Seekers

By Biron Clark

Published:

LinkedIn

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Writer & Career Coach

Getting noticed (and getting interviews) on LinkedIn starts with your headline. It’s the FIRST thing people see after your name…When you comment on a post… When you appear in search results (and recruiters are searching LinkedIn CONSTANTLY)… Or when a hiring manager checks out your profile before interviewing you.

>> And a lot of hiring managers view your profile even if you didn’t apply via LinkedIn!

So you really need to make a good impression. In this article, we’ll look at examples of the best LinkedIn headlines for job seekers, and how to write your own.

What Is a LinkedIn Headline, and Why Is It Important?

A LinkedIn headline appears at the top of your LinkedIn profile. The headline can describe what you do or identify what stands out about your skill set. LinkedIn headlines have a limit of 220 characters, so typically, the headline consists of a short sentence or phrase.  LinkedIn headlines impact how potential employers perceive you. A headline showcasing your unique skills will positively impact employers and recruiters looking to attract fresh talent to their workplace.

You should include terms that are relevant to your profession. That way, employers looking for someone with your background will be more likely to find you. For example, if you’re a digital marketing professional, a headline like “SEO Guru with 15 Years of Experience Optimizing Websites” clearly outlines your unique expertise.


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How to Write a LinkedIn Headline for Job Searching

The best LinkedIn headlines for your job hunt have a few things in common. They will:

1. Show your skills and expertise (what do you do?)

Highlight specific skills and expertise you can bring to a role that other job seekers may not have. For instance, if you’re a computer programmer with coding experience in a unique programming language, that might be something to include in your headline.

2. Include current or past job titles if those are relevant to the jobs you’re pursuing now

Add your current or past job title to help recruiters and hiring managers understand your experience. For instance, if you’re a tax accountant, including your title indicates that you have experience handling taxes for individuals or businesses. 

3. Communicate the value you bring to a new employer (why should they care?)

Use your headline to communicate the value you’ll bring to a new employer. For instance, if you’re an experienced sales director, you might indicate any revenue growth you helped achieve in your current role.

4. Include at least one keyword/phrase for the type of job you want, whether a job title or other keyword

If you’re looking for a specific type of role relevant to your prior experience, include a keyword relevant to the position. For instance, if you’re looking for a job in journalism, you might include a term relevant to news reporting.

5. (Optional) Demonstrate something unique to make your LinkedIn profile stand out – Maybe it’s a specific accomplishment. Or an award. Maybe it’s a passion or a hobby. You’ll see some of this in the LinkedIn headline examples coming up.

Finally, you might consider incorporating something into your headline that makes your profile stand out, like a certification you earned or a hobby that you’re passionate about.

The Best LinkedIn Headline for Entry-Level Job Seekers and Recent Grads

If you’re looking for a job as a fresh graduate with no industry experience, I recommend using this headline formula:

Recent ___ graduate with a focus in ___, ___ and ___

LinkedIn Headline Example for Fresh Graduates:

Recent Finance graduate with a focus in financial analysis, reporting, and auditing

However, if you’re a recent graduate who has any relevant work experience, even an internship or part-time work, I’d recommend highlighting that with any of the LinkedIn headline formulas that we looked at previously. That’s REAL experience that employers will care about and value. So you can use any headline we’ve previously looked at. FYI- if you just graduated and aren’t sure what career path to choose, I just wrote an article with the 3 best jobs for recent graduates.

LinkedIn Headline Examples for Job Seekers with Experience

Next, I’m going to share multiple strong headline examples for your LinkedIn profile if you have work experience. For each, I’ll share the basic formula/template and then examples of how it would look in real-world LinkedIn profiles. Finally, I’ll explain the strategy behind each headline and what type of job seeker it’s best for (fresh graduate, experienced candidate, career-changer, etc.)

1. Role | Specific Achievement

LinkedIn Headline Examples:

B2B Inside Sales Rep | $2.4MM generated in 2018

Digital Ads Manager | 5 Years Experience Managing 7-figure ad budgets

This is a great LinkedIn headline for job seekers who have past results they can quantify. …And don’t write this off just because you’re not in sales! There’s usually a way to quantify your work in ANY role if you take the time to think about it. For example… if you’re a writer, how many pieces of content did you create? If you’re in tech support, how many users did you help per week? Or how many requests did you solve? Nothing beats specific results/proof when it comes to convincing a new employer you’d succeed in their job, which is why this is one of the best LinkedIn headlines for job seekers.

