Would you like to know what mistake almost everyone on LinkedIn makes? There are lots of mistakes to choose from, so you would be forgiven if you don’t know what this one is. It’s using the default headline on LinkedIn without tailoring it to convey the message that you want to send to employers and other LinkedIn users.
So what’s wrong with using the default headline? After all, it’s accurate. It’s what you do at your current company.
Here is why it is problematic. It
- Promotes your organization, not you. Without some sort of descriptor or branding statement about you and your capabilities, you give free advertising to your employer. Keep in mind that your headline shows up every time you interact on LinkedIn. So if what other users on LinkedIn know about you immediately is that you work for XYZ company, your headline is emphasizing your company, not you.
- Misses a golden opportunity to give employers value-added information. Given the fact that your headline is prominently displayed every time that you interact on LinkedIn, you should take advantage of this prime real estate to give employers information about you that would entice them to read your profile in detail. Using the default headline makes you look like everybody else. By changing it to something more powerful, you can tell employers what you can do for them.
- Shows lack of creativity. Anyone can use the default headline. That takes no thought, planning, or creativity. Taking the time to craft a headline that speaks to your abilities in just a few words shows that you know how to be creative and professional at the same time.
- Demonstrates lack of initiative. Not only does using the default headline show lack of creativity, but it also shows a lack of initiative. You didn’t bother to change it. You just let it be.
- Defines you by your job title. This is really important. You are not your job title. And furthermore, you may want to leave your current job title behind and find either something totally different or something that is at a higher level. LinkedIn’s headline automatically defaults to your current job title, so initially that is all people know about you. So if you want to break out of the job title that you are currently in, reinforcing that job title on your headline probably will instead keep you in the type of role that you have now.
*Is your LinkedIn profile ready for prime time? Whether you are completely immersed in a job hunt or you would just like to hear about opportunities in case something great comes along, your profile needs to be polished. Call 877-743-9521 to take your profile, including the headline, from run-of-the-mill to top-notch