Although I tend to hear a lot of grumbling about LinkedIn’s new desktop experience, it is an exciting new design with great features. Change is hard for many of us. With social media, your best bet is to embrace it and adapt quickly. The major rollout began on January 19 of this year, and it is continuing at a fast pace globally. It was their largest desktop design since the company’s inception fourteen years ago.
Now is the perfect time to reevaluate where you stand with LinkedIn. The new interface is here now – or coming to you very soon.
Your Profile On the New Interface
Let’s start with the profile. Your current work experience and associated rich media are fully visible on the desktop, unlike many other sections that are now truncated or require a second click. Past work experience now requires the viewer to click “see description” for more information. Put the best emphasis on your current work experience.
The summary section truncates so you want to have your introductory sentences to be compelling to get the click through from the “See More” prompt. Make your summary captivating to win that click.
The new design puts greater emphasis on other sections of the profile such as volunteering, skills, and recommendations. Update your volunteering entries. This section is now hard coded to accompany work and educational experience.
The skills and recommendations are also now more significant due to the positioning in the new profile. Rearrange your skills to display your top three. Recommendations are not displayed next to a position any longer; instead, recommendations has its own section. Both skills and recommendations are placed prominently.
The new “Accomplishments” sections display by quantity. So if you have 10 certifications and 5 organizations that is the order in which they will appear. This may cause you to reevaluate your priorities to emphasize the most strategic instead of the highest quantity.
Your Activity Is More Prominent Now
Your LinkedIn activity is now front and center. Find it displayed at the top of your profile. On the left are your long form blog posts and on the right find your other activity.
Dig deeper at “See All Activity” and find your personal activity page to view:
- Your articles
- Your posts
- All activity
The content displayed for you in the home feed by LinkedIn should be more relevant to your interests. LinkedIn calls this “a richer feed to keep you informed.” Consider sharing content from your news feed, groups, or LinkedIn’s PULSE.
Your Network Is Your Greatest Asset
Managing and growing a valuable professional network is generally the goal for all LinkedIn users. Leverage InMail, likes and mentions as ways to warm up your network and keep “top of mind.” Think about the content produced from your connections and consider how you are sharing or commenting. Use the new LinkedIn “Highlights” from your connection’s profiles for ice-breakers and relevant things to mention.
LinkedIn is now offering smarter messaging. For example, if you find a job posting that interests you, now LinkedIn suggests someone in your network who is an employee of that company. I call that very handy!
Your Search Needs
LinkedIn has modified the Advanced Search into a Universal Search which includes people, jobs, companies, groups, posts, and schools. Some of the advanced filters are removed, but the site does allow for Boolean searching. Tips are provided under “Structuring Your Search.”
Power users should consider if this is the time to upgrade to LinkedIn’s Recruiter or Sales Navigator to get the easiest and most comprehensive search capabilities. Fully dedicated sales and recruiting professionals should take a good look and consider this upgrade although there is a possibility of search functionality returning.
Company pages are perpetually transforming. Every business should have a LinkedIn company page. But you want to make sure it is kept up to date with business changes and leveraging any new features or changes from LinkedIn.
One of my favorite updates is available only if you are a premium user and using LinkedIn to look at other companies. This became available in June of 2016 but is an often overlooked feature. Find “Company Insights” charts and graphs on LinkedIn company pages that include:
- Total Employee Count
- New Hires
- Employee distribution and headcount growth by function
- Notable company alumni
- Total job openings
Take advantage of the LinkedIn changes now. And be ready for more change in the future. It’s really the only thing you can plan for.