2. Role | Years of Experience in Industry | Fun Fact to Stand Out

Headline Examples:

Human Resources Manager | 10+ Years of People Experience | Disneyland Annual Passholder

Senior Manufacturing Engineer | 6+ Years in GMP Manufacturing | Cat fanatic

This LinkedIn headline formula is a great way to include multiple keywords for the type of job you’re targeting (so you can get found in LinkedIn searches), while showing some personality, too. This is one of the best LinkedIn headlines for job seekers with at least a couple of years of experience. Credit for this formula goes to Kyle Elliot of caffeinatedkyle.com

3. Role | Industry/Expertise | Unique Value You Bring

LinkedIn Headline Examples:

Director of HR at Oracle | Software Technology | Certified HR Trainer

R&D Scientist at Pfizer | Oncology Research | Science Blogger

Credit for this formula goes to career expert Madeline Mann. This is similar to LinkedIn headline example #2, above, but with one key difference: The middle section is focused on your industry, rather than the number of years of experience. So this may be a better option for job seekers with less experience, but experience from the same industry that they’re applying for jobs in now.

4. Role | Helping ___ (type of company) do ___ (result)

Headline Example:

Social Media Manager | Helping software start-ups manage and grow their social media to drive more sales

Below is an even simpler formula following this same general idea. I recommend this headline variation for freelancers, consultants, and coaches on LinkedIn:

5. I help ___ (type of company) do ___ (desired result)

LinkedIn Headline Example for Freelancers:

I help coaches and consultants generate an additional $10,000-20,000 per month via video ads

Career Coach Sarah Johnston uses a variation of this headline herself on her LinkedIn profile.

sarah johnston linkedin headline career coach

I asked her if she had a formula and this is what she gave me…

6. What you do/how you meet someone’s pain point | Keyword 1 | Keyword 2 | Keyword 3

Example Headline:

I help manufacturers become more efficient through process engineering | GMP-Certified | Project Manager | CQE

The keywords should be what a recruiter or hiring manager would search for if they were looking for someone with your skills or background.  Sarah also added this tip: “I also use free online keyword analytic tools to pick the best keywords. For example, for a while I was saying “job search strategist”, but after doing a keyword search found that more people search for “career coach”. Since shifting my language, I’ve seen about a 30-40% increase in LinkedIn search appearances.”

That’s an important tip to follow no matter which of these LinkedIn headlines you end up using for your job search.

7. <Role/Job Title> specializing in ____, ____, and ____

Headline Example:

Content Marketing Strategist specializing in press releases, blog content, and social media

This is a relatively simple formula that puts your job title or main keyword at the very front of your profile so it gets noticed immediately. This will get you more clicks from recruiters and hiring managers looking for the skill set you highlight (in the example above, Content Marketing). Then, there’s an opportunity to include more keywords and show what you’re BEST at throughout the rest of the headline. Now you’re more likely to get found and clicked in searches for those keywords.

8. X Years of Experience in ____ | Helping companies ____

Headline Examples:

5+ Years of experience in software product management | Helping tech companies grow and deliver outstanding mobile and web applications

8 years of experience in customer support for multiple Fortune-500 companies | Helping global brands deliver an outstanding customer experience

This is similar to headline example #2 from earlier, but leads with your years of experience and then follows up to explain exactly how you’re helping companies grow/succeed (which is important if you want them to see why they should hire you instead of someone else). If you feel your amount of experience is one of your biggest strengths or unique selling points, then this is a good LinkedIn headline formula for you.

9. Area of Expertise #1 & Area of Expertise #2

Headline Examples:

Creative Advertising Expert & Digital Marketing Strategist

Engineering Team Lead & Project Management Professional

Sometimes less is more when it comes to showing employers you’re the best candidate for the position. If you’ve been doing the exact type of work that an employer needs in your past roles, then this headline formula is simple and effective. All you’re doing is picking your top two skills or areas of work that are relevant to the next job you’re looking to land, and then stating those two areas in your LinkedIn headline with no distractions/clutter. If you’re looking for a short, simple headline for your job search, then this is one of the best options to consider.

Should You Say “Actively Seeking Opportunities” in Your LinkedIn Headline?

You may have noticed that NONE of the LinkedIn headline examples so far have said, “actively looking for opportunities.” Here’s why I don’t think it’s a good idea to put this as a job seeker on LinkedIn. First – this communicates absolutely nothing, other than the fact you’re out of work and need a job.

linkedin headline for job seekers - mistake to avoid

Second – the most in-demand, highly-skilled job candidates never put this. They have multiple opportunities, recruiters chasing them, etc. And so they conduct a quiet, undercover job search. I know you may not be flooded with interviews and job offers yet, but you still want to act like it. You want to position yourself as an in-demand job seeker! And shouting to the entire world that you’re actively seeking a job is the OPPOSITE of doing this.

