If you are an MBA candidate, do you know what you should put in your LinkedIn headline?
Most MBAs have spent significant time updating their resumes, contacting alumni and applying to dozens if not hundreds of MBA-level jobs. But have you given enough attention to your LinkedIn headline?
Why Your LinkedIn Headline Is Important
What a lot of MBA job seekers don’t take into consideration is the importance of a solid LinkedIn profile. It’s just one more piece of the job search.
- Your name, photo and headline are the only things that show up in search results.
- LinkedIn’s new algorithm relies heavily on your headline and this determines where your profile ranks within LinkedIn search results.
- Over 90% of employers are looking at LinkedIn profiles at some point during the hiring process. (Jobvite 2017)
- Company recruiters are using LinkedIn’s recruiting tool to search profiles to find talent with the right qualifications.
Your headline is the first thing someone sees when they look at your profile. It must contain the right keywords. Keywords are the skills or terms someone would search for to find candidates for the type of job you are looking for. Does your LinkedIn headline convey that you are qualified for your next role?
Let’s take this one step further. Your mission is to stand out from the other MBAs, right? If your headline reads like every other MBA candidate, will that accomplish your goal? Using the same headline as your classmates or top business school MBA candidates isn’t going to differentiate you.
Crowdsourcing LinkedIn Headline Tips
I asked for help from my network on LinkedIn. I wanted to see what these LinkedIn profile writers and job search pros recommended as the best LinkedIn headline for an MBA candidate.
Here is the question. (You can click on the box below to see the comments on LinkedIn)
“2018 MBA Candidate, [Name of School]” prompted this reaction from a recruiter:
“Great, you’re a freshly-minted MBA from [school]–so’s everyone else in your class. What do *you* bring to the table that the rest of your classmates *don’t*?” – Ed Han
What To Put In Your LinkedIn Headline
These are recommendations of what should be included in a LinkedIn Headline for MBA candidates.
“Lead with true differentiators, keywords or achievements.” – Lisa Rangel, Chameleon Resumes
“You can include MBA Candidate in your headline as long as you also indicate your core field and skills.” – Julia Erickson
“Add more information like target job (keywords!) or job function (keywords!) and type of employer (keywords!).” – Susan P Joyce
“Show areas of study / expertise the student hopes to use.” – Laura Smith-Proulx
“Find a niche that grabs decision makers ‘ attention and fulfills a need.” – Debra Feldman
Examples of MBA Candidate LinkedIn Headlines
“Marketing, Business Development, & Advertising, Branding for Market Differentiation & Analysis. 2018 Northwestern MBA” – Laura Smith-Proulx
“2018 MBA candidate at [name of school], concentration in [name of concentration], goal: data analytics role” – Susan P Joyce
Tips and Tricks to Keep In Mind
- You have 120 characters (2oo+ if you edit using the mobile app). Make them count.
- If you do use a pipe | or backslash / or some other character, leave a space before and after for SEO purposes.
- LinkedIn weights current Job Title, past Job Title and Headlines more than any other sections in your profile.
- Search LinkedIn and get ideas from MBAs who have used original, keyword rich headlines.
Other Reasons Your MBA Job Search Isn’t Working
There are several reasons why any job search is unsuccessful.
- Lack of focus (not sure what type of role or industry they are targeting or why)
- Lack of a value proposition (haven’t differentiated themselves and the value they will deliver)
- Unclear or poor messaging/communication (outreach via email or phone is not well-crafted)
- Narrow job search strategy (relying on job ads or not taking advantage of other sources of hiring)
- No sense of urgency (not putting in the time or effort to get results)
Your best chance of landing a job is right now. You have access to tools and resources through your career center that decrease or go away once you graduate. Put in the effort now. Dedicate time every day to your job search.