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What are interests on LinkedIn?

Interests on LinkedIn personalize your profile beyond a polished professional sales pitch. They tell your target recruiters who you are, on a personal level, which can be just as significant in their decision to hire you.

The interests section on LinkedIn help people understand what interests you, what you are devoted to. They know you work hard, but they also want to know how you play.

In a market where thousands of applicants have access to internet profiles, all with similar experience and certification, interests can take your profile over the edge to beat your competition on the all-important personality front. Lacking them can also cause you to fade into the background.

Here’s a guide to LinkedIn interests, including why you need them, and how to add them to make your profile as professional (and personal) as it can be.

Why are LinkedIn Interests important?

Your target recruiters probably don’t want a one-and-done worker for a single project. Even if they’re looking for freelancers, they want to form connections. They want to build a relationship with you. They’re looking for potential long-term investments.

And they can always see your interests. As a result, to form these connections successfully, you need to pay just as much attention to your LinkedIn interests as to your experience and education.

Interests are more relevant than a professional curiosity. Recruiters, like anyone, want to work and associate with people who have a life outside of their job. Preferably, they want to find someone whose life outside of work makes them an interesting worker, maybe even connecting them with interests they share.

This is why it’s so important to connect your interests to your target audience. You want to start forming that connection as quickly as possible, in that seconds-long browse your target recruiter will give to your profile before moving on.

This means making a distinction between your professional interests and your personal hobbies. For example, you may love to travel, read books, listen to music, watch movies, and so on, but not all of these interests apply to your target recruiters or the jobs you apply for. When it comes to LinkedIn interests, you should choose those appropriate to your job role or education. They should reflect how you want to be seen by your target recruiters.

Shared interests forge rapport – they create connections. Don’t lie about your interests but determine what you have in common with your target audience and then add those to your LinkedIn profile.

As a general example, I love listening to music but when I apply for writing and editing jobs on LinkedIn, they can see that I follow creative writing workshops and other writers on my interests. They won’t see a list of interests full of nothing but my music taste.

To summarize: being relatable to potential employers makes them more prone to contact you, but make sure that your interests relate professionally to the jobs you apply to. Read on to learn how to add interests, now that you know how important they are.

How to Add Interests on LinkedIn

To add interests on LinkedIn, you used to access the “Additional Information” section after logging into your Profile. There, you could update your interests manually.

However, LinkedIn has since updated its interest section. You can no longer manually update the interests and instead can only add companies and organizations that you follow to your list of interests, rather than random personal traits.

Therefore, to add interests on your LinkedIn profile nowadays, follow the steps below.

1) When Opening your LinkedIn Account, Chose To Follow People or Companies

Naturally, new LinkedIn users have to sign up first. Follow the steps they request, such as inserting your phone number or email and creating a password.

Then, add your full name, your address, your last or current job, and your job goal (if you’re looking for a job). There’s some other stuff too that’s all pretty straightforward.

At the last step, LinkedIn will start asking you to follow people or companies. That’s where you’ll be able to add interests.

Based on your job goals and experience, LinkedIn will already have suggestions of people and companies for you to follow as soon as you sign up.

2) In the search box, type the organization, company, or any other public institution that interests you.

For example, type “Deloitte.” LinkedIn will show all options related to the keyword, “Delloite.” It can be a company or a person.

3) Go to the page of the organization that you wish to add to your interests.

On the page of the organization you want to follow, click the “+Follow” button (the Blue one) nestled beside the Visit Website option.

The institution that you followed will now be visible in the Interests section on your profile.

If you strategically add interests on LinkedIn, it could seriously boost your profile in the current, highly competitive business environment.

You can’t add Interests on LinkedIn from your profile

As you can see, there is no longer a plus icon to add interests from your profile. You will have to follow the steps mentioned above.

