No more Mrs Standard Bank or Mr MTN
There are two places where you get to talk about who you are and what you do: the headline at the top of your profile and under your “Title” in the various Experience fields.
Let us start with the Title field. Under Experience you will indicate which company you work for, how long you have been there, and what your Title is. What LinkedIn is looking for here is what your position is in the company, not whether or not you are married. I have seen too many people put in Mr, or Mrs or Ms or Dr instead of Marketing Manager, CEO or Intern. When you view their position after it has been edited, it places that position right before your company name so it will read ‘Mrs Standard Bank’ instead of ‘Client Liaison Standard Bank’.
Always check what your profile looks like after you have edited and fix anything that looks wrong. Otherwise, far from creating a professional image for you, your LinkedIn profile may make you look like you cannot handle modern communication.
Bonus tip – If you want to see what your profile looks like to someone else, from your profile page, just besides your profile photo, is a blue box with a down arrow. One of the options from the down arrow is “View Profile As ..”. Clicking on that allows you to view yourself as an outsider would. Or simply go onto someone else’s computer and have a quick look see.
As you update your most recent Experience position, there is an option that allows you to update your Headline
with this position. Many people do this, but then I think you miss a trick with the headline itself.
Now this is part art, part guts and glory. Your headline should not say just what you do, but it should imply who you are, and most importantly, what value you bring to the person engaging with your profile.
If I look at a person whose Headline reads “Owner”, I have no idea whether they own their own, one person business or own a share in a company or own 100% stock in a company that is about to be listed, or if they own a share in a race horse. “Owner” doesn’t tell me anything about the person, their field, or what they can do for me if we connect.
Here are some examples.
Mr at Freelance, has allowed his incorrect title in his position, to also be his headline.
Bernice has updated her Headline after her position and stated her value to a prospective client.
Just remember though, if you get fancy with your title, that recruiters are less likely to come across your profile. While they are searching for ‘Marketing Manager’ and you are proudly calling yourself ‘Marketing Wizard’, you may fall out of their net.
My recommendation is to have fun with your Headline, but keep your title more traditional.