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How to use your professional headline on LinkedIn

Ellen DePasquale

Ellen DePasquale

When it comes to managing your online reputation, no detail is too small to fret over.
Take your LinkedIn headline.  That’s the line or two in your profile right under your name, which defaults to your current job title unless you do some customizing.
Barak Obama has opted for the basic: “President of the United States of America.” Others may want to look to further capitalize on that valuable bit of online real estate.

Ellen DePasquale, above, leader of the Long Island chapter of Webgrrls, Int.,  mentions her tag line and marketing message: “The Software Revitalist - Optimize your software; optimize your time.”
That headline “is a great marketing opportunity, but many people miss the opportunity,” says Jason Alba, founder of career management site. At the moment he’s using his headline space to mention his updated DVD: “2nd Edition: LinkedIn for Job Seekers
So, how about if you’re a job hunter? Is this a place to highlight that you’re “in transition?” Alba’s take on that: “You are first and foremost a professional or expert, right? Or, are you ‘professionally unemployed?’ Sell your value proposition, and make sure people know what you do. Adding ‘in transition,’ ‘looking for a new opportunity,’ or something like that in the headline is okay as long as it’s the secondary message.”
Adrian Miller, sales trainer in Port Washington, takes that a step further. (Her headline: “Sales trainer & consultant; NYC-based, nationwide clients across every industry. A no BS approach to real sales issues.”)
Establish your credibility first in your profile, she says, with links to blogs where you post or comment, a Twitter feed. Work into the back and forth conversation that you’re looking for the next right gig. When it comes to mentioning that in  your headline, she says she can’t imagine an employer saying at that point, “Eureka – I found somebody.”
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