Someone recently asked me my thoughts on using something like the following as a headline on their resume and LinkedIn profile:
"Inspirational Leader and Champion of Culture Change"
My reply went something like this:
There's a lot of debate about what makes the perfect resume or LinkedIn headline, and although I have my opinions as well, there's really no one single answer as to what works and what doesn't. It's all about what people like - and everyone is different.
In my view, a headline like the one suggested doesn't provide a whole lot of valuable information at a glance, and that's the point of a resume or LinkedIn headline - to convey critical information at a glance. If someone sees your name, and then that headline, they won't know the key things they'd probably like to know about you:
- What industry you're in, or have experience in (retail, manufacturing, health care, real estate, non-profit?)
- What job function you're in, or have experience in (operations, fundraising, HR, sales, maintenance?)
- What job level you're at, or have been at (entry-level supervisor, mid-manager, national director, VP, COO?)
So in my view it doesn't say much and likely won't get anyone interested in reading the rest of your resume or profile.
It's important to remember that people who call themselves inspirational leaders, motivational gurus, etc. can't really prove it on their own - so there's no sense in saying it. Characteristics like that are better left for other people to say about you, rather than for you to say about yourself.
Look at it this way. If you're a store manager who ranks 1st in the district, or even in the top tier, then you can rightfully call yourself a "top-ranked store manager." That's acceptable because you've got something to back it up. But to call yourself an inspirational leader - well, first, we don't really get to decide that about ourselves (that's for other people to decide about us), and second, even if it's true it still comes across as our own opinion of ourselves.
I am 100% certain that no recruiter has ever jumped up with delight and shouted "I have the PERFECT candidate!! Want to know why?? He calls himself a dynamic, results-oriented, and inspirational leader!!"
It just doesn't happen.
Here are a couple posts that might give you something to think about:
All the best!