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Why Every Word Counts on Your LinkedIn Profile

executives linkedin features mobile app networking profile quick tip young professionals Sep 13, 2022
Every Word Counts On Profile

If you don’t enjoy writing, you might be bummed to discover the importance of words to your LinkedIn profile. Just when you feel like you’ve reached your writing limit, you’ll discover another section to add or a description that could use a little more wordsmithing.

I admit, it can be tempting to take a “minimalist” approach with your profile and leave everything blank—or worse, spending 10 minutes updating your profile with poorly thought out fluff. As someone who happens to specialize in this stuff, I’m here to tell you that the time it takes to tell your story pays off in the long run. Every single word counts on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t believe me? Hear me out. 

1. The right words attract the right audience. 

While the LinkedIn search algorithm is veiled in some degree of mystery, we know that it’s based on keywords. If you’re familiar with Google keywords, paid search ads, or the like, you probably already have an inkling for choosing the right words. If those terms don’t ring a bell, don’t panic. My recommendation is simply to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. 

Think about the people you hope will visit your profile. What do they need? What are they looking for? What pain can you solve for them? These questions will help you zero in on the right words. For example, if you help automotive companies improve their revenue streams, it’s worth considering whether your target businesses will be searching for a “consultant,” “coach,” or “mentor.” Thinking through the right term can help you attract and keep the attention of your target audience. 

2. Completeness improves searchability. 

LinkedIn is transparent about the fact that it ranks complete profiles higher in search results than incomplete profiles. So, there you have it—proof that taking the time to write a well-developed summary and filling out your skills section has a direct effect on where you land in search results! Instead of seeing this fact as a burden, I want you to realize that this is an easy win. Just taking the time to write a little more about who you are can pay off big time. Chances are, your audience won’t take the time to scroll through dozens of search results, so improving your spot can be the difference between being found and being buried on the fourth page. 

3. It’s impossible to anticipate what will catch someone’s eye. 

Now, completeness is one thing, but thoughtfulness is another entirely. I’m an advocate of both. Why? Well, think about it—everyone has a different “user flow” when it comes to reviewing a LinkedIn profile. Some people will read it all from top to bottom. Some will scroll straight down to your education or volunteer section. Others will only read your summary section and call it a day. Because you don’t know exactly where your reader will “land” within your profile, it’s important to make sure every section provides an accurate glimpse into who you are. For that user that skips straight to your summary, it would be such a miss to whip out a couple of sentences without a second thought. Instead, treat every section like the star of the show, because to some of your readers, it might be. 

4. Your headline acts like a personal billboard. 

One mistake I see quite often is people conflating section length with importance. Just because one area has a higher character limit doesn’t mean it’s any more important than another. Absolutely spend some time polishing the longer sections, like your summary and current role description. Still, don’t neglect what some might call “microcopy” – those short snippets of text that, when used well, can be eye-catching. 

This is particularly true of your headline, which acts like a personal billboard for you. Along with your profile photo, your headline shows up wherever you do, in search results, in suggested connections, and even alongside recommendations you give. A catchy, clear, and intriguing headline can do a lot of heavy-lifting for you if it entices people to click through to your profile. Consider adding more than just your title, like a phrase that captures your personal conviction for why you do what you do or a sentence about the value you provide. 

5. This could be your one chance to pitch yourself. 

In case you missed the memo, LinkedIn stalking (I prefer to call it researching) is a socially acceptable professional phenomenon. Whether you’re interviewing for a job, meeting a new client, or pitching a prospect, chances are, the person on the other side of the conversation has already checked you out online. So, treat your profile like an interview. 

This is your opportunity to impress your reader and put your best foot forward. Watch out for misspelled words. (LinkedIn doesn’t have a spell check feature!) Review your punctuation. Since there’s no draft version of LinkedIn, I suggest throwing your content into a Word document to work out any kinks. I’ve had clients receive phone calls from prospects, job offers, and important networking connections all because they made a great impression online. 

What you say and how you say it matters on your LinkedIn profile. Before you copy and paste your web bio into your summary, think about the platform, your audience, and power of your words. If writing your entire profile in one go feels like a headache, chunk it out and work through each section little by little. Or, better yet, hire me and my team to help you. We’ll set up a time to hear your story, so that we can help you present yourself accurately and effectively on your profile. No writing required. 

Maybe you’d rather tackle your profile yourself, but you could use a little inspiration. If that’s the case, I’ve got you covered. My Rock Your LinkedIn Profile Guide takes all the guesswork out of optimizing your LinkedIn profile. I’ll equip you with the knowledge you need to make a confident, lasting impression on LinkedIn. Click through to sign up for free digital access.



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