Powerful Headlines serve several purposes. One purpose is to catch a person’s attention in a way that the person reads your content. A second purpose is to create a memorable impression in the reader’s mind.
Headlines sell. They convince readers that your content is worth their time. Professional headlines convince hiring managers that you have value that is worth their money.
Resume Summaries are Not Powerful Headlines
The headline goes immediately below your name and creates the impression you want people to have of you.
On the other hand, some job seekers write a summary of experience or statements of objectives at the beginning of a resume. In general, I discourage people from stating a summary of any type. Overloading the opening of a resume with a summary of experience or a summary of objectives can bog readers down before they get to the vital information in a resume.
On the other hand, headlines are effective in grabbing the reader’s attention and enticing the reader to continue to connect with your or, at least, to read your resume or your professional profile.
Characteristics of a Headline
There are several characteristics of a powerful headline. Here are characteristics that I find effective.
Sentence Fragment: A powerful professional headline is not a sentence. Rather the headline is a list of keywords. For example, instead of writing “I am a best-selling author,” simply state “2-time bestselling author.”
You can use a statement of your skills and qualifications similar to the way you would in a resume. However, to restate the point, as in resumes, your statement is not a sentence. For example, just your title might create a powerful headline. “Chief Executive Officer of [Name of Company]. ”
Memorable, Consistent, and Unique:
For example, the LinkedIn headline I chose is a catchphrase characteristic of my business. I have used this phrase for over thirty years as a recruiter.
I found that the phrase was an effective icebreaker. Over time, I found that new recruits had heard of me, not only for my reputation as a recruiter, but because of the headline I consistently associated with my name.
In some cases, you may want to include keywords that are timely to your current objectives: Job Seeker, Now Hiring, Available Now, Unemployed.