As you know by now, LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool. I look at LinkedIn profiles every day and see that many users do not take full advantage of their profile. Character counts are changing regularly; here are some current character counts—check out your profile and make sure you’re taking advantage!
• First name: 20 characters. If you have a formal name but use a nickname, this can be helpful. For example, Robert (Bob). This is 12 characters and allows people to search for you by either your formal or nickname.
• Last name: 40 characters. BONUS: If you name is difficult to pronounce, LinkedIn has a feature where you can record your name; this is a great tool to use!
• Headline: 210 characters. If you don’t create a headline, LinkedIn automatically uses your job title. Consider using a customized headline so you can include words that are specific to your industry. This is a search feature that recruiters use.
• Customized URL: 30 characters. LinkedIn allows you to customize your URL; a customized URL allows you to remove the random numbers that LinkedIn assigns. A customized URL can be used on your resume.
• About: 2,600 characters. This is a great opportunity to get personal and tell something about yourself; who are you? What do you bring to the table? What is your story? Using first person is acceptable, as is highlighting your achievements and the things that are important to you. This section can also be searched by recruiters so be sure to include key words from your industry.
• Company name: 100 characters
• Location / Industry: this is a predetermined list prepared by LinkedIn. Don’t forget to include your industry and location. As of this writing, LinkedIn as identified 148 industries ranging from law enforcement to shipbuilding to retail to farming to computers and everything in between. These too, are searchable by recruiters.
• Job Title (100) / Job Description (2,000) each. Don’t forget to populate these sections.
LinkedIn offers lots of other sections too including Education, Field of Study, Volunteer, Skills, Projects, Publications, Certifications, Languages, Awards, Courses, and Patents. Take a good hard look at your Profile and see what you can do to attract more views and connections!