Not a lot of people talk about LinkedIn formatting.
But, it matters.
Based on our experience, it’s the “hook” that you need to get prospects to notice you.
In this article, I’ll show you how you can add formatting, LinkedIn bullet points, and liven up your text!
Are you ready?
- Why Should I Pay Attention to LinkedIn Formatting?
- Mobile Considerations
- Structuring Your Paragraphs
- How to Add LinkedIn Bullet Points
- Formatting Text
- Where Else Can I Use LinkedIn Formatting?
- What About LinkedIn Publishing?
- The Downsides to LinkedIn Formatting
Why Should I Pay Attention to LinkedIn Formatting?
That’s why we spend so much time polishing up our profiles and making sure that we’ve fully optimized everything that we can get our hands on.
But, even little things such as posts have to be properly formatted to make sure they look good.
LinkedIn is built just like other social media platforms where only plain text is allowed as a primary input. This helps standardize the text that you see and makes things accessible for everyone.
However, just because it’s standardized doesn’t mean you can’t have your own creative input.
Proper formatting allows you to have better-looking posts, attractive headlines, and colorful about summaries that don’t look generic.
This means your posts are more efficient because they are read more often than non-formatted text.
Before starting off on LinkedIn formatting, make sure that you consider mobile optimizations first.
A significant amount of people on LinkedIn are using the platform on their phones.
Optimizing your formatting for mobile will look great on both mobile, tablet, and desktop users.
But, here’s the thing.
if you decide to optimize for desktop first, it might look wonky when it comes to mobiles and tablets.
Naturally, you should pick the approach that helps you optimize everything at once, i.e. mobile.
When you’re optimizing for LinkedIn mobile, your first consideration is sentence lengths.
The TLDR is; they need to be short.
They make posts and content look less text-heavy, and they’re less intimidating to read.
Shorter sentences are also easier to digest and they have the effect of driving a reader to read more of the content that you’ve put out.
Limit your paragraphs to a maximum of three and a half lines whenever you can.
At BAMF, we’ve even had posts with single-line paragraphs that have worked well.
Again, this helps with relieving your prospects from reading text-heavy posts.
This also helps create a flow, but more on this in the “Structuring Your Paragraphs” section.
They add a little variety to what people read on a daily basis on LinkedIn.
You can use them pretty much everywhere: posts, headlines, summaries, etc.
Plus, they look great on mobile.
If you want to work on your formatting or writing on your desktop that’s fine.
But, you have to test it on mobile first.
A quick way of doing this is by going into developer tools on your browser and pulling up developer tools.
On Google Chrome you can do this by hitting the three dots on the right-hand side of your browser to access the menu.
Click on “More Tools” which will open a sub-menu where you can access “Developer Tools”.
This will give you access to the code of the site and other developer options.
You want to click on the dropdown menu on the upper left-hand side and select a mobile device of your choosing. We find that selecting the “iPhone X” should be a good general choice.
And, there you have it, you can now view your desktop posts without having to switch to your mobile device.
Structuring Your Paragraphs
When we talk about structuring your paragraphs, we take a look at how the text looks visually.
Look at this post for instance.
You see that it starts short, then it gets longer and longer until the fourth line.
Then, it’s contracted again.
I repeat it once more and then we go back to shortened forms by using a subheading that’s neatly placed using an emoji as a logical separator.
it might not look much, but to the normal reader it resembles a wave and it sticks out from the rest of the posts out there because of its shape.
So, why does this work?
Our eyes see a small sentence, coupled with the next being a long one, and the next being even longer. Naturally, we’re curious as to what the text is about.
Here’s another example of structuring.
In this post, I used breaks.
By using two-word sentences, I get to break the monotony of the line lengths and make the post look even more appealing because there are literal breaks.
This is what you can do, if you’ve written about something at length on LinkedIn, take your eyes off of it for a while and look at it again without reading it.
Can you see waves or a chunk of text?
If you only see chunks of text, then look at incorporating a couple of breaks to make it look more appealing to your reader.
Not only does it look great, but it also helps add emphasis for the reader to ruminate on.
How to Add LinkedIn Bullet Points
Adding LinkedIn bullet points is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to LinkedIn formatting.
