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Anatomy of the Perfect LinkedIn Headline

WRITTEN by: Bill Sterzenbach |
categories: Content Marketing

Jun 2015


"If you're using LinkedIn as a networking tool you may be missing out on a powerful concept - impactful headlines. Writing a compelling headline isn't easy, but it's certainly attainable with focus, some key concepts, and a bit of imagination.

Your headline is the single most important component of your article. This is never more true than in the fast moving social media feed. A compelling headline can make or break your post.

For inspiration, here are the top 10 LinkedIn headlines of 2014:

  1. How Successful People Stay Calm (Travis Bradberry)
  2. Google's HR Chief: The Biggest Mistakes I See on Resumes, and How to Correct Them (Laszlo Bock)
  3. 10 Reasons You Have To Quit Your Job (James Altucher)
  4. Ten Stupid Rules That Drive Great Employees Away (Liz Ryan)
  5. Job Interview: Why Only 3 Questions Really Matter (Bernard Marr)
  6. The 7 Things Successful People Never Say (Ilya Pozin)
  7. 8 Qualities That Make Great Bosses Unforgettable (Jeff Haden)
  8. The Small Things You Do That Make You Look Terrible in Meetings (Gretchen Rubin)
  9. 10 Behaviors That Could Kill Your Career (Jack Welch)
  10. 5 Reasons You May Not Want to Work for Google (J.T. O'Donnell)

Let's take a look at the type of compelling headline you'd see on LinkedIn today:

"3 Ways Successful People Turn Conflict Into Leadership Opportunities"


Let's break this headline down into the key components.


3 Ways

This suggestion is pretty universal to any platform. People love lists. A list indicates that this is an article you can digest quickly, and maybe even just skim the headers of the 3 tips, reading deeper if the tip seems particularly helpful.


Successful People

This bit is particularly effective on LinkedIn as LinkedIn primarily caters to professionals. If successful people do it, then it must work, I mean, they're successful aren't they?


Turn Conflict

Doing something ("turning", "using", "converting") productive with something we all dislike. So, instead of surviving conflict, you can make something good from it. No place can whip up conflict like the workplace, so again, this is a LinkedIn keeper.



Everyone wants to lead in one way or another. It's how we're wired. LinkedIn users are surely no exception. Leadership articles consistently make their way to the top of most popular posts categories.


Go Forth and Reduce

It really comes down to effective reduction. If you can boil your article down to it's key ingredients and communicate them clearly, you're on your way.

You'll need to identify the key compelling components of your next article carefully considering the words you use for your headline, it may be as close as the reader ever gets to your story.

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