It’s probably due to the sheer number of guides on the topic—each written by a subjectively qualified “subject matter expert”—but many of the posted LinkedIn guides contain advice that conflicts with what I’ve previously learned in-class, as well as from mentors and professionals about LinkedIn best practices.
Namely, the idea of brevity in title lines and summaries: several of the posted guides recommend using every last character allotted both next to your LinkedIn name and in your opening summary. However, I’ve long been told that, due to the skim-heavy nature of both the Internet and recruiters, any intimidating text chunks that require elevated attention will largely go ignored—if not work as a verbose detriment against you. Even worse, one such guide actually recommended using Unicode symbols or emojis, a gaudy and tacky tactic that made me question the entire ethos of the author. That’s why I’m hesitant to expand my summary beyond the succinct few sentences I’ve chosen.
Not only that, but LinkedIn’s new interface now truncates summaries after only a few lines, making full comprehension in arduous act of extra clicking that few are likely to casually complete. I think a number of LinkedIn’s new design changes make several of these guides’ recommendations obsolete. That’s what I’m hoping our class’s guest speaker will tackle: how LinkedIn’s constant evolution will effect best practices.
However, overwhelming consensus between the articles did successfully convince me to customize my headline beyond just my job title. That customizable field is a chance to mention more than one facet of yourself, and as a student who is more interesting as a sum of his parts than as just one, I welcome the chance to make my career aspirations and points of differentiation more immediately clear.