Stand Out on LinkedIn: The Importance of Formatting

Not many people realize the significance of formatting on LinkedIn, but it can make a world of difference. Based on our experience, proper formatting is the “hook” that grabs the attention of prospects. In this article, I will show you how to add formatting, bullet points, and spruce up your text on LinkedIn. Are you ready?

Why Should You Care About LinkedIn Formatting?

First impressions matter, even on LinkedIn. That’s why we put so much effort into refining our profiles and optimizing every aspect. But even the smallest details, like formatting posts, can greatly impact how they are perceived. LinkedIn, like other social media platforms, limits text input to plain text. This ensures uniformity and accessibility for all users. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t add your own creative touch.

Proper formatting allows you to create attractive posts, eye-catching headlines, and colorful summaries that stand out from the crowd. The result? Your posts are more engaging and receive more views compared to non-formatted text.

Consider Mobile Optimization

Before diving into LinkedIn formatting, it’s crucial to consider mobile optimization. A significant number of LinkedIn users access the platform from their phones. Ensuring your formatting looks great on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices is essential. Optimize everything with a mobile-first approach to avoid any issues when viewed on smaller screens.

Keep Sentences Short

When optimizing for mobile, pay attention to sentence lengths. Shorter sentences make your posts appear less text-heavy and less daunting to read. They also encourage readers to consume more of your content.

Limit Paragraph Lengths

Limit your paragraphs to a maximum of three and a half lines, or even try using single-line paragraphs if possible. Breaking up the text helps alleviate the burden of reading lengthy posts and creates a smoother flow.

Embrace Emojis

Emojis are your friend! They add variety to the daily content people encounter on LinkedIn. Feel free to use emojis in your posts, headlines, summaries, and more. Not only do they inject some fun into your writing, but they also look fantastic on mobile.

Test on Mobile

If you prefer working on your desktop, that’s fine. However, make sure to test your formatting on mobile first. You can easily simulate a mobile view on desktop by using developer tools. In Google Chrome, access the developer tools by clicking the three dots on the right-hand side of your browser, selecting “More Tools,” and then clicking on “Developer Tools.” Choose a mobile device emulation, such as “iPhone X,” to ensure your formatting looks great on mobile.

Structuring Your Paragraphs for Visual Appeal

Structuring your paragraphs can greatly enhance the visual appeal of your posts. Take a look at this example:

  • Start with a short sentence.
  • Gradually increase the length of the following sentences.
  • Contract the length again.
  • Repeat the pattern and use a subheading as a logical separator, marked with an emoji.

To the average reader, this structure resembles a wave and stands out from other posts. Our eyes are naturally drawn to the changing sentence lengths, piquing our curiosity.

Here’s another example:

  • Use breaks to create shorter two-word sentences.
  • This breaks the monotony and makes the post visually appealing.
  • Step away and look at your post without reading it.
  • Do you see waves or a massive chunk of text?
  • If it looks like a chunk of text, consider incorporating breaks to enhance its visual appeal.
  • Not only does this method look great, but it also emphasizes key points for readers to ponder.

Adding Bullet Points on LinkedIn

Bullet points are essential for creating lists and simplifying information. Many people wonder how to add bullet points on LinkedIn. Here are three methods:

The Boring Method

The simplest way is to use a dash or asterisk as a bullet point. Just insert a – or * followed by a space, and you’re good to go. However, be aware that this method can appear bland and lacks creativity.

Actual Bullet Points Via Symbols

Another option is to use actual bullet point symbols. Here’s how:

  • On Windows: Hold down the “Alt” key and type “0149.”
  • On Mac: Hold down “Option” and press “8.”
  • Copy-Paste: Find a bullet point symbol online or in your word processor and copy it. For example, copy this: ? •

The Emoji Method

The emoji method, a favorite among growth hackers, adds a pop of color and fun to any post. Emojis are not unprofessional; they bring life to your lists. If you want to add a little funk, use an emoji instead of a traditional bullet point. We have a comprehensive guide on how to use emojis that you can check out!

Formatting Text Creatively

Although LinkedIn doesn’t allow formatting in text input boxes like the about summary or headline, there are workarounds to add formatted text. Here’s how:

The bold text you see in the example is not actually formatted text. It uses unique Unicode characters that appear as standalone letters with their own style/font. Since LinkedIn only rejects formatting, not unique symbols and characters, you can copy and paste various styles of text. Emojis are a great example of this.

You have two options for adding text like this. One way is to search for unique symbols in your character or symbol viewer. Another option is to use tools like LingoJam, which automatically converts your text into different symbol styles. Few people know about this hack, but it adds character to text boxes on LinkedIn. There are also other tools available that can automate this aspect of LinkedIn formatting. If you check out my headline and about summary, you’ll see the subtle formatting that helps them stand out.

Where Else Can You Use LinkedIn Formatting?

Don’t limit your use of LinkedIn formatting to just your profile and posts. You can apply it to company pages, LinkedIn groups, and more. The principles outlined in this guide are applicable throughout LinkedIn. However, remember not to format your name; it should remain clear and legible for better searchability and visibility.

LinkedIn Publishing

LinkedIn Publishing is the platform’s official blogging feature, offering rich text features such as formatting, hyperlinks, and media insertion. While there are limitations, such as a lack of fully responsive pages and custom CTAs, you can still apply the formatting tips provided in this guide.

The Downsides of LinkedIn Formatting

There is a potential downside to forcing formatting on LinkedIn. Screen readers may not have access to the content, and older Android devices might struggle to display forced formatting. This can impact accessibility, as not everyone can appreciate the intended formatting. However, considering that this represents a small percentage of your audience, the benefits of standing out outweigh the costs.

Conclusion

To make your posts stand out on LinkedIn, take advantage of formatting. By adding a touch of creativity and color, you can ensure that your profile and posts have that extra flair to distinguish them from the crowd. Remember, LinkedIn is a social media platform, albeit a professional one, and it’s a battle for attention. No matter how great your copy is, if it doesn’t attract readers, it won’t convert. So, embrace your creative side and start using LinkedIn formatting today!