I love it when you guys send me questions. Just this week I received the following email from one of my readers asking about what he should include as his LinkedIn Headline.
“What’s a LinkedIn Headline?” It’s the little title you can give yourself (refer to the red arrow below)
I'd like your opinion on a dilemma regarding the LinkedIn headline.
There seem to be two schools of thought and both sides are adamant with their advice:
1) NEVER put "Seeking opportunities". It screams "desperate loser" and recruiters are only interested in employed prospects.
2) ALWAYS put "Seeking opportunities". Otherwise, recruiters will often just move on to a less ambiguous prospect to save time.
Any advice from your perspective is greatly appreciated.”
I would say C. none of the above. LinkedIn is a tool you can use to help you find a job however you shouldn't rely solely on it to get your next opportunity. The only way a recruiter will find you on linkedin is if they're looking for you as an almost exact match for the job they're trying to fill. This means that unless they are looking for someone with your exact profile, chances are they're not going to look at your profile.
Now to your question. A recruiter who sees "Seeking New Opportunities" has only 1-3 seconds before they make a decision. Although some may think it makes you sound desperate, I think most recruiters see that and immediately think "he was fired. he was bad at his job otherwise he wouldn't have been fired/laid off/voted off the island" and move on to the next candidate. Is this right/wrong? That's not really the issue here. It's an efficient way of determining if you’re good at your job and much easier than trying to figure out what the situation was. It’s easier to just move on to the next candidate who has a job.
Instead of putting on your profile that you're looking for new opportunities, I would suggest you put "Consultant". This makes you sound like you're still active in the workforce (which you should either by doing some freelancing or maintaining your technical abilities through self study). A way to tell a recruiter that you're interested in opportunities, is by choosing the option on LinkedIn that let's recruiters you're open. You can change this by going to Your Account, Privacy, then scroll down to Job Seeking Preferences and change "Let recruiters know you're open to opportunities". Most recruiters start their candidate search by looking first at those willing to change jobs then by qualifications than the other way around.
Let me know if that helps. If you need more in-depth advice, let me know and we can schedule a one-on-one session.
To clarify, if you’re a student, I recommend you put “Student” as your headline. If you have a job, put your current job title.
What’s on your headline? Do you think it makes a difference? Let me know.