It often makes sense for you to add credentials to your name on LinkedIn.
If you believe they will achieve either of the following benefits, then go for it:
- Make you rank higher in LinkedIn search results because a given credential is also a keyword.
- Make recruiters more likely to click on your profile.
What LinkedIn Allows in Your Name Fields
LinkedIn allows you to use suffixes and certifications in your profile’s Last Name field. Click the link to see exactly what LinkedIn says about names and credentials.
After you’re convinced it’s OK to use credentials after your name, you need to choose which ones to use. It’s smart for you to show credentials relevant to your current career.
When you do, you get 2 benefits:
- A LinkedIn SEO boost.
- You make an immediate, credible impression.
Match the credentials you feature on your LinkedIn profile to those on your resume.
Do not add symbols or taglines to your first and last name. If you do, and LinkedIn notices, they impose consequences.
Recently, I have seen accounts temporarily shut down and profiles punished with SEO downgrades. Don’t mess with them. Any “juice” you might get from flaunting their rules won’t be worth it.
How to Use Your Last Name Field for Credentials
How to place your credentials after your last name:
- Enter your last name in the last name field.
- Then, follow it with a comma and a space.
- Then, follow the space with your credentials, separated by a comma(s).
As on your resume, I recommend limiting yourself to 2 credentials after your name. LinkedIn recently limited the number of characters you can use in your last name field, so it’s hard to go too wild.
More Places to Share Credentials on Your LinkedIn Profile
You can also use these profile sections to showcase your credentials:
- Licenses & Certifications
Overall, don’t try too hard. Many people overshare. Limit yourself to credentials that are relevant to your current aspirations. If you think you might be going too far, ask a respected colleague or 2 for their reactions.
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Updated January 2023
© 2013 – 2023, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
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