Putting your job title in your LinkedIn headline can be beneficial in some cases but isn’t always necessary. Including your title can help showcase your professional brand, allow recruiters to quickly identify your role, and demonstrate your experience level. However, focusing on skills and accomplishments instead of a title can also be effective. Consider your goals, industry, experience level, and preference when crafting your LinkedIn headline.
Should You Include Your Title in Your LinkedIn Headline?
Whether or not to include your job title in your LinkedIn headline is an important decision to make when optimizing your profile. Here are some key factors to consider:
The Pros of Including Your Title
Here are some potential benefits of putting your job title in your LinkedIn headline:
– Demonstrates your experience level and area of expertise. Having a title like “Director of Marketing” or “Senior Software Engineer” lets viewers immediately know your seniority and specialty. This gives your profile more credibility.
– Allows recruiters to quickly identify your role. When recruiters search for candidates on LinkedIn, they often filter by job title. Including your title makes it easier for them to find you.
– Promotes your professional brand. Your title encapsulates your current position and showcases your achievements so far in your career.
– Looks more impressive than a vague headline. “Marketing Specialist at XYZ Company” gives people more context than something broader like “Marketing Professional.”
The Cons of Including Your Title
However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider:
– Can seem limiting or one-dimensional. A title sums up your current role but doesn’t say much about your broader skills or experience. It also fixes you to your current job.
– Title overload on LinkedIn. Many people include their titles, so it may not stand out.
– Title doesn’t convey skills or personality. While your title conveys your role, it doesn’t get across your soft skills, knowledge, or what makes you unique.
– Some roles don’t fit in 95 characters. Long titles may need to be abbreviated or adjusted to fit LinkedIn’s character limit.
– Could become outdated quickly. If you change jobs, your old title will no longer be accurate. You’ll have to edit your headline.
Tips for Including Your Title
If you do choose to incorporate your job title, here are some tips:
– Only include your most senior title. No need to list “Marketing Associate” if you’re actually a “Senior Marketing Manager.”
– Use the full formal title rather than internal abbreviations. Spell it out so people unfamiliar with your company understand your role.
– Put the title near the beginning of the headline. This ensures it will be seen even if cut off due to character limits.
– Consider abbreviating extremely long titles. For example, “VP of Customer Experience” instead of “Vice President of Customer Experience.”
– Re-evaluate if you change roles. Keep your headline updated.
What to Include Besides a Title in Your LinkedIn Headline
Rather than or in addition to your job title, here are some other options for your LinkedIn headline:
Summarizing your industry can be useful for exposing your profile to the right people. For example:
– Healthcare Professional
– Higher Education Administration
– Oil and Gas Professional
This gives viewers insight into your career focus and area of expertise.
Highlighting specific skills, abilities and expertise can describe what you bring to the table. For example:
– Data Science Expert
– Digital Marketing Specialist
– SEO & Content Marketing
This conveys your offering without limiting you to a specific job title.
Unique adjectives can showcase your work style, values, or approach:
– Innovative Marketing Leader
– Passionate Educator
– Data-Driven Decision Maker
This adds personality that differentiates you from others with similar titles.
Goals or Focus Areas
You can also mention aims you have in your career right now:
– Seeking New Human Resources Opportunities
– Exploring Product Management Roles
– Specializing in Sustainability
This shows where you hope to take your career next.
Employer Brand Names
Including prestigious company names you’ve worked for can build your professional brand:
– Amazon Marketing Leader
– Former Executive at Apple
– Google Employee
This leverages strong employer brands to attract attention.
Examples of LinkedIn Headlines With and Without Titles
Here are some examples of strong LinkedIn headlines both with and without formal job titles:
With a Job Title
– Senior Marketing Manager at XYZ Corporation
– Data Scientist at ABC Technology Solutions
– Director of Nursing at Cedar Hills Hospital
– Vice President of Operations at Smith Industries
These headlines lead with the person’s current official job title, company, or employer. This quickly tells viewers about their role, authority, and organization.
Without a Job Title
– Digital Marketing Expert | Certified Public Accountant
– IT Leader Focused on Cloud Computing & Automation
– Passionate Educator Specializing in Early Childhood Literacy
– Data Analytics & Visualization Professional
These headlines opt to focus on showcasing the person’s skills, passions, and expertise rather than listing their job title. This gives a more unique, multi-faceted view of their professional capabilities.
A hybrid approach combines elements of both:
– Marketing Manager | Branding & Digital Marketing Specialist
– RN, MSN, CPN | Pediatric Nurse Leader
– Senior Software Engineer Focused on Machine Learning
This approach includes some job titling but also highlights skills, education, certifications or focus areas.
Should You Change Your LinkedIn Headline When You Change Jobs?
One downside of including a job title in your LinkedIn headline is that it can become outdated if you take on a new position. Here are some best practices around updating your headline when changing roles:
Update it as soon as possible.
Don’t wait to change your LinkedIn headline once you begin a new job. It’s best to update it right away to accurately reflect your current role and company. This ensures recruiters don’t overlook you due to an outdated title.
But don’t change it preemptively.
Avoid updating your headline to a new title before you’ve officially started the role. Wait until your first day to make the switch.
