The 5 Most Worthless Phrases in Your LinkedIn Headline

LinkedIn HeadlineYour LinkedIn Headline is arguably the most important piece of real estate within your Profile.
Yet, many LinkedIn users remain confused how to best use the Headline or how to optimize it for maximum site traffic.

LinkedIn’s search algorithm ranks your Headline as the top indexed field in your Profile (second only to your name). In other words, out of all the data on your Profile, this field is weighted most heavily in user searches.

Therefore, you’ll want to consider carefully what you use in this field (and avoid using the default value, which is your current job title).

In addition, your Headline is first piece of information others will see when communicating with you! You only have to navigate LinkedIn briefly to see other Headlines displayed prominently under their names in nearly every part of the site.

Here, then, is a list of the most meaningless words you can put in your Headline (unfortunately, these were found in actual Profiles), plus some suggestions for stronger alternatives:
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7 Phrases to Delete From Your LinkedIn Profile

Have you noticed? 

Phrases long considered taboo on resumes (like “self-motivated team player”) are making their way back into LinkedIn Profiles – and the outcome isn’t good.

Phrases to delete from your LinkedIn ProfileThese mundane phrases only make it more difficult for employers to see your ROI as a candidate! They have to look past these overused terms to even FIND your unique value proposition.

With a little ingenuity, however, you can pull the lackluster phrases out of your Profile and replace them with powerful writing attuned to your personal style and energy.

Here are some of the worst offenders lurking among LinkedIn Profiles, along with suggestions for alternative wording:

1 – Accomplished professional.

If this is really true, then show (don’t tell!) your readers about it. This phrase is likely to prompt more annoyance from employers than appreciation.

Instead, consider using a sentence or phrase that speaks specifically to your achievements and career stature, as shown here:

  • Sales rep distinguished by closing 153% of quota in 2017
  • IT Director heading millions in outsourcing contracts at global banks

In addition, you can add accomplishment data (right in the Summary) that cuts to the heart of what you do and why you’re good at it, with sentences such as these:

  • Sales manager honored for coaching 3 Top Producers
  • Operations manager promoted for increasing production line efficiency

2 – Results-driven.

Most companies plan on hiring someone who fits this description, and they weed out anyone who doesn’t perform to their expectations. It’s almost to your detriment to point this out in your Profile.

You might try adding information that actually PROVES your drive for results, with mention of how you’ve earned a promotion in just 6 months, or the ways in which your performance has outpaced that of your peers.

3 – Exceptional communicator.

The trouble with this phrase is that it’s not only tough to prove, but that the person using it often misspells one or more words (really).

Since your LinkedIn Profile gives you plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills, you’ll have the opportunity to convey complex concepts or perhaps distill a major project into a short description… both of which would speak louder about your communications skills than this phrase ever will.

4 – Proven success.

Well, employers would hope so. After all, why mention your success unless you have some proof to back it up?

Here’s where you’re better off noting some metrics, as in:

  • Exceeded quota for 7 out of past 8 years
  • Brought company to 87% market share
  • Met 100% of project budget constraints despite limited resources

These achievements can help online readers understand the scope of your work and the reasons behind your career progression.

5 – Experienced.

Ahem… of COURSE you are.

Even worse, successful experience is so redundant you’re wasting space and LinkedIn keyword optimization by even thinking of these phrases.

One way to replace this word is to simply specify the number of years you’ve worked in the industry.

However, be careful here:  16 years of experience in sales doesn’t quite have the same ring as Generated 27% average over-quota revenue throughout progressively challenging sales roles.

6 – Responsible for.

Just like a resume, there is no reason to clutter the landscape of your Profile with a phrase that is largely assumed.

Rather than use this phrase, you can just skip to the relevant facts (managed $4.2M budget, oversaw 12-state region, supervised staff of 35) and save everyone’s time.

7 – Microsoft Word skills.

Unless you’re targeting an entry-level or editing job, there’s no advantage to listing basic skills possessed by nearly all applicants. In fact, employers might be more surprised if you lack these capabilities.

Instead, research target jobs for desirable skills and keywords that can help pull in traffic from recruiters seeking specific competencies.

By taking a long look at your LinkedIn Profile, you should be able to see if you’re committing the SAME mistakes that have been appearing on resumes for years.

If so, it’s time to refresh your approach and provide specific details on the high points of your career—information that others can readily relate to (and even use to hire you) from your LinkedIn Profile.

Executive Resume Writer

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, enjoying the competitive advantage of powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

Are These LinkedIn Problems Affecting Your Job Search?

Frustrated with your LinkedIn results?

Does any of this sound familiar?linkedin slow job search

  • You send LinkedIn messages to others, but they don’t respond
  • You’ve filled in your LinkedIn Profile, but you’re not sure it represents you or your brand
  • You see a stream of Congratulations messages for others (who’ve landed jobs that should go to you)

Take a look at these common dilemmas and resolutions:

1 – You put in the minimum effort when writing your LinkedIn Profile.

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How to Stop Your Work Anniversary Notifications on LinkedIn

Annoyed with the flood of “Congratulations!” notes on LinkedIn every time your work anniversary rolls around?

Try removing the Months on your jobs in the Experience section. Navigate to the job on LinkedIn, click the pencil icon to edit the dates, and select “Choose” instead of specifying the month. Hit Save and you’re done!

And don’t stop at this change if LinkedIn isn’t producing the results you want:

7 Phrases to Delete From Your LinkedIn Profile

How to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly

Are You Faceless on LinkedIn?

Write a Memorable, Knockout LinkedIn Profile Summary

The 5 Most Worthless Phrases in Your LinkedIn Headline

Is Your LinkedIn Photo a Joke?

In a nutshell, use the right type of message and content on LinkedIn to attract your target audience and keep the focus where you want it: on your qualifications.

Executive Resume Writing Services

Need a competitive edge in your job search? My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.

As an award-winning executive resume writer and a former recruiter, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your career transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC