Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah as he breaks down what it takes to write a killer PhD LinkedIn headline that is memorable, informative, and stands out

In this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains the value of a LinkedIn headline in LinkedIn’s search engine ranking algorithm
  • Next, he tells PhDs the three things that recruiters are looking for in your headline
  • Finally, Isaiah shares a few great examples of a what a strong, scroll-stopping headline should look like

A Strong LinkedIn Headline Is What Separates PhDs From Being More Than Just A Name On A List

You can have incredible experience, a killer summary, and be ready to start work tomorrow – but none of that matters if employers can’t find you. 

That’s the power of an epic LinkedIn headline. 

The headline is the first text that appears in your LinkedIn profile, and the keywords in this section factor heavily into LinkedIn’s search algorithm. 

Logically, that means it’s also the major differentiator between you and your competition. 

If you don’t have a headline that tells hiring managers who you are, what you do, and where you do it, they’re going to keep scrolling and move on to the next candidate. 

You probably thought your headline should just describe either the position you have currently or the position you want. 

And that was true a decade ago. 

But now employers expect a little more finesse – especially from a PhD candidate such as yourself. 

Your Headline Needs To Include Basic Search Terms Recruiters Are Looking For

So what makes a great headline? 

For one thing, your headline should include words that recruiters are actually searching for. 

You have 120 to 200 characters at your disposal, which isn’t much when you’re trying to paint a picture of yourself at a glance. 

Don’t waste valuable space on academic words like “postdoc” or “PhD student” that will never appear in an employer’s search. 

Instead, consider the employer’s perspective. 

If they want to hire a Medical Science Liason in Madrid, Spain, what are they going to search? 

“Medical Science Liason,” “Madrid.” 

Done. If you want to even show up in that search at all, your headline needs to reflect your availability. 

Your location and the title of the job (or jobs – you can list up to 2) should be at the start of your headline. 

Word Clouds Can Help You Determine Which Search Terms Matter Most In Your Target Industry

Next, you need to learn the language that employers are using for the jobs you want. 

What keywords are they using to describe your target position? 

You can take your best guess, but if you want a degree of certainty, you can paste anywhere from 12 to 20 of your target job descriptions into a word cloud. 

If you don’t know what that is, it’s a free text parser that you can find online. 

It creates a visual representation of the weight or keyword density of any text you plug in. 

This will give you, definitively, the keywords that employers are using to find candidates for the roles that you’re targeting.

** For the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.

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