Consider keeping some elements the same.
If there are consistencies between your old and new roles in terms of industry, skills, or responsibilities, consider keeping those portions of the headline the same for continuity.
Re-evaluate your priorities.
When changing jobs, think about whether you want to continue leading with your title, or highlight skills, strengths or focus areas instead. Reassess what you want your new headline to convey.
Double check that your new headline accurately reflects your new title, company name, and responsibilities. Having errors can damage your professional brand.
Use a tool like Skillful.
This LinkedIn tool can automatically update your headline when you add a new position, saving you time and effort.
Keeping your LinkedIn headline current is crucial for accuracy and making the most of your profile during a job search. Be prepared to edit it promptly when you change roles.
Should You Include Your Professional Title on a Resume?
Unlike a LinkedIn profile, a resume is designed as a formal document that showcases your career history and qualifications for a specific job role. Here are tips on handling professional titles on resumes:
Yes, include your title.
For each position listed on your resume, you should include your full official job title to demonstrate your experience level, responsibilities, and hierarchy.
List title first.
The job title should be the very first piece of information for each role on your resume. List it above the company name.
Use formal titles.
Spell out your full title like “Vice President of Sales” instead of VP or shortening to simply “Manager.”
Be accurate and ethical.
Never exaggerate or embellish your true titles from previous jobs. This could be considered fraudulent.
Explain if needed.
If you have an internal corporate title unknown outside your company, you can denote this with “internal title” or add further details.
Focus on most senior level.
If you were promoted, only list your highest-level title achieved in that position on your resume.
Including clear, formal job titles provides critical context on a resume, unlike a skills-focused LinkedIn headline. Titles demonstrate growth and progression throughout your career history.
Should You Put Your Professional Designations in Your LinkedIn Headline?
In addition to job titles, many professionals also hold certifications, accreditations and designations that require special study and exams to earn. Should you include these in your profile headline? Here are some tips:
Yes, if highly relevant.
If you hold designations directly related to your industry and role, they are worth including in your headline. For example “CPA” for an accountant or “PE” for an engineer.
Place them near the end.
Position professional designation abbreviations at the end of your headline after your focus areas or skills.
Explain if needed.
If using an unfamiliar acronym, you can denote what it stands for on your profile’s About section. For example “CPA (Certified Public Accountant).”
Don’t go overboard.
Be selective and only list your 1-3 most prestigious or recognizable designations relevant to your career. Avoid an overwhelming string of acronyms.
Keep them current.
Stay on top of renewal periods and don’t display an expired designation in your headline.
Use the profile section too.
Your professional designations can also be highlighted nicely in the Certifications section of your profile.
When chosen strategically, relevant professional credentials or designations included in your LinkedIn headline can further strengthen your personal branding and expertise.
How Long Should Your LinkedIn Headline Be?
LinkedIn headlines have a 95 character limit, which equals around 15-20 words. Here are some tips for ideal LinkedIn headline length:
Aim for 60-70 characters.
You want your headline to be long enough to effectively communicate key information, but short enough to avoid getting cut off in search results or on your profile page due to space constraints. For most, 60-70 characters hits this sweet spot.
Front-load the headline.
Put the most important information at the beginning of the headline, before the 70 character mark. This ensures key details will be visible.
Use abbreviations if needed.
Shorten extra long job titles or company names so you can still include them legibly.
Don’t let length suffer meaning.
While conciseness is good, make sure you still communicate enough to convey your professional identity clearly.
Re-work if over 95 characters.
If your headline draft exceeds 95 characters, look for filler words, redundancy, or less vital details to cut.
Preview profile appearance.
Toggle between edit mode and profile view to see how your headline will actually look at different lengths. Identify an optimal version.
While long enough to be descriptive, a tight, scannable LinkedIn headline will maximize visibility and engagement on your profile.
How Often Should You Update Your LinkedIn Headline?
Consistency is good, but regular updates are also important for keeping your LinkedIn headline optimized over time. Here are some tips on frequency:
Update when you change roles.
Anytime you take on a new permanent position, update your headline accordingly right away.
Every 1-2 years otherwise.
Plan to re-evaluate your headline at least every other year even if your job stays the same. Update details or wording as your focus evolves.
When you add major skills.
If you gain significant new skills through degrees, certifications, training programs etc., consider updating your headline to reflect them.
After major accomplishments.
If you win a major award, get promoted to the C-suite, make VP, etc., update your headline to include this new achievement.
When goals shift.
If your aims for future roles changes, adjust headline wording about your aspirations accordingly.
When LinkedIn adds features.
Take advantage of new profile options, like video backgrounds or LinkedIn Stories, by refreshing your headline.
For job searching.
Tweak your headline strategically during active job hunts to get noticed.
Making minor updates to refresh your LinkedIn headline regularly can help you get the most out of your profile as your career progresses.
Your LinkedIn headline is valuable profile real estate, so craft it wisely. Including your job title can demonstrate your professional status but isn’t required. Complementing your title with skills, accomplishments, goals and personality gives a fuller picture. Update your headline when changing roles and periodically to optimize your personal branding and engagement on the platform throughout your career journey.