Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies
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Your professional headline appears just below your name as well as on every communication you send in LinkedIn. Job seekers should pay close attention to the headline to improve the chances of landing a job.

It’s the first thing someone reads when your profile shows up on a search results page. It defines who you are and what you can do for an organization. That’s why LinkedIn doesn’t simply call this section job title, yet many people make the mistake of stating their role, such as sales executive or VP of Finance.

When you first sign up to LinkedIn or add a new position, it automatically puts your job title in the headline area. You need to edit this along with the rest of your profile.

In your LinkedIn professional headline, you have 120 characters to really communicate your identity — what you do, who you are, and what your level of motivation is. This spot is also your chance to show a hiring manager that you understand the needs of her business. What can you do to help her company?

Because LinkedIn’s search algorithm indexes the headline first, be sure to include your most powerful keywords and keyphrases.

If you currently have a job, mention it by name in your headline. Employed people sometimes have an easier time finding other jobs. So take advantage of this trend by explicitly calling out your current employer and what you’re doing there.

Think of your headline as a short sales pitch. Not only does it need to clearly explain what you do, but it also has to convince recruiters to read more about you. This means stepping into their point of view for a moment and crafting compelling language. Doing so in 120 characters is deceptively hard. Take your time and get this part right.

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Joshua Waldman, MBA, is an authority on leveraging social media to find employment. His writing has appeared in Forbes, Huffington Post, Mashable, and the International Business Times. Joshua's career blog,, won the Readers' Choice Award for Best Career Blog 2013. Joshua presents keynotes, trainings, and breakout sessions around the world for students, career advisors, and professional organizations.

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