A new client recently sent me the URL to his LinkedIn profile and asked what I thought of his headline. As I read it, I cringed. It started with:

I'm a Jedi master at ...

The voice in my brain was screaming, "No, No!" Working with hundreds of recruiters and hiring managers these days, I can tell you using words like Jedi to describe yourself isn't a good idea. Likening yourself to a Star Wars character is not something they appreciate. They also don't suggest you call yourself a "guru," "master," "mogul," or "ninja," either. Why? Because to them, referring to yourself this way sounds both silly and narcissistic.

Don't Oversell Yourself

A recruiter's job is to determine your skill level. They want to be the judge. When you oversell your skills on your LinkedIn profile, it screams desperation. It comes across as trying way too hard. The immediate picture in their head is someone who needs to be the center of attention and dominates the conversation. Is that the message you want to send?

Key Skill Sets = Get Found More on LinkedIn

A better way to optimize your LinkedIn headline is to list the key skill sets you want to use in your next role. Recruiters use the platform to search on the skills they've been told are required to do the job. The LinkedIn search results algorithm is just like an internet search: In order to sift through millions of profiles and provide a list of the best matches, it must look for these keywords in certain places on your profile. If the keywords are in your headline, you are sending a message that these skills are important to you. Which means you'll show up higher in the results.

So, avoid the goofy terminology and stick with the words that will help you get found and noticed for all the right reasons!

Published on: Oct 5, 2018