The Recruiting Blog of KG Workforce Solutions.

Headlines for Job Seekers

October 1, 2020 by Kelli Long

Headlines for Job Seekers.

Are headlines for job seekers valuable? The answer is an overwhelming YES!

Job seekers have several ways to leverage headlines. The two most prevalent being on their résumés and LinkedIn profiles.

What is a Headline?

Simply put, it is the top of a document that explains what to expect from the content. In résumés, it appears below a job seeker’s name and contact information. In LinkedIn, it is the key text that appears below the profile picture.

What is the Goal of a Headline?

A headline tells readers what to expect and captures their attention. This is a job seeker’s opportunity to entice a hiring authority or recruiter to read further. After all, if no one reads your résumé or profile, it will not help you land a job. Most employers spend less than 8 seconds reviewing a résumé. The headline grabs their attention and motivates them to learn more about a candidate’s experience.

Headlines on LinkedIn

The default LinkedIn headline is a person’s current job title and company. While this gives a hint into what you do, it does not show any significant value you offer. Luckily, you can change your headline.

Default headline example: Accountant at Company ABC

Alternative headline 1: Accounting │ Cost Savings │ Process Improvement – steering organizations to profit optimization through analysis, meticulous record keeping, and repeatable and efficient processes.

Alternative headline 2: I help companies stay profitable by identifying cost savings, implementing efficient and sustainable processes, and analyzing financial data to maximize profits and reduce costs.

LinkedIn headlines must be concise due to character restrictions. Job seekers can use emojis and symbols to draw even more attention to their headlines. To create a consistent brand image, keep the color scheme the same on your LinkedIn profile and your résumé.

Headlines on Résumés

Unlike headlines on LinkedIn, there is no default in a résumé (unless you are using a generic template which I don’t recommend). Job seekers should create customized headlines for every unique opportunity. Résumé headlines can be title based or outcomes based. Below are a few examples:

Example 1: Accounting Manager │ Financial & Data Analyst │ Compliance & Auditing Leader

Example 2: Cost Savings │ Process Improvement │ Risk Mitigation │ Profit Optimization

Résumé headlines are typically one line and contain no more than 3-4 individual components. Use font size, color, bolding and other accents to draw attention to the headline. It should stand out near the top of your résumé.

Headline Myths

Myth: I cannot use a headline with a job title I’ve never held.

False: Headlines are descriptions of your skills and abilities. You should not falsify your background, such as calling yourself a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) if you are not. Yet, you can call yourself an Accounting Manager if you have strong accounting and leadership skills. So, if your goal is to be an Accounting Manager, you can use that headline even if you have never held that exact title.

Myth: A headline must be a job title or series of job titles.

False: While headlines are most commonly job titles, that’s not a rule. Demonstrating value and key skills can be excellent alternatives (see example 2 under Headlines on Résumés above). A headline can also be a short, powerful accomplishment. Such as “Reduced vendor costs by 35% within 18 months.”

Myth: My headline should reflect my strongest skills or accomplishments.

False: Headlines should reflect and support your candidacy for a position by being relevant. While you may consider earning a Ph.D. in History to be your greatest accomplishment, it may not be the most relevant. A manager who is hiring for an accounting position will be less impressed by your history expertise than your accounting expertise. Keep your headline relevant and impactful.

Your LinkedIn profile and résumé are marketing tools. Writing for your target audience is critical. The target audience of a job seeker is typically a recruiter or hiring manager with a specific need. Express your skills and accomplishments that matter to them. Think about what solves their problem. Write your profile and résumé with the reader in mind. Market yourself!

Looking for additional ways to move your job search forward? Subscribe to !Unstuck!. This monthly newsletter is packed full of tips, market data, and industry trends for job seekers.

LinkedIn Job Search Tips & Essentials

March 14, 2020 by Kelli Long

LinkedIn Job Search Tips

LinkedIn is a powerful job search tool. A well-designed profile and strategic engagement can steer hiring managers and recruiters your way. Below are some of my favorite LinkedIn job search tips.

