Did you ever play duck, duck goose as a kid? This popular game makes its rounds in nearly every kindergarten playground in the country, teaching children as young as 5 that being different (i.e. the goose) is good.

Duck or goose

With 80% of all companies using social media tools to recruit and 95% of them using Linked In, your headline tells them who you are and what you do. LinkedIn naturally defaults your headline to your current position.

To stand out and be seen different in today’s overcrowded market with 30 Million job seekers, avoid being the same as every other duck in the pond and go for a custom headline. Savvy job seekers turn this headline into a personal branding statement to capture the attention of prospective employers and recruiters.

4 steps to a new headline

How do you edit this headline area and capture attention? It’s easier than you think.

  1. Log in to your LinkedIn Profile
  2. Click Edit Profile
  3. Select Edit next to your name
  4. Enter your attention-grabbing headline

Captivating branding

If you’re actively job hunting, or one of the 84% of professionals that’s decided to start looking for a new opportunity in 2011, your headline is the one line that tells the 85 Million+ LinkedIn members who you are and what you do. How important is this one line? Let’s take a look at two headlines (a.k.a. personal branding statements):

“Entertainment Industry Professional”
“Visionary Results-Driven Senior Sales Executive”

Which one inspires you to find out more? It’s certainly possible that both of these professionals are in the entertainment industry. If I’m sourcing for a visionary executive, a senior executive or a sales producer, there’s a good chance one of these profiles is going to see action.

LinkedIn profiles are search engine optimized showing your headline on Google results. If you’re job searching, or simply using LinkedIn for a professional networking resource, your profile – from the headline to summary, specialties and recommendations – is part of your personal brand. Are you standing out as a Goose among the millions of job seeking ducks on LinkedIn? Given the 80% of companies on social media and 95% of those on Linked In, now is the time to make your personally branded headline stand out!