Your LinkedIn tagline is precious real estate. The beginnings of things are very important, and here is no exception. With your tagline, you position yourself – As Harre (2010) states in his work on positioning: “one can position oneself or be positioned as e.g. powerful or powerless, confident or apologetic, dominant or submissive, definative or tentative, authorized or unauthorized” (108). In the professional domain especially, choose authorized!!!
Here are 5 thoughts about the language choices you make in your LinkedIn tagline and how they can help you do this work.
This is a place to show agency, to show that you are actively engaged in traveling on your professional path.
If you are currently a student, consider describing your expertise and/or your professional interests in your tagline, as an alternative to saying “student” or “unemployed” or “seeking a job.” Describe what you offer/bring rather than what you lack/don’t.
Describing something that you are passionate about will make for both a better interaction with you and a story about you (or so says Anna Marie Trester, Interactional Sociolinguist and Storyteller).
Clarify (or Reposition)
If there is something about your current job title or employment status that is ambiguous, use your tagline as an opportunity to engage in some first order positioning (or conduct some second order positioning in response to some of the first order that you hear too much!)
It’s your calling card – think about where you are leaving it
Whenever you post an update or make a comment on someone else’s update or post something to a group discussion, etc. etc. etc. what gets left behind is your name and your tagline, so this is a way of reminding people what you are all about. However, because this will appear in newsfeeds, where the number of characters that can be displayed will get limited, you will want to be as concise as you can while still saying everything that you want to say
Display your style
LinkedIn defaults to putting your current title as your tagline, but you want to showcase a bit more breadth of scope and also creativity here.
When I checked his profile on May 12th 2014, linguist and author Michal Erard has this tagline: Words. About words. Spoken and written. In stylish order.
This tagline shows you (and therefore doesn’t need to tell you) that Michael thinks a lot about how to communicate with economy, clarity, precision, and elegance.
Find and be found
It is from the tagline that searches both external and internal to LinkedIn pull from the most powerfully, so in order to be best found by those who are out there looking for you (and to find the best people to connect with yourself as well), start identifying your best keywords!
What’s your tagline? Share it here!!!