Practical Linkedin for us Africans – The Profile Headline.

As an active recruiter (I am the owner of HIREghana – www.HIREgh.com), I and my associates come daily across through several hundred of Linkedin profiles via our candidate sourcing searches and via our very own professional networking too. And we see a lot of things that seem to be common to African profiles, so I decided to write a series of articles aiming to offer my very own humble opinion in the form of advice. This is the second one in a series of postings to come over the next weeks/ year.

The first thing we look at, when we all look at someone\’s Linkedin profile, is 1st their photograph (and that was the focus of the previous LinkedIn article – click below to IreneWorkplace to find it) and 2nd their title.

But what is in a \’Title\’? Based on that factual reality and our professional experience, we simply like to recommend the following DOs and DON\’Ts.

Maybe you are the top-man or top-woman in your company. Even so, though you are let\’s say the Head of Advertising at XYZ-Company, that doesn\’t mean that this is the the only thing that has to be in your headline. Instead of using this:

Advertising Head
Why don\’t you use something for example like that:

Advertising Head | Social Media & Mobile Advertising | Mobile Lead Generation | NeuroMarketing

OR

Advertising Head at XYZ | Social Media Sales Generation | Social Audience Commander | Digital Advertising and Marketing Leader

Please do not use Social Audience Commander – it\’s just a joke. But, I assume that by now you get the point.

The 2nd option would be to write a value or branding statement – something that looks like this:

Advertising Manager in synch with digital advertising in all Social Media, one who commands the lingua franca of any Social Audience of today and of the Future and overdrives sales growth

These 2 examples of LinkedIn profile-headlines either communicate clearly your area of expertise that is most relevant to your future employer, or your own value which is most relevant to future employers and/or clients.

For active job seekers, my personal recommendation will be the keywords 1st example. LinkedIn offers you 120 character limit of \’prime real estate\’ to make a statement as to who you are. So, use it wisely please.

DOs
1. Use humble modest real-word simple titles without underestimating your value.
2. Click on and Use Linkedin\’s \”Show Examples\” feature on “Your professional headline” dialog-box.
That appears when you start editing your Linkedin Headline.

3. On same dialog box, click on “See what other user sin your industry are using\”

4. Use 2-3 target job titles.
That way, you are employing as many keywords as possible.

In above example for targeting a advertising position: Advertising Head | Senior Digital Advertiser | Copyright Director.

5. Use \’-\’ or \’|\’ for separators– this is just a suggestion – in any case no funny special characters please.
e.g .Advertising Head at XYZ | Social Media Sales

6. Use on your discretion relevant industries.
e.g You could put IT & Telecoms

7. Same as above with skills
Example: Head of IT | Banking | Certified Project Manager

8. You could also use personal attributes
e.g. Marketing & Sales Guru.

DON\’Ts

1. Avoid megalomaniac titles
You sell banku (nothing wrong with that – my husband loves it)and you are the CEO or Managing Director of that corner stand?

And besides the million CEOs of one-man or one-woman businesses, why does Ghana have so many Prophets and Apostles? Are these Job Titles fit for Linkedin?

Also, you are the CEO, CFO, COO and Head of Sales of your company? Will you hire such a person?

2. Don\’t restrict it to your current Title and Company.
Just spice it up! We gave you an example in the begin of this article.

3. Avoid special characters please.
They can be too destructing to they or too tiresome to allow the eye to read.

Also, if the company uses an Applicant Tracking System where you log in with your Linkedin Profile to apply for a job, it might populate fields invisible to you with junk characters and \’sabotage\’ your application process

4. Don\’t be cute and funny – Be professional.
Will you hire or even take serious when you are searching for candidates someone stating s/he is a “Marketing Rockstar with a capital R”?

5. Don\’t waste those 120 characters of keyword opportunity!
Use them all 120 characters. And please use them wisely.

6. Avoid (highly recommended) LinkedIn\’s own Top 10 Buzzwords
I trust that you are now convinced that your LinkedIn Professional Headline is indeed a golden opportunity to elevate yourself above all the thousands and thousands of LinkedIn users. Even in Ghana there are close to 700.000 users and that crowd keeps growing and growing constantly

Even if you are not an active job seeker at present, please use a high impact effective Headline, for the rest of us who will appreciate and enjoy to quickly read and understand who are you before we delve deeper inside your profile.

Good Luck.
Irene

Scroll to Top