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Choosing a LinkedIn Headline

The Local Job Market Social Media in Job Search


I’m between jobs now. What should I put as my LinkedIn headline? “Currently unemployed?”



Never allow yourself to be defined by your employment status, especially if you don’t like the place you find yourself at the moment.

LinkedIn users, including potential employers, will find you on LinkedIn based on what words are in your profile. You need to make every word count.

There are two major problems with using “unemployed” as your headline:
• Many employers are willing to hire unemployed people these days; but how many do you suppose put “unemployed” in the search box? (Hint: not very many.)
• The main use of the headline is to help people find you (employers among others.) Suppose an employer is looking for someone like you, but doesn’t know (yet) that it’s you they're looking for. What will they put in the search box? Those are the words you want.

Instead, use that headline to show a potential employer how you can help them succeed. You have 120 characters available; use them.

You won’t be able to target your profile to a particular job, the way you do with a resume. You don’t know who might read it, or what interest they may have in you. It will have to be fairly general. It may contain the job title you’re looking for, but should also have some information that promotes you by describing what you have to offer.

Use keywords for your industry, if possible in the headline, and certainly throughout your profile. That helps employers and potential connections find you.

If you want help in this area, consider joining our seminar The LinkedIn Connection. You’ll have the opportunity to think through this topic with a knowledgeable instructor and several classmates. Check the calendar at to see when the next class will be held.

One last thought: if you don’t make it easy for the employer, someone else will.


About the Author

Beth Davis-Reinhold

Beth Davis-Reinhold is an instructor at Frederick County Workforce Services, where she has worked for over 20 years. She teaches job search seminars and basic computer skills. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, and is Internet and Computing Core Certified (IC3). Beth has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 15 years, and is an Advanced Communicator Silver. A graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Beth has also studied American Sign Language for many years. In addition to many sundry projects for FCWS, Beth writes its “Ask the Career Coach” blog.