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Your Most Powerful 220 Characters: If You Haven’t Customized Your LinkedIn Headline, You’re Missing Out

By Carol Kaemmerer

Your Most Powerful 220 Characters: If You Haven’t Customized Your LinkedIn Headline, You’re Missing Out

Your Most Powerful 220 Characters:

If You Haven’t Customized Your LinkedIn Headline, You’re Missing Out

Your LinkedIn headline is the text that appears right below your name on your profile. Unless you’ve customized what it says, LinkedIn fills it for you with your current job title and the name of your company. But they also allow you to customize what it says, providing space for 220 characters for you to do so. Your headline is important! It is the first text people will see associated with your name and it is the first section of the profile that the LinkedIn algorithm searches to see if your profile matches a searcher’s keywords.

Because I have two speaking engagements with attorney audiences coming up, I’ve taken a morning to research how attorneys who practice in the areas of family law and intellectual property have used the Headline section. Of the 50 profiles I perused in each of these categories, about 90% of them had auto-filled headlines, providing a significant advantage for the attorneys who instead customized their headlines.

In this article, using these two areas of law practice, I share how to write a headline that will bring more of the right kinds of clients to your door while discouraging clients whose issues don’t align with your expertise from knocking. Readers who are not attorneys are still encouraged to read on. The formula for writing a stellar headline is similar for everyone.

The Formula for a Powerful Headline:

The first part of the headline is your job title, area of practice (e.g., Managing Partner, Intellectual Property Law), and optionally (for an attorney) the name of the law firm. If your firm is prestigious and has high name recognition, you would want to use it. (If you are not an attorney the first part of your headline is your job title or functional area, with or without the name of your company.)

The second part of the headline is your business story. Tell us who you serve, what you do for them and how you add value.

The character count of the two parts together cannot exceed 220 characters, but that is usually not hard to manage.


In the area of family law, the most common (and not outstanding) headline is Family Law Attorney and the name of the firm. In contrast, here are two headlines that I wrote for family law attorneys using the formula above:

A — Partner, Family Law Attorney and Mediator at [name of firm]: Crafting solutions rather than obstacles to help families live their best lives as they transition through divorce or other family changes.

B — Partner and Family Law Attorney at [name of firm]: Focusing on complex cases involving high marital assets, the valuation of businesses and professional practices, spousal maintenance, and parenting issues.

Both attorneys represented here practice family law, but their ideal clients are different and their practice philosophy differs as well. Both have excellent reputations and high ethical standards, but, which attorney would you consult if you and your spouse want to end your marriage amicably, quickly and at a comparatively low cost? Which attorney would be your choice if you had amassed significant wealth that would be in dispute in a divorce?  Telling people in your LinkedIn headline about what you do and for whom you do it gets the right people to your door much more efficiently than if your headline is the generic “Family Business Attorney.” Your time is valuable! The time you take to customize your headline will be more than repaid by the time you save not having to address approaches from clients who turn out to be inappropriate for your practice. (Non-attorneys, specificity in your own headline will work in these ways for you, too.)

3 Strategies to Let Go of Past Mistakes and Move Forward

In the area of intellectual property, the most common (and not distinctive) headline is Intellectual Property Attorney and the name of the firm. Here are two headlines that I wrote for intellectual property attorneys using the formula above:

C — Intellectual Property Attorney at [name of firm]: Helping small and mid-sized companies monetize, protect, and enforce their intellectual property to protect their inventions and advance their business goals.

D —  Intellectual Property Attorney at [name of firm]: Focusing on complex patent, trademark, trade secret, and technology disputes in plastic formulation and processing, food processing and packaging.

People are adept at using search engines, including LinkedIn. When your LinkedIn headline is specific regarding who and how you serve, right-for-you clients will find you and prospective clients whose issues don’t align with your areas of expertise and service will keep on looking. With an auto-filled headline, you are missing a huge opportunity to attract people whose needs align with your services.


speaker holding microphoneNamed one of six top branding experts in 2022 by The American Reporter, over the past ten years, I’ve helped countless C-level clients use LinkedIn to frame conversations, impress suitors and customers, and introduce themselves before their first conversation takes place. If you are a C-suite executive or senior leader, I can make this easy for you. Based on my knowledge of how LinkedIn works and how people respond to what they see there, I can ensure everything is ready and your profile conveys exactly the message and impression you’re aiming for. Let me help you attract the talent you want to hire, increase your visibility and influence, and steer your career.

Contact me through my website https://carolkaemmerer.com for:

  • Executive one-on-one assistance with your online brand
  • Professional speaking engagements on personal brand and LinkedIn
  • An autographed copy of my book, LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive-2ndEdition
  • My self-paced, online course
  • To receive my articles in your email mailbox monthly

My award-winning book, LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive-2nd Edition received Book Authority’s “Best LinkedIn Books of All Time” award, and was named one of the “Top 100+ Best Business Books” by The C-Suite Network, and is an International Book Awards winner.

For your author-inscribed and signed book or for quantity discounts, order at: https://carolkaemmerer.com/books

Other Articles by Carol Kaemmerer

Strategic Engagement on LinkedIn: How to Become Top of Mind for Right-for-You Opportunities

Three Misconceptions About LinkedIn that Could Be Hurting You

What is a Personal Branding Expert? …And Do You Need One?

Why Senior Leaders Need a Strong Brand NOW — And Why It’s In their Company’s Best Interest to See That They Get One

7 Ways to Elevate Your Online Brand So You Can Love Your LinkedIn Profile

What is a Personal Brand – And How Can You Take Charge of Yours?

Twelve Changes You Can Make in About an Hour to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Why Is My LinkedIn Profile Getting So Few Views?

How Can LinkedIn Be Part of Your Company’s Strategy for Responding to the Great Resignation?

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Missing the Mark?

Comfortable in Your Job? Uncomfortable Life Lessons to Safeguard Your Career

How to Be Found on LinkedIn: Ten Top Strategies to Rank Well on a LinkedIn Keyword Search

Why Are You Playing Small on LinkedIn?

If You’re Not “Writing to the Margins” on LinkedIn, You’re Missing Out

Don’t Be Hooked Through a Big Phish: Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams on LinkedIn:

A Small Omission That Undermines Your Credibility on LinkedIn

Tell Me More…” — On LinkedIn

What is Your Poor LinkedIn Profile Costing You?

C-Suite Executives: Stop Hiding Online


3 Strategies to Let Go of Past Mistakes and Move Forward
Carol Kaemmerer

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