Why Your LinkedIn Headline and Summary Should Not Include the Word ‘Mum’

February 19th 2018  By: Nikki Vivian

‘Hang on a minute? This is a total contradiction to everything else you tell us’, I hear you say… Yes, you’re right. I totally advocate shouting about your parenting experience and using it to highlight all your transferable skills. Don’t worry, this still stands. I don’t want you to hide this part of your life at all. However, when it comes to your LinkedIn profile, the rules change slightly. Let me tell you why.


LinkedIn needs to be optimised for keywords that get you found. Your LinkedIn headline and summary are the places you want to fill with all the searchable terms, your best achievements and things relevant to getting your next position. Unless you want another baby, which doesn’t usually require the use of LinkedIn, adding ‘mum’ ‘stay at home mum’ etc won’t put you at the top of the searches. Put it in your experience section to explain a gap by all means, but save your title and summary section for the words that are going to get you seen by the right people.

Don’t go with the default

If you go with the default setting on LinkedIn, your headline will simply be your current job. I don’t recommend the default in any situation, but I would be especially sure to change it if your most recent professional experience entry is ‘stay at home mum’ or similar. While this is absolutely valid and worthy, if this is your headline, you won’t get many hits on the searches. Recruiters will not be searching for ‘stay at home mum’ (unless they are trying to sell you some dodgy pyramid scheme that can be done from home) so don’t waste the valuable space. Yes, you are a mum, but you are still a professional with a wealth of valuable experience that will get you found on LinkedIn, for the right reasons.

So, what should you say instead?

For your headline, highlight your most relevant experience relating to what you’re looking to do. For example, ‘Experienced HR Manager’ or ‘Award winning freelance writer’. It doesn’t have to be your most recent job, just the one you’re going to be using to get you to the next step in your career.

When it comes to your summary, you need to tell a story about how you got to where you are. It doesn’t have to omit your recent life as a parent, but just make sure it focuses on the professional image you’re trying to get across and that it uses key words relating to the industry you’re targeting.

Want more? I am going to be releasing a LinkedIn online course shortly and I am going to be looking for Beta testers. You can register your interest here to join my list.


One Comment

  1. Joan February 22, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Wow, thank you!! I’m rethinking the way I’ve used “mom” in a lot of other places too (where search optimization could be affected), and I am definitely going to check my LinkedIn profile right now!

Comments are closed.