Quick Tip: Use the LinkedIn Headline to Announce Your Job Search

by Rich DeMatteo on September 29, 2010 · 20 comments

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Often times, it’s the little things that pay dividends.  This is 100% true in the job search.

Now, while I 100% agree and believe in the quick tip below, I can’t give myself full credit for coming up with it.  It’s actually something that I always remembered Bill Boorman talking about in #JobHuntChat, so please, thank Bill for his brain.

Ask and you shall receive

Basically, what Bill always preached is simple.  If you don’t state clearly what you’re looking for, how will an employer ever know?  Shout out what you are looking for on your social media profiles, and they’ll take notice.  You see, an employer might find your background, tweets, or your use of facebook interesting, but might not think you’re looking for work.  If they think calling you is a waste of time, then they probably won’t call you.  But if they think you are looking for work, chances are you’ll be receiving a call.

Definitely do this on LinkedIn and Twitter, and possibly even on Facebook too.

Using LinkedIn headlines to announce your job search

For years, my headline on LinkedIn has read, “Recruiting and HR Professional”.  While entirely accurate, it’s both boring and useless to my job search.  I’m not alone, many job seekers are utilizing  a similar headline for their profile.  Visiting employers may believe we are happily employed when reading our headline, and won’t bother reaching out.

Now, if employed but job searching, you obviously can’t always shout it out publicly that you’re looking.  That part makes sense, and in that case, a standard headline is fine.  But if you’re unemployed, or your employer knows your situation, then create a headline that clearly states what you are looking for.

My NEW LinkedIn Headline

That headline just took sexy back.  Seriously, that headline screams sexy, and it brings clarity to my job search.  Let’s talk about the results I’ve got.

I changed my headline to, “Looking for a Social Media Recruiting Position” just two days ago, and have already received 3 inquiries from employers.  You can’t argue with those results.  It works  It’s simple  It’s sexy.

Make sure that if you do change your headline to something like mine that it won’t get you in trouble with a current employer (if you have one).  And if you’re wondering, yes, my employer knows I’m looking.

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14 comments
MirAsraful
MirAsraful

I’ll just put it out there: I don’t like the concept of job search. I vote for the term being eliminated from our lexicon, and replace with “job find.” How would it feel if the right people and the right opportunities came to you? I’m not talking about magic. I’m talking about positioning yourself the right way so that you attract those right opportunities. Magnetizing your audience and magnetizing your opportunities is the next secret to successful LinkedIn job search.

 

Most candidates are currently doing the opposite of magnetizing. Think about this: going uphill is hard, right? Pushing a boulder while you’re going uphill would be even harder, no? All that pushing is what most people do in the job search. You’re pushing yourself out there, blasting your resume out to companies, and bothering recruiters you don’t really know, who are likely not in an industry relevant to you, and who don’t know of anything open for which you could be a match. Instead, magnetize. Attract. Position and optimize your LinkedIn profile so that when employers and recruiters search for someone with your particular brand of expertise, you appear high in the search results. We have a full presentation on how to magnetize in our free webinar http://goo.gl/KT9pV

Magnetizing, instead of pushing, is critically important for several reasons. First, the recruiter initially approaching you will likely spark a much more beneficial scenario than you approaching him. The person’s not approaching you just to chat. He’s selecting you because he thinks you may be a match for an open opportunity he has right now. Second, the entire act of magnetizing is simply empowering. Gone are the feelings of frustration, repeatedly being ignored, and continually getting rejected. Instead, the right recruiters seek you out.

 

So create your account http://goo.gl/KT9pV

Mark Burk
Mark Burk

How about a headline that says something along the line of "Career Searching for..." ? To me, that comes across as more professional compared to "Looking for..." Thanks

peter smith
peter smith

We require the services of devoted and hardworking workers, who are ready to relocate to London and to work at The Corinthia Hotel after undergoing enlistment training in current job opportunities at our 5 star hotel, as the management intends to increase its man power base due to an increase in the number of customers. Employment Type: Full Time Basic Monthly Salary: Gross (£4,250GBP) Net (£3,850) depending on level of experience. Preferred Language of Resume/Application: English This is a contract employment for a minimum of one(1) year and a maximum of five(5) years. Available Positions Conference & Banqueting Operations Manager, Food & Beverage Team Manager, Account Manager, Cashier, Bartender, Assistant Manager of Front Office, Receptionist, Guest Relation Assistant, Room Attendant, Foreign/International Language Interpreter, Marketing Assistant Manager, Cafe Attendant/Manager, Computer Operator, Internet Service Expert & Casino Dealer. The targeted language the hotel management is seeking if you are applying to work as a Foreign Interpreter are; Spanish, Romanian, Italian and Polish & Portuguese, from the source language English. The Hotel Management would be responsible to pay for your Flight Ticket and Accommodation. All other information about benefits which would be received by new employees would be given in their application process. Interested candidates should kindly send his/her CV/Resume via email to petersmith005.corinthia@gmail.com Foreign Interpreters who are willing to relocate to London are Needed at The Corinthia Hotel London. The targeted languages are; Spanish, Romanian, Italian, Bulgarian & Portuguese, slovak from the source language English. The Hotel Management would be responsible to pay for your Flight Ticket and Accommodation. All other information about benefits which would be received by new employees would be given in their application process. Interested candidates should kindly send his/her CV/Resume via email to petersmith005.corinthia@gmail.com

Ed Han
Ed Han

Rich, I am a big fan of non-generic headlines, too. A lot of people in transition use some form of [job function/industry] professional. By doing so, they are completely fading into the background. Something I always stress when I do LinkedIn workshops: the headline always appears with your username on LinkedIn. It's a branding opportunity that many fail to leverage.

Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers
Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers

A great topic, and your results show that this strategy works. Letting people know what you are looking for is the most direct and targeted way to help them help you, but I'd caution against leaving a "looking for" headline for TOO long. For example, I advise my out-of-work clients to consider keeping a headline announcement long enough to alert their network. After a few weeks, I think it is a good idea to shift to a more descriptive, skills focused headline. This strategy (descriptive/skills focused) may also work for currently employed people -- depending on how different the targeted job is from the current job. For you, for example: "Social Media Recruiting Expert" might work, or some iteration using those key words. Aside from letting people know what you want, people should remember that optimizing LinkedIn for keywords in as many places as possible (titles, descriptions, etc.) is crucial to help people find you! It's an important subject, and it's always great to read success stories using different strategies! Thanks!

S.A.A.
S.A.A.

Richie, I did see a status change on your profile and ofcourse that does get in the updates that your connections get. Putting your search right in your header is a great idea! Not forgetting sexy too! I do worry though of current employers finding out, but that's just the risk worth taking if you are on a serious search... As always, greatful! -S.A.A

@BillBoorman
@BillBoorman

Thanks for the hat tip. You created the platform that enables us all to share. t is often the simple stuff that makes a difference. KISS Bill

OneJillian
OneJillian

Yep. Simple, Direct, Sexy. I'm going to change mine today. Thank you Rich and Bill B. for the tip!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Ed - Yeah... the generic terms don't do much for someone....but that's OK, not everyone needs a non-generic headline. Thanks for stopping by!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Miriam - Thanks for the comment. I agree with you on things, but what I'm getting at with this is a little different than where you are going. You say someone should write "Social Media Recruiting Expert". Well, if someone has that in their headline, and they are working already, a company might not know they are looking. Their experience will show they are an expert. The point of simply STATING WHAT YOU WANT, is that it shows people right away what you are looking for and how they can help you. For years my headline has been "Recruiting and HR Professional" which is similar to saying "Social Media Recruiting Expert" - Both don't do a good job of telling the employer that I'm looking for work. They just describe what I am...that works better for people who are employed and can't shout out about their job search.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey S.A.A - Yep, maybe not worth it to use it when employed, but definitely a good tactic when unemployed!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Thanks for the comment Jillian - Bill is the man with the plan, I just helped to pass it along!

Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers
Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers

Rich - I understand where you are going, and I agree that there is something to be said for being direct, which is why I advise my clients to consider this strategy to alert their networks - at first. However, it may begin to look desperate to have an "I'm looking for" title in a headline for an extended period. We agree it doesn't really work for people who are currently employed and do not want to alert their bosses. There are more subtle ways to indicate your availability, such as in the contact settings, where candidates can say they are open to career opportunities. Additionally, I've spoken to many, many recruiters who prefer to hire someone who is a passive candidate - not in an active search. A descriptive/skills focused headline serves candidates hoping to attract this segment of the recruiting field. An "I'm looking for" headline would be a turnoff for that group of recruiters. I don't know if "Recruiting and HR Professional” is so similar to saying “Social Media Recruiting Expert." Using the term "social media" opens your profile up to more targeted searches. In the long run, optimizing a LinkedIn profile with the right keywords is probably the most important thing that job seekers can do. As you know, there are a lot of nuances in job search. I am a bit of an evangelist about pointing out that there is no ONE "right" way to approach these topics for all job seekers. Everyone needs to evaluate his or her own situation and make an informed choice.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Miriam, You do make great points, and I'm not disagreeing. I too, believe there isn't one way to conduct a job search. Each person has to find their own way. I agree, having something up like this too long may look "desparate", but if someone is out of work, the person viewing will already know. I don't see the header as a begging plea for a job, it's simply a way to shout out current status. I do agree though, after 3-6 months, it should be changed, no matter what it says. This not onlyl keeps it fresh, but sends out the network alert to that persons connections. Many recruiters would rather hire a passive candidate. That's something I agree with. That's mainly because it proves solid work history and someone who is already happy. It's almost a challenge for recruiters. They want to take someone away from that job. Most of the hires I've made have all been passsive, but that doesn't mean I won't hire the right active candidate. I'm going to have to disagree with you on your comment on my headline not being similar to teh Social Media Recruiting Expert. I was simply saying that it's similar in that it does the same purpose. It's obvioulsy a different goal. I'm not sure I made myself clear here. What I meant was, saying Social Media Recruiting Expert is the same type of generic headlin as Saying Recruiting and HR professional. It's the same as saying. Accounts Payable/Receivable Expert. I don't think it does much, because that's what 90% of LinkedIn is using. It's way too common and plain.

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  4. [...] Use your headline to clearly describe your value proposition. Market yourself clearly, and don’t feel compelled to use your work title as your headline. Use the headline to describe your expertise using keywords to help people find you. You can even use your headline to announce your job-search goals. [...]