Career & Work Life Matters, ISSN 2150-6299, Vol 4, no. 1
LinkedIn has been busy rolling out some changes over the past few months. By now you have probably noticed the updates. Your profile looks different visually. The design is cleaner.
The overall structure of your profile is similar, but there also some changes to the sections and tools available. For example, it is easier to add multimedia items such as presentations and videos, but they need to be hosted elsewhere. Built-in applications such as box.net that you may have used in the past are no longer available.
See below for 3 changes you need to be aware of.
1 Photograph & Contact Information
Your profile photograph is now larger. Take a moment to check that you are happy with how it appears in the new size and change it if needed.
Click the contact information button (on the right hand side – in line with your profile url) and check that your contact information is up to date.
2. Sections and Editing
One of LinkedIn stated goals for the changes is to promote more social interaction on the site. This is reflected in changes to your information is presented.
For the most part the sections are similar, but there are important changes in how they are positioned. As you’ll see from the screenshot taken from my profile below, the activity section is now placed near the top of your profile page, right underneath your photograph and professional headline. The option to reorder this section is currently not available.
This change means that the activity section is now more prominent. If you want to remain visible to your network, consider what you can do to engage in activity on a regular basis. Share updates, post information, and interact with others.
3. Skills Section: Endorsements
As you’ll also see from the screenshot above, your skills endorsements and recent connections also show up among your activities. The endorsement tool is one of the changes that has sparked the most discussion.
Members of your network can endorse you for particular skills with a single click. This function is somewhat similar to the Facebook Like button in that it requires very little effort on behalf of your endorser. Because your endorsers’ avatars now show up on your profile, this section is also more visible.
This is both the good news and the bad news. The good news is that because it so easy, you are more likely to receive endorsements. On the other hand, the credibility of the endorsements is open to question.
So what should you do? If one of your goals is to be more visible to recruiters, the quantity of your endorsements may be important for the search function. You should pay particular attention to including the skills that you want to be found for in this section.
However, it is important to differentiate between endorsements and recommendations. Endorsements do not take the place of recommendations which are give by individuals on the basis of their personal knowledge and experience of your work.
You’ll find more information about LinkedIn’s goals and the changes in their promotional video.
The video is a bit long (just under 45 mins), but you can find information about editing the profile at around the 23 min mark.
We will look at some of the other features that you can use to help you manage your career or job search over the next few issues.
Questions & Comments
What do you think of the changes?
Add your comments and questions below.