Is your LinkedIn profile full of dense paragraphs and doggone long to read, or can people quickly skim and scan and get a feel for what you do?
The ability to skim and scan may help get more eyes reading the content.
Is your About section written in the third person, like a BIO on a company website, or have you written it in the first person (or a combo of first person and first-person implied I)?
I don’t know about you, but my eyes glaze over when I see numerous dense multi-sentence paragraphs or a wall of bullet points smashed together without white space.
According to this Washington Post article, “To cognitive neuroscientists, … [humans] seem to be developing digital brains with new circuits for skimming through the torrent of information online. This alternative way of reading is competing with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia” (Rosenwald, 2014).
What’s skimming? Skimming is reading quickly to get the overall gist of points made.
What’s scanning? Scanning is when you seek specific facts while rapidly reading.
In a section of content, skimming will give you a general information overview, while scanning will help you hone in on a particular fact.
We are all busy, so people want to gain as much insight as possible in the least amount of time, so many readers sometimes prefer shorter content.
To make your content easy to read in your About section, add capitalized headings to create sections or include bold, italicized, or underlined text using Unicode (but I would suggest you use it minimally).
Create an extra line of white space between bullet points, which will help any numbers (%, $, or #) pop out better to the human eye.
Consider showcasing your bullet-pointed core competencies in alphabetical order.
Add a little pop of color with emojis, and add your contact information at the bottom so people can easily reach you.
In your work experiences, consider white space between bullet points and it will be much easier for the human eye to skim and scan than dense multi-sentence paragraphs.
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Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career development and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management.
Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn profiles, Lynne is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love, along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.
This article is also published on: vista.today, montco.today, delco.today, bucksco.today, and in the author’s LinkedIn newsletter. A list of articles can also be found in a Google doc.