Pop quiz: What’s the most important feature of your LinkedIn profile? If you guessed your profile picture, you’d be wrong. Is it your “Recommendations?” How about your “Skills and Experience?” Both wrong.

The answer is: your Job Title. According to an eye-tracking study commissioned by Mashable, the LinkedIn Job Title “garnered more attention than the profile photo on LinkedIn. In fact, it got more attention than anything else on the page.”

Given the obvious importance of this section of your LinkedIn Profile, let’s take a look at a few ways you can tweak your Job Title on LinkedIn to make it more effective.

Stand Out From the Crowd

The world of social media provides us with a wealth of useful information. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot distracting and irrelevant noise. In order capture the attention of your target audience, you have to stand out from the crowd. You need to compel people to engage with you further by offering something which draws them in.

As a result of Mashable’s eye-tracking study (see “Source” below), we know that out of all the places your LinkedIn visitors could be looking for information about you, they’re looking at your Job Title first. They’re also lingering there to decide whether to engage with your further. Since you never get a second chance at making a good first impression, consider the following tweaks to make your Job Title more effective:

Add Some Personality: Yes, you may be the CEO of ABC Corp. but that doesn’t really tell me anything about you personally. Try something with a little humor like “World’s Worst Dressed CEO,” or if that’s not to your professional taste, why not try something like “Hemingway Fan and CEO of ABC Corporation.” Obviously, your Job Title needs to be appropriate to the industry you’re in, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stiff and lacking personality.

Highlight Benefits to Customer: An accurate Job Title might be helpful to inform your target audience what you do, but it doesn’t really tell them what you can do for them. So, instead of writing “CEO of ABC Corporation” try including an implied benefit such as “Social Media Accessible CEO of ABC Corporation.” The former description is a dead-end, and certainly not unique, whereas the latter example compels readers to scroll through your profile and see where they can connect with you on other social media networks.

Don’t Forget SEO: Both LinkedIn and Google search use keywords (among other data) found in the Job Title field to provide relevant search results when people are searching for you online. So, the suggestions above notwithstanding, don’t commit all of your available space in this field to low-search value keywords like “Chief Bottle Washer” to describe your Job Title. Try and find a good balance between words that encourage engagement and words that search engines favor.

Though a standard Job Title can provide an important piece of your overall profile on LinkedIn, there’s likely hundreds of people with the exact same Job Title as you, all competing for the same audience. Evaluate how you’re presenting yourself to the world through LinkedIn. Take another look at your Job Title, get creative, and make a change for the better!

Do you have a creative Job Title on LinkedIn? Tell us about it in the comments below.

[Source: Mashable; Image Credits: Advanced Telemetry, Steven Depolo]