How to Remove Interests on LinkedIn

The “Interests” at the bottom of your profile are created automatically based on four things:

(1) Influencers you follow

(2) Companies you follow

(3) Schools you follow

(4) Groups you’ve been accepted into

Adding interests to LinkedIn is a pretty straightforward procedure, as you saw above. But sometimes, you may want to remove interests too, especially if your job goal has changed.

Removing interests from your profile can prove to be a more bit tricky. Here’s what you need to do:

1) Login using your Credentials and View your Profile on LinkedIn

2) Scroll down until you come across the “Interests” section and click on “See All”

3) View your Interests Category

You’ll see the four categories of interests as tabs near the top: Influencers, Companies, Groups, and Schools.

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4) Click the checkbox (✓Following) to Unfollow.

Remove interests in the categories of Influencers, Companies, and Schools by clicking the checkbox. Once you do that, you’ll see a +Follow instead of a check.

Alternatively, you can navigate to their profile/page, click on “More” (looks like three horizontally arranged dots), and select “Unfollow.” They’ll be removed from your LinkedIn profile.

5. Removing/Deleting Groups From Your Interests

This one’s not so straightforward. To remove Groups from your interests:

1.     View all your groups here

2.    Click the group you want to remove from your profile. You don’t have to leave the group to remove it.

3.    You’ll be taken to your group page. Click the settings menu at the top right (three dots) and select “Update your settings.”

4.    Change “Display group on profile” from “Yes” to “No.”

Phew! Removing interests from your LinkedIn profile can be a little tedious, but then again, moving forward always demands effort, changes, and evolution. Could be worse!

How to View the Interests of Others

You should know by now that LinkedIn is an eminent, professional space on the internet. Apart from building your profile, you should get acquainted with the other side of forming professional connections: learning the interests of others.

To view the interests of others, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open your profile.
  2. Search the name of the person whose interests you want to view.
  3. Scroll down until you locate the Interests section of the person.

In this way, you can get an idea of what the other person’s interests are and you can search for some shared interests. Moreover, you can easily add their interests to your profile:

  • Search the person in the search box.
  • Scroll down to the end where you see the interests of the person.
  • Click on “See All.”
  • Follow the interests that you like by clicking on the “+Follow” option.
  • You will see a checkbox along with the “✓Following” icon.

LinkedIn is all about building a strong network. Carefully choose your interests and even procure the interests of others to make your profile stand out.

Benefits of Adding Interests on LinkedIn

The key benefit of adding interests on LinkedIn is that it could make you a robust candidate with a lot of potential work compared to others whose Interests aren’t updated.

Moreover, it also benefits the advertisers on LinkedIn, which might come back to you indirectly as another kind of benefit in the future.

Suppose you add Amazon to your interests. You might want to get a job in the company and learn more about their latest updates on LinkedIn, so adding them as an interest is a logical first step. And after a month, let’s say they advertise their upcoming walk-in interviews on LinkedIn. As an advertiser, they’ve got a choice to select the target audience as those who are already interested in their brand, which in this case, includes you.

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Therefore, if you’ve added Amazon in the Interests section of your profile, you could receive their advertisement when many of your competitors do not. All of a sudden, you’re part of Amazon’s in-crowd, which makes you infinitely more likely to form a relationship with them and maybe get work in the future.

So indirectly, when you add interests on LinkedIn, you can reap additional benefits that help you find your dream job.

Your interests can attract the right people and can show them what you’re about on a personal and professional level. Trying to add interests on LinkedIn is relatively significant, yet it’s really just one part of the picture. The point is that you need to make sure that your profile goes beyond a simple resume.

LinkedIn is a more dynamic approach to representing your experiences, skills, objectives, and interests in a professional context on modern social media. It’s all in the details. At this point, LinkedIn should be the epicenter of your branding. The insights you provide about yourself will float across the digital sphere and define how you will be perceived, both by your audience and the people looking you up.

The key is knowing how to show that you’re a good match online by procuring and selecting the right interests, and then rocking prospective employers with your skills once you land the interview.