Symbols on LinkedIn: Yay or Nay?

Published by Jasmin Esse'ka Raye on

There are a lot of discussions out there about whether or not using symbols on LinkedIn is professional.

Some conversations hint toward the subtle use of symbols for things like your LinkedIn headline or a bullet list within your experience.

While others encourage the full-fledged use of symbols to accentuate nearly every sentence on one’s profile.

So, which advice should you listen to?

Should I use symbols on my LinkedIn profile?

The decision to either use or not use symbols on your LinkedIn profile is completely yours.

Ultimately, it all comes down to what you want to accomplish with your content and profile.

Nevertheless, if you do decide to use symbols on LinkedIn, here’s one tip to make sure you stay within the lines of professional: keep it simple.

How to use symbols on LinkedIn

I’ve written tens of LinkedIn profiles over the last few months and one of the most recurring questions I get is something to the effect of, “how can we make the content of my profile stand out a little more?”

My initial response deals with adding in work samples and files that align with the qualifications of the individual.

However, if we’ve already hit on that end, I’ll go into suggesting the use of symbols within the content.

Still, I never go crazy with symbols when a client wants me to incorporate them on LinkedIn–and neither should you.


Do something like this:

Not like this:


Keeping your symbols on LinkedIn simple

Here are a few simple, yet effective rules I go by that help with making sure the symbols don’t overshadow the content or make the profile look childish or unprofessional.

I also share these rules with my clients prior to adding symbols to his or her LinkedIn profile:

  • HEADLINE: No more than 2 symbols to separate skills or roles
  • SUMMARY: No more than 3 symbols to distinguish info (e.g. email)
  • EXPERIENCE: Consistent symbols used for a bullet list or the like
  • EDUCATION: Maybe a graduation cap or diploma symbol
  • VOLUNTEER: No more than 5 symbols that correlate with the title or functions of the volunteer role


Symbols you can use on LinkedIn

If you’re in the market for adding symbols to your LinkedIn profile, I recommend this article for choosing some attention-grabbing symbols.

Conclusion

Nowadays, I’d say about 7 out of every 10 LinkedIn profiles have symbols incorporated into the content.

So, it’s not uncommon to use symbols on LinkedIn.

What is uncommon, however, is the excessive use of symbols.

While there are some professionals who swear by having symbols all over their LinkedIn profile, I strongly advise against it as it can easily become distracting, annoying and unprofessional.

Do you use symbols on your LinkedIn profile? What are your views on how much or little they should be used?