They’re essential when creating lists, and people love online lists because it simplifies things.
If you want to add bullet points on LinkedIn, there are several ways of doing so.
We’ve listed down the three ways.
The Boring Method
Let’s start with the boring method.
You basically use dash or asterisks as bullet points.
Just stick in – or * , and add a space and you’re pretty much good to go.
They look absolutely bland and it seems as if you didn’t put much thought into it.
Actual Bullet Points Via Symbols
Hold down the “Alt” key and type in “0149”.
Hold down “Option” and press “8”.
Alternatively, you can look for a bullet point online or on your word processor and copy it down to LinkedIn.
Here copy this ? • so that you don’t have to go very far.
The Emoji Method
Honestly, the Emoji method is a favorite at BAMF and amongst growth hackers because it gives any monotonous post that pop of color and fun.
And, plus, they’re not exactly unprofessional if you ask us.
If you’re looking to add a little funk to your lists, then use an emoji instead of a bullet point.
I wrote an entire guide on how to use them here?
Even if LinkedIn doesn’t allow any formatting on most of its text input boxes like the about summary or the headline, there are still plenty of workarounds you can use to stick in formatted text.
Here’s how that works.
The bold text that you see in the example above isn’t really formatted text to begin with.
It’s its own Unicode character, this means that those letters are standalone letters that are their own style/font.
Since these text boxes only reject formatting and not unique symbols and characters, you can pretty much copy-paste any style of text that you want as long as they’re unique symbols.
This is the reason that even if you’re not allowed to format your text, you can still insert emojis into these text boxes.
You now have two choices if you want to add text like this.
You can either look for these unique symbols in your character or symbol viewer.
(As you can see from the Mac’s Character viewer, there are a lot of different symbols for the letter “A” there are variations of boldness, skewing of the character, and even heights!)
If you want to do it the easier way, you could use a tool like LingoJam where you can type in some text and it will automatically convert it to different symbol styles.
Not a lot of people use this hack, but it is a surefire way of adding more character to text boxes on LinkedIn.
There are also other tools that can help automate this part of LinkedIn formatting.
Check out my headline and about summary.
The headline makes the formatting look really subtle, but it stands out compared to other headlines out there.
You can also see its effect on my About summary.
It allows you to highlight areas in the summary such as your CTA at the beginning and your contact information.
Where Else Can I Use LinkedIn Formatting?
Don’t just use LinkedIn formatting on your profile and your posts.
You can use it in your company pages, in your LinkedIn groups, etc.
The rules detailed in this guide are applicable everywhere on LinkedIn.
However, we will stop you from using any type of formatting on your name. You need to make sure your name is clear and legible because this helps with your search and visibility.
What About LinkedIn Publishing?
Since LinkedIn Publishing is LinkedIn’s official blogging platform, you get access to rich text features such as text formatting, hyperlinks, the insertions of media, etc.
They still want you to stick to their standards, but they give you some wiggle room to add objects that make your post a little interesting.
Just don’t expect to get a fully responsive page with custom CTAs.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use the other LinkedIn formatting tips we’ve outlined here.
The Downsides to LinkedIn Formatting
Here’s the problem.
Forcing formatting on LinkedIn won’t allow some screen readers access to the content.
LinkedIn bullet points you can probably get away with, but emojis, bold, italicized and underlined content might not work out so great.
It’s reported that even older Android devices will have problems displaying content that has forced formatting on it.
What does this mean to you?
It will give you a hit when it comes to accessibility.
Not everyone who will come across the content you’re putting out will be able to appreciate it the way you intended.
However, given that this probably only represents a small percentage of your audience, the good does outweigh the costs.
You’re competing for eyeballs.
And, you have to do everything that you can to win.
Your posts need to stand out.
And, one way of doing this is through LinkedIn formatting.
By adding a little touch of creativity and color you can make sure that your profile and your posts get that extra flair to be able to stand out from the crowd.
We have to remember this.
LinkedIn is still a social media platform albeit a professional one.
And, in these platforms, it’s a battle for attention.
No matter how great your copy is, if they’re not attracted to it, they won’t be reading it.
And, if they don’t read it, you won’t be able to convert.
So, give in to your creative side and use a little LinkedIn formatting today!