>>> If you do insist on doing this, at least add some keywords and indicate the exact type of role you’re looking for. Here’s an example…

LinkedIn Headline Formulas 8 & 9: (If you insist on saying “Actively Seeking…”)

10. <Role> seeking a ___ opportunity

OR

11. <Role> looking for opportunities in ___ (specific area)

Examples:

“Certified Public Accountant (CPA) seeking a management opportunity”

“Financial analyst looking for opportunities in the private sector”

That way, your headline at least communicates something about your expertise and what type of job you’re a fit for in addition to saying, “Actively seeking opportunities.” You should never just use your LinkedIn headline to say that you’re actively seeking opportunities.

How to Choose the Right Keywords For Your LinkedIn Headline

If you’re job hunting, you want to get found by recruiters. So try to brainstorm industry-specific keywords that can go into your LinkedIn headline, no matter what formula/example you’re using above. Avoid generic phrases like, “Experienced Leader” and think about hard skills and specific knowledge useful in the type of jobs you’re seeking. This can be technical terms or specific areas of work within your industry.

Examples:

  • HTML
  • Content Marketing
  • GMP Manufacturing
  • Audit Compliance
  • Sales Prospecting
  • Employee Onboarding
  • Phone Customer Service
  • HR Compensation and Benefits
  • Etc.

This is important for every job seeker, but especially those who are changing careers or industries. Make sure you include keywords that employers are looking for in your NEXT ideal job.

One More Tip – Your LinkedIn Headline For Job Searching Doesn’t Need to Include Your Last Job Title

You may have noticed in a lot of the headline formulas/templates above, there’s a place to include your role or main area of work/expertise. However, there’s no rule that this needs to be your exact job title.

You can put the title of the jobs you’re targeting, for example. Or if you have an unusual title like, “Client Happiness Manager,” you can change it to something more common/recognizable. (Which will also put a more relevant keyword in your LinkedIn headline). So just keep this in mind as you use the templates above to write your own LinkedIn headline for job searching. Think more about what keywords/titles your future employer will want to see, rather than what your past employer decided to name your previous role.

What to Avoid in Your LinkedIn Headline

When crafting your LinkedIn headline, it’s crucial to steer clear of some common pitfalls to optimize your professional online presence.

Firstly, neglecting to use keywords relevant to your industry or job role can hinder your discoverability by recruiters and potential employers. By using industry-specific terms, job titles, or areas of expertise that align with your career goals, you enhance your chances of appearing in search results when people look for professionals with your skill set. Be thoughtful when selecting keywords, as they should be targeted and reflect the most important aspects of your professional identity.

Second, avoid using the default headline. LinkedIn provides default headlines on all profiles. Your headline won’t stand out against other profiles if you choose the default. You’ll have the same headline as hundreds or thousands of other people.

Carefully review your headline for spelling or grammatical errors. Mistakes in your headline will stick out like a sore thumb to people who view your profile. Review your profile carefully before finalizing it.

Finally, if you’re currently unemployed, don’t highlight that fact in your profile. It’s okay to put an end date on your last role, but you don’t need to include in your headline anything about your current lack of employment.

What To Do Next: Write Your Own LinkedIn Headline for Job Hunting

It’s time to put this info to use!

Go grab a piece of paper or open a blank document on your computer, and try to plug your information into some of the LinkedIn headline examples above to see which ones you like. Come up with three to five headlines that sound good to you and then come back a day later and see which one stands out (stepping away for a day after writing something is a good way to come back with a clear perspective!)

Then go update your LinkedIn profile!

If you follow the LinkedIn headline tips above, you’ll have a headline that gets noticed in your job search and gets you more interviews.  And if you want help updating the rest of your LinkedIn, here’s everything I recommend putting on your LinkedIn profile as a job seeker.


Biron Clark

About the Author

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2 thoughts on “12 Best LinkedIn Headline Examples For Job Seekers”

  1. I’ve always felt that the “Actively Seeking” headlines were a red flag. Now LinkedIn has introduced an “Open to work” frame for profile photos, and there are many advocates for its use. What are your thoughts about it?

    • Great question, David. I see a lot of job seekers using it. I think LinkedIn “open to work” is worth testing maybe, but I don’t blindly recommend it to everyone. I think having that green circle sort of turns you into a commodity. I see so many job seekers with it, that they all just blend together in my mind (I’m sure that sounds awful but it’s the truth).

      And recruiters aren’t typically looking for active job seekers necessarily. They’re looking for people with the right skills and experience for the jobs they’re trying to fill.

      Whether you’re looking for a job or not is one of their last concerns, believe it or not. Recruiters don’t help people find jobs. They help companies find people. It’s fundamentally different.

      So I’d test it. Maybe it works great in your industry. But I don’t think it’s something that every job seeker should use, and I probably wouldn’t be using it myself if I were job hunting right now.

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