If you’ve ever tried to write an article or a blog yourself, you’ll know the headline can be the most difficult part to get right. Not many people will read the content unless the headline grabs their attention first, which is why dedicated headline writers are employed in the media (‘Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster’ being one such gem!)
Profile headlines can be just as tricky, yet just as important, because they’re what people will see first as they browse through reams of online profiles with a coffee, deciding who to read more about with the few minutes they’ve got spare. An attention-grabbing opener, therefore, can be as effective as your entire profile content.
I recently gave a profile-writing presentation to a local networking group, and yesterday I was thanked by one of the attendees, a dressmaker who has just started her own business. She told me she had taken my advice on how to write a more creative opening headline, and had since received much more attention from potential clients!
The headline she’d chosen was ‘Manipulator of Textiles’ – which, whether you like it or not, is far more interesting than plain old ‘Dressmaker’, isn’t it? In a sea of others who do the exact same job as her, she stands out immediately. Plus, since she doesn’t only make dresses but also alters and repairs clothes, the other benefit of her new headline is that it doesn’t limit her.
I felt stupidly proud to be told about someone successfully following my advice (to be told they’d even listened to it in the first place is a great start!) – and it underlines the need to be a bit more imaginative when thinking about profile headlines.
So if you want to try out a more creative profile headline yourself, my simple formula is this:
Element of your profession + something you enjoy = interesting headline!
I followed this formula myself when I worked in HR, and my LinkedIn profile headline was ‘Professional empathiser and caffeine enthusiast’. This said nothing specific about HR, but I received far more connection requests, not to mention a few e-mails from random people saying they liked it!
So it’s not particularly necessary if your professional headline doesn’t say exactly what it is you do. On LinkedIn people will still see your job title, and you’ll appear in any search results for people who do your job. You’ll just stand out a bit more, that’s all!
Better yet, this is a formula that will work for most profile headlines, including dating profiles – simply swap “profession” for “personality” in the first part of the formula and you’re away! Give it a try…
…and if you need any help writing about yourself for professional or personal reasons, get in touch!
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
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