Social Media Assignment #3: I’m Just Not that Into Your Title

By January 27, 2011Communications

See this?

It’s what LinkedIn calls my “Professional Headline.”

A professional headline is not your title.

Let me repeat: A professional headline should not be your title.

If, in this space, you’ve proudly put President, Vice President, Manager, Associate or what-have-you, then you’re missing an opportunity. In this space, rather than inserting the general, commonplace label your company has given you, put in key words that describe what it is you do. This helps others in your field, or those looking for someone just like you to find you.

Let’s face it, there are an awful lot of Vice Presidents out there, aren’t there, but there’s only one of you, right?

Today’s Social Media Assignment

My professional headline includes: “Social media strategy consultant, public relations professional, media trainer, public speaker, social media educator,” — list some phrases that describe what you do. If you need to, seek input from others at work. If you’re looking for a job or a new opportunity, think about including words that would help you be found in a search for someone fitting that description. Above all, take the time today to edit this part of your social profile and stop being lumped in with all the other people in the world who share your title, but nothing else.

Thank you to John Heaney who included me in the astute post, Avoiding the Top 5 LinkedIn Mistakes.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.


  • Thanks for clarifying this, Marijean. I have seen it done both ways and I was confused about the purpose the professional headline. On my way to change it now!

  • Walker says:

    Great ideas, and nice mention in the article. I’ve gone to LinkedIn and done a little ‘smartening’ up of my profile. Thanks.

  • Jen A says:

    I’m curious about your thoughts on having 1 vs 2 LinkedIn profiles if you’re in two businesses. You’ve already shared with us your feelings on having a personal AND a professional Facebook account, but I wonder if you feel the same about LinkedIn. For example, myself. I work full-time for someone else, doing association management for nonprofit professionals. I love my job, I love my boss, I love my co-workers, I love a steady paycheck and affordable health insurance. But. I also have a dream, as many of us do, of working for myself. To that end, about 2.5 years ago, I started a freelance copyediting business. I don’t do a lot of work for it at this point, but I do some. My boss knows about my freelance biz and has no problem with it provided I don’t do it on my work time – totally understandable, and of course I wouldn’t want to mix the two in that way anyway for ethical reasons. Two very different businesses, both of which I care about and want to promote and want to make personal connections concerning. I have just one LinkedIn account, and both are listed there, but it feels weird. What to do?

  • Another great tip, Marijean! I’m changing mine as we speak. 🙂

  • Ken says:

    Woohoo. I’m 3 for 3 so far, though I did go back and tinker with my LinkedIn headline today. I’ll be interested to see how many more assignments you have and if we’ll be at odds on any of them, or if I’ll be lacking.

  • Marijean says:

    Ken — I don’t know how many assignments I will have! I’m not sure I will ever run out, honestly. If I do, I will ask you for ideas!

  • Marijean says:

    Jen A, I think you bring up a very interesting situation. I strongly believe that you need to maintain the single profile on LinkedIn; it will not benefit you to have two and confuse people trying to find the “real” Jen A. You should, perhaps, think about a blog to support the freelance business. Since I’m assuming your “day job” doesn’t require you to market yourself heavily but your moonlighting does, you might consider using Facebook and a blog primarily to market your copyediting business (with a FB page for the business — brand it!) Let me know how you solve this issue.