LinkedIn: 5 Changes that Freelancers Need to Know About

Freelancers need to know about the 5 changes to LinkedInNoticed anything different on LinkedIn lately? You may or may not have seen some of the changes LinkedIn has made. LinkedIn rolls out changes to some people first and gradually expands them to everyone else. For example, I heard about the change in profile banner images months before my profile banner image changed.

And some LinkedIn changes aren’t obvious, like the expanded character count for the part of the summary people see before Show More. Once you’ve developed your profile, you probably don’t spend much time looking at it. And if you’re not active on LinkedIn, you may have missed some of the changes.

As a freelancer, you need to know about these changes—and take the right actions—so that more clients can find you on LinkedIn. I’m going to tell you about recent changes to LinkedIn and what you should do about them.

How Clients Find Freelancers on LinkedIn 

Three things help you rank higher in search results when clients are searching for freelancers:

  1. A client-focused profile
  2. A large network
  3. Engagement (especially commenting on other people’s posts, posting, and replying to all comments on your posts).

LinkedIn has made some changes to both profiles and some of the rules of engagement.

LinkedIn Changes to Profiles

Profile changes include the beginning of your summary, the banner, and contact information.

1. Summary of Your LinkedIn Profile

More of your summary shows now before people have to click Show More. You can use  between 288 and 303 characters now, instead of the previous limit of 201 characters. (The character limit varies a little, depending on the characters used and line breaks.) On mobile the character limit is still about 60.

Action: Check your headline and add more of your key messages in the first 288-303 characters.


Learn more about writing a client-focused profile and see examples from other freelancers

5 Ways Freelancers are Getting High-Paying Freelance Clients through LinkedIn

Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers


 2. Profile Banner and Photo on LinkedIn

The top of your profile now puts your photo on the left on computers, but it’s centered on mobile and in the mini-preview.  The mini-preview is the small box on your home page on the left. It includes your banner image, photo, name, and headline.

Action: If you’re using the default profile banner, which is fine, you don’t need to do anything. But if you have a custom banner, you’ll need to update the design so it looks great and everything is clear whether your photo is on the left or centered.

It took me a lot of time and effort to get my new banner right.

Banner size: 1584 px wide by 396 high px (no change to the size).

3. Title and Contact Info on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has moved the titles and the contact info. These now appear to the right of your name and headline, in a column with your college and the number of connections  you have.

Action: You don’t need to do anything about the changes, but make sure you’ve included your contact info (email address, website URL, and if you’re comfortable, your phone number) under contact info. Many freelancers forget to do this.

LinkedIn Changes to Engagement

LinkedIn has changed how you tag people and added hashtags.

4. Tagging on LinkedIn

Tagging is a way to let someone know that you’re commenting on his/her post and to mention someone in one of your posts. You can mention connections or other people. The person (people) you tag will get a notification from LinkedIn about the mention unless he/she has turned off the notification setting for this.

Before you could just start to type the person’s name and LinkedIn would provide a list of possible people to tag.  One day I tried to do this and it didn’t work. I figured it was just one of those bugs with LinkedIn that appear one day and are gone the next. But this bug didn’t go away.

So I asked my colleague John Espirian, who offers lots of great advice about LinkedIn on LinkedIn and through his LinkedIn Learner Lounge. John is a great person to connect with or follow if you want to stay updated on what’s happening with LinkedIn.

Now, says John, you need to use the @ symbol before you start typing the person’s name. If the list doesn’t appear, type a comma after the first name.

5. Hashtags on LinkedIn

You can now use hashtags on LinkedIn. “Using hashtags helps you increase your LinkedIn reach and get your updates in front of people outside your immediate LinkedIn network without needing to be connected . . .,” says LinkedIn.

When you create a post, LinkedIn suggests some hashtags.  You can delete any of the suggested hashtags. And you can add your own hashtags.

Use hashtags that the people you want to reach will use when searching for content on LinkedIn, especially phrases or keywords used in your industry, type of work, etc. To add your own hashtags, just type the # symbol before each term you want to be a hashtag.

You can also use hashtags when you comment on other people’s posts.

Want to Learn More About LinkedIn and be a High-Income Freelancer?

My book, 7 Steps to High-Income Freelancing: Get the clients you deserve, has step-by-step instructions on how to develop a client-focused LinkedIn profile and 6 other steps to building a successful freelance business.

Get it on Amazon.

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Learn More About LinkedIn

Resources from The Mighty Marketer

Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers

5 Ways Freelancers are Getting High-Paying Freelance Clients through LinkedIn

4 Steps to Freelance Success on LinkedIn

Other Resources

LinkedIn Learner Lounge

LinkedIn Starter Guide

Adding Hashtags in Your Articles