10 Eye-Catching LinkedIn Profile Headlines to Inspire Your Own

March 3, 2020

Photo of woman with her hands covering her eyes

“Pepsi: We make soda.” “Delta: We fly airplanes.” “Nike: We make sports stuff.” 

If those were advertisements, they’d make for some pretty boring Super Bowl commercials. Fortunately for us (and them), major brands don’t use such forgettable slogans. Neither should you.  

When it comes to writing their LinkedIn profile headline (that line of text that appears just below your name), many people take a “just-the-facts” approach, listing only their company or job titles. Make no mistake, though: that profile headline is your own personal ad. That’s why you should treat it like a mission statement — encapsulating who you are and why people should connect with you. 

There’s no one formula for a great headline, of course. To help you get inspired, here are 10 strategies real-life talent professionals have used to make their headlines pop — and get candidates’ attention. 

1. Give readers your elevator pitch

Today’s candidates want to find a sense of purpose in their work. And Brent Morrell, director of talent acquisition for the Indiana State Personnel Department, wants to help them find it. As his headline explains, he helps “purpose-driven Hoosiers grow their career with Indiana State Government, no matter the career path.”

Brent’s headline not only plants the idea in candidates’ heads that they can find the purpose they’ve been looking for with the state government, but also lets them know that they don’t need a particular background to work there. There are, after all, many different paths to success.

2. Share something personal to make yourself more approachable

At a time when candidates hold all the cards, it’s up to recruiters to make a great first impression — not the other way around — if they want to attract great talent. One recruiter who’s nailed the first impression is Tejal Wagadia, a corporate recruiter at e-learning platform StrongMind. 

Tejal’s headline reveals that she’s “Just your friendly neighborhood Recruiter” — while also admitting that she’s a “Nerd at Heart” and an “Introvert living in an industry of Extroverts.” It’s a light-hearted headline that also gives candidates an idea of her personality and communication style. And with a picture of an adorable kitten as her cover photo, it would be hard to resist responding to her outreach. 

3. Shift the focus to the candidate

Talent professionals are in the business of changing lives. Cody Horton, managing director of global diversity recruiting at sourcing firm Diverse Recruiting Experts, positions his role a little differently. As his headline declares, he’s all about “Empowering People to Change Their Lives.” 

By shifting the focus away from himself and onto the candidate, Cody makes his profile stand out from the crowd. It’s an intriguing statement, making you wonder how he can help you change your life — giving you all the more reason to connect with him. 

4. Connect the dots between your employer and corporate brands

“Imagine the possibilities…” writes Erin L'Hommedieu, a technical recruiter at The Walt Disney Company, in her LinkedIn headline. It’s a clever way to take something we’ve associated with Disney since childhood — imagination — and link it to the bright future she can offer candidates.

Her photo is the icing on the cake: decked out in Mickey Mouse ears as she sits by the computer, Erin looks like she's just waiting for the right candidate to InMail her so she can take them on that magic carpet ride to a new career. Walt would be proud!

5. Ditch the buzzwords for something more memorable

There are some buzzwords that are so overused in recruiting that candidates barely register them anymore (see: self-starter, team player, and so on). Alexandra Sazonova, a Moscow-based talent acquisition business partner at healthcare data science company IQVIA, subverts expectations in her headline with a word you wouldn’t often hear about candidates: brave. 

“Searching for brave minds to help us reimagine healthcare,” her headline states. It grabs your attention — and immediately creates the impression of exploration, adventure, and discovery. 

6. Or use buzzwords in a memorable way to highlight your special skills

Lots of recruiters mention “unicorns” and “purple squirrels” on their LinkedIn profiles to illustrate their ability to land that mythical, impossible-to-find perfect hire. Kimberly Butler, a foundations recruiter at Airbnb, puts her own spin on this with her headline — letting readers know that while she is a “Unicorn Hunter,” she’s also a “Career Match-Maker.”

The genius of this headline is that it demonstrates how she helps both companies and candidates. Yes, she’s looking for that fabled unicorn that every company wants to hire — but she’s also dedicated to helping candidates find a career that’s a perfect fit.  

7. Ask rhetorical questions to encourage the response you want

Adam Karpiak, president of recruiting firm Karpiak Consulting, uses his headline to ask two questions: “Want me to review or edit your resume?” and “Need some candidate therapy?” If candidates answer “yes” to either of those questions, he then lets candidates know that they can message him because his “DMs are open.”

It’s a clever rhetorical trick that encourages candidates to get in touch, without coming across as too salesy. 

8. Project confidence — and don’t be afraid to use emoticons :)

Mike Wolford, lead sourcing recruiter at Nielson, has found a way to highlight that his company is hiring — by noting that he’s “possibly your future colleague.”

Reading his headline, it takes a moment for the true meaning to be sink in, and when it does, it’s sure to make you smile. Mike knows this, which is why he’s followed the confident statement with a cheeky little smiley face. 

By mentioning colleagues, Mike also makes candidates think about one of the most exciting aspects of changing jobs: getting to meet and work with interesting new people. This is a nice way to emphasize the meaningful relationship that talent professionals can build with candidates. It’s not just about filling an open role — it’s about bringing an incredible new coworker on board. 

9. Focus on the bigger picture

Lots of headlines focus on the specific type of candidate that the recruiter wants to hire. Nashla Fadile Contreras Rello, a senior global business recruiter at Google, expands her focus to the whole team, writing that she wants to “Build the teams that shape Google’s future.”

It’s a simple, effective way to encourage candidates to think about the amazing team they could be joining — and make them excited to be part of something bigger than themselves. 

10. Be bold and take a calculated risk

Jason Yuan, a “talent seeking missile” at gaming company Electronic Arts, makes a bold statement in his headline: “I don't usually stalk Profiles, but when I do I probably have a career opportunity for you.”

In one line, he manages to make candidates sit up and take notice. He then encourages them to reach out to him with an open-ended invitation: “Want to connect!?”

You get 120 characters — so make them count

As a recruiter, you’re marketing yourself and the company you’re hiring for in your headline — and asking potential candidates to trust their futures to you. So, rather than simply listing your job title (which is displayed below anyway), put those 120 characters to good use by showing who you are and what you're all about.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your passions, your mission, or whatever else you care about the most. Give it a whirl and who knows — maybe your profile will show up on a list like this in future!

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