New changes to your LinkedIn profile are coming soon. Invites to receive the new profile have been issued in a beta test (I received invitation early last week—so I am now waiting for the profile switch.) I received some information from my contacts at LinkedIn that have started to shed some light on how these changes can affect job seekers in being found by recruiters who use LinkedIn to find talent. How your LinkedIn profile is written has never been more important:
Here is an example of LinkedIn’s new profile: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/sample
• The right LinkedIn picture is now paramount – The picture on the new LinkedIn profile is bigger than the picture of the current LinkedIn profile and placed in a more visually prominent position. So not having a picture, or possibly worse, having a poor picture choice is now front and center. Invest in a professional picture or just choose one where you are professionally attired, closely cropped and not a cut out of yourself amidst your friends at a reunion (I will confess, that was my first LinkedIn profile picture in 2006 when I first joined – so I humbly give you this feedback.)
• Set up Your LinkedIn Skills section and get your LinkedIn Endorsements – LinkedIn endorsements matter, regardless of your opinion of them being too easy to obtain or possibly diluting your recommendations. I have not received information on how it will directly affect your profile’s placement in search results (I asked—but apparently talking about LinkedIn’s search algorithms is like asking for the Coca-Cola formula), but I was told “emphasize endorsements” when writing this article. You can see in the new profile that the LinkedIn Skills section housing the endorsements is prominently displayed. Heed the advice as you wish.
• Make the most of your Summary and Headline – With the number of recommendations and website links and de-emphasized in the new profile, it is crucial to optimize the selling points and communication impact of your LinkedIn Summary and LinkedIn Headline (can also be known as the tagline under your name).
• Data visualization emphasis is apparent – As a culture, we are infatuated with infographics, pictures and visual demonstrations of data and this fact has not gone unnoticed by LinkedIn with its new profile design. For example, in the right hand column of the new profile, you will be able to see stats about your network (or others’ networks) visually outlined with graphs and other tools. It will be easier to identify which of your contacts have connections at your target firms, which will unearth more opportunity and inspiration, without having to always go to the advanced search function.
• Value is placed on engagement – Activity is more prominently on the new LinkedIn profile and valued by LinkedIn. I find this not surprising given that Klout, Facebook and Twitter are placing more weight on live (versus scheduled) engagement with users and sharing information with your connections. I am glad that LinkedIn is putting back the activity line (if you recall, the status update line used to be under your picture on your profile and has been since been removed). Soon when someone looks at your profile, they will see how active (or not so active) you have been on LinkedIn and how often you have posted/shared relevant information. Staying current on your profile will be more important now than ever.
• The new LinkedIn Profile seems more mobile friendly – If you have LinkedIn on your mobile device or tablet, compare a profile on that device with this new profile sample and you will see similarities. It probably will address uniformity of data to ensure the info that can be found on LinkedIn viewed on a computer is the same info that can be found on a mobile device. Right now, only certain info can be found on a mobile. So I hope this change addresses this issue.
• Contact info is in neatly hidden in an Address File – Gone are the days where some of your contact information was next to your picture, on the right side of your profile or at the very bottom of the page. Now, as it currently is housed, your Twitter handle, three websites, company web address, phone number, and email address are neatly placed in an address file at the lower right hand corner of your intro box—alongside your LinkedIn url, which you should still customize to a vanity url. This is much easier and a much needed improvement. Will make it easier for you to find info to contact people on your target list and simpler for hiring managers to contact you.
My sources at LinkedIn say there will be more to come over the next few weeks, so I will be staying tuned and be ready to communicate more as we all learn more. Feel free to comment and share any information you are seeing, as we are all in this learning journey together.
Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer
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