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  • Writer's pictureLisa Dupras

How to Create Compelling LinkedIn Headlines for IT Professionals

In the LinkedIn landscape, your headline is the first impression, a snapshot of your professional identity and values. Does your headline capture the attention of recruiters? Does it describe your abilities, achievements, skills, and potential you bring or provide employers? This blog provides best practices, tips, an example ChatGPT prompt, and sample IT headlines to help you create a LinkedIn profile that describes YOU.


In the article, "Why Simple is Smart", author Derek Thompson claims that, "Complicated language can send a signal that a writer is dense or overcompensating." So keep the headline and your chosen words SIMPLE and EASY TO UNDERSTAND.


What is the Purpose of a Headline?


LinkedIn Headline on a Laptop
  • Show viewers of your profile who you are

  • Demonstrate what you can do for potential employers

  • Add trust and belief in your abilities and skills

  • Increase search appearances by recruiters, hiring managers, and contacts

  • Give a good reason to take action on your job searches

What Makes a Good LinkedIn Headline?

  • It quickly illustrates your value by using past achievements or results you previously brought employers.

  • It includes top keywords from target jobs.

  • Shows how you are different or stand out.

  • It illustrates that you understand your industry.

  • It highlights your personality and interests.

  • It uses an active voice and conveys professionalism and warmth.

Top Tips for Writing A LinkedIn Headline


Headline length

Top LinkedIn headlines take advantage of the 220-character limit and are about 10 words long. Leverage valuable real estate by adding more detail and keywords to your headline. Use the first 50 spaces to create an impact to pique the reader’s interest.


Clarity and Relevance

Recruiters and hiring managers appreciate a clear and relevant LinkedIn headline that helps them understand who you are and what you bring to potential employers. It should concisely depict your current role, industry, and any specialized skills you possess.


Showcase Your Career Goals and Aspirations

A LinkedIn headline can also signal your future goals, especially if you are job searching. Mentioning your career aspirations, such as "Aspiring Data Scientist" can attract recruiters who align with your ambitions. It gives readers insight into where you are on your career journey.


Enhance Searchability with Keywords

Your headline is searchable by recruiters on LinkedIn. Use 2 or 3 primary keywords that showcase what you do best AND are relevant to your future job aspirations. Keywords listed in your headline will increase your ranking among other users for those search terms. Show people who you are and what you can do, and add trust!


Show Your Impactful Achievements

The best headlines often highlight your most impressive accomplishments. Instead of providing your job title, consider showcasing an award, achievement, or significant achievement that sets you apart. Choose target job keywords that show your unique value proposition for potential employers. For example, I transform Private Equity companies into high performers.


Add Hard Skills

Consider adding 2 or 3 hard skills that draw attention to your Key technical abilities. An IT Architect could list | AI Strategy | Hybrid Cloud | Application Modernization.


Limit Special Characters, Emojis, and Abbreviations

Use special characters sparingly or leave them out altogether. Avoid using corporate names and abbreviations.


Limit Ineffective Cliches or Buzzwords

Remove cliches or buzzwords that are overused, vague, and overconfident. ‘Hardworking’ is a good example. A genuine and approachable tone helps in forming authentic professional relationships.


💡Tip! Avoid these 'cringe-worthy' words in your LinkedIn Headline like the following: Guru, Ninja, Expert, Master, Rockstar, Visionary, Pioneer, Evangelist, Fantastic, Exceptional, Remarkable, Superior, and Outstanding.


Check Spelling and Grammar

Misspelled words will decrease the impact of your profile. Write in the first person and present tense with the level of friendliness and profession you wish to convey. Don’t use the similar words or phrases more than once.


Leverage Industry Language

Different industries have their own jargon and abbreviations. Tailoring your headline to include industry-specific terms can show your expertise and background, making it easier for recruiters in your field to find you. Avoid overuse of abbreviations that make your profile look confusing.


Add a Call to Action

If you sell a product or services, add a Call-To-Action so potential clients know where to find you or your services.


Keep it FRESH

As your career evolves, so does your headline. Update it with new keywords and phrases and track the number of searches your profile gets in a month.

LinkedIn Headline Mistakes to Avoid

  • Too many emojis and ‘cute’ language.

  • Stuffing the headline with keywords.

  • Using abbreviations that are too specific or not well understood.

  • Contains overused cliches or buzzwords that do not show clear value

  • Run on phrases or keywords that hinder readability.

  • Misspelled words or sloppy writing

  • Not listing your skills or accomplishments

ChatGPT prompts for crafting LinkedIn headlines


Instructions:

  • Replace the text in red with personal headline information.

  • Replace the | divider with the special character of your choice.

  • Add limited special emojis.

  • Chat will output the headline and count all the values.

  • If the total length is more than 222, keep modifying the prompt until the headline is within length guidelines.

ChatGPT Prompt

  1. Set the following inputs, then replace inputs with the following values: '<current or future job title>' = Diverse IT Professional with System Integration Experience '<current company>' = Salesforce '<skill1>' = Network Configuration '<skill2>' = Security Management '<skill3>' = Monitoring and Optimization'<do best/keyword1>' I create innovative IT solutions for business growth '

  2. Set the following inputs, then replace inputs with the following values, then use the replaced values in the following format: <current or future job title> at <current company> | <skill1> | <skill2> | <skill3> | <do best/keyword1>. Output the <formatted_string>.

  3. Count the number of letters, special characters (excluding spaces), and spaces in the following formatted string: <formatted_string> output from #2.

Other Sample IT Headlines


  • Certified IT Professional | Specialized in Network Security, Cybersecurity | Former IT Analyst at IBM • Reliable, quality-focused, and efficient

  • IT Professional | Expertise in SQL, Python, and Java ► Reduced system downtime by 30% in previous role • Former IT Specialist at Accenture

  • Diverse IT Professional with Experience in Network Administration, System Integration | Ex-Lead Tech Officer at Microsoft • I create innovative IT solutions for business growth

  • Experienced IT Professional | Expert in Data Analysis, Coding, and IT Project Management | Increased efficiency by 40% in a previous role at Cisco

  • IT Solutions Specialist • Skilled in Java, AWS, and Cybersecurity ⫸ Managed IT Services for Fortune 500 Companies ⫸ Passionate about IT Infrastructure Optimization

  • IT Professional with specialization in Cybersecurity • Delivered secure cloud infrastructure at Dell • SQL, Linux, Python proficiency

  • Experienced IT Professional ⫸ Data Analytics & Network Architecture ⫸ Building lasting digital solutions at Microsoft

  • IT Support Specialist • IT Professional • Proven skills in Troubleshooting, Networking, OS Management

  • Experienced in IT Consulting ⫸ Knowledge in ITIL, Agile, and Scrum ⫸ Providing Value-Driven IT Solutions

  • Database Administrator | Specialized in SQL, Database Management, and Data Recovery • Efficiently managed large-scale databases at IBM • I maintain and secure your valuable data

Conclusion

A LinkedIn headline is your statement to the professional world, so it's crucial to make it count. A clear, keyword-rich, and achievement-oriented headline is what gets the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. By crafting a headline that accurately describes you and your personal brand, you increase your chances of being noticed, connecting with the right people, and meeting your career goals.


How I Can Help

Interested in my services? I specialize in working with IT folks. I'd love to work with you! Click here for my blog, and here for sample resumes, and here to chat.

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