Profile Basics

  1. Use a professional-looking headshot (shoulders and above).
  2. Create a custom headline (first line under your name). Include keywords relevant to your desired position/ job search goals.
  3. Add a custom banner (image behind your profile picture). You can show some personality as long as the image is appropriate for potential employers.
  4. Create an “about me” section that draws INTEREST in what you do. What makes you good at your job? Why are you different? What do you offer? Communicate these things to your audience.
  5. Add relevant, professional media files, such as a résumé, testimonials, videos, etc.
  6. Go through your security and privacy settings. There are a lot of settings that can improve your visibility to prospective employers.


  1. Add your work experience for the past 10 years. Experience more than 10 years ago is only needed if it is the only connection you have to a certain company, skill, or industry that is relevant in your job search.
  2. Use prepopulated options for titles and companies when possible.
  3. Add job descriptions with keywords under each job. Recruiters and hiring managers can search for candidates using keywords within the job descriptions.
  4. Include accomplishments under each job, not just duties.
  5. Use short, concise sentences or bullets instead of thick paragraphs.
  6. Match dates, companies, and titles to your résumé.


  1. List only relevant education and degrees. Consider leaving off the subject matter if it’s irrelevant to your career goals.
  2. Remove the graduation year if you earned your degree more than 5-10 years ago.
  3. Use the “Licenses & Certifications” section (instead of the “Education” section) to include relevant certification and licenses. Be clear on whether certifications or licenses are active or expired.
  4. If you have not completed a degree or certification, list it as training or courses to avoid confusion.
  5. Match your certifications and education to what is listed on your résumé.

Skills & Endorsements

  1. Enter all relevant skills, up to the max (50 at this time).
  2. “Pin” your top three skills to be easily viewed on your profile.
  3. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to get endorsements; just get the skills listed.
  4. Skills are searchable by recruiters and hiring managers, so include your most relevant skills first, then fill in any additional slots.


  1. Ask for recommendations from co-workers, clients, professors, and vendors.
  2. Giving recommendations is a great way to get them.
  3. Set a goal to receive at least three recommendations (you can use quotes/excerpts from these in cover letters or résumé testimonials too).
  4. Review and approve your recommendations to make them visible.


  1. List awards and achievements.
  2. Add relevant affiliations (trade organization memberships, community involvement, etc.).
  3. Be conscientious about adding affiliations of a sensitive nature, i.e., politics, religion, and age.
  4. Add additional languages for which you are fluent or business proficient.


  1. If you apply with a company, follow it on LinkedIn. Also follow leading companies in your industry and local market.
  2. Educational institutions and trade organizations related to your background and profession are great to follow.
  3. Join relevant groups. It is not necessary to spend a lot of time in the groups. Most job seekers find groups more beneficial for exposure and research than networking.


  1. Send connection requests to co-workers, managers, vendors, clients, and fellow alumni.
  2. Connect with recruiters in your local market and/or niche industry.
  3. Follow or connect with influencers relevant to your industry. Caution; only connect or follow those with whom you share the same values.
  4. After an interview, send a connection request to the manager and/or HR.
  5. Use LinkedIn for research before an interview and to help build relationships within an organization. However, use it for research and networking, not stalking!


  1. Respond to messages from recruiters and potential employers promptly. Even if you are not interested in the position they present, send an acknowledgment.
  2. Check your settings to make sure messages are pushed to your email if you don’t log in daily.
  3. Turn on the notification to let recruiters know you are open to job opportunities. This is one of the many options in your account settings.


  1. Set up job alerts.
  2. Set a goal to post something relevant to your industry or companies of interest (original content or sharing/liking) at least three times per week.
  3. Avoid controversial content.
  4. Comment on relevant articles and posts. Add your expertise, such as tips, support, recommendations, etc.
  5. Stay positive!! Don’t get sucked into polarized content. Negativity on LinkedIn WILL HURT your job search, so don’t do it!

More than 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn in the hiring process, so use it often and use it right! While that percentage varies from year-to-year, it remains a primary tool used by employers! Take advantage of the platform!

For more job search tips, follow us on social media! Need help in creating a great résumé or LinkedIn presence? If so, shoot us a message.

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