By now you may have received email notification from LinkedIn regarding changes to your profile and applications. The announcement on December 11th is yet another move by the social media giant to encourage users to treat this resource as their personal, professional website. This of course means a bit more work for you on the front end but also a more valuable personal branding tool for you moving forward. These changes have been in the works for over a year, some already present. Here is what you can look forward to:
1. Editing your profile is much easier. Features such as certifications, publications, languages spoken, projects and volunteer work have been around for some time but hardly anyone was adding them to their profiles. Now when you go to your profile (edit mode) LinkedIn will prompt you to add these sections, making it much easier for you to enhance your profile. Now you have no excuse to not build your brand!
2. Activity section has more visibility. Now when people click on your profile they will see your activities section front and center. If you are not regularly posting to your profile it will be immediately obvious. This is the perfect place for job seekers to promote their brand as well as reach out to their network about job opportunities. If you are looking for a consumer products marketing position in the greater SF Bay Area, here is the place to broadcast your request!
3. Broader insights. Now we can see what we have in common with our connections, like shared interests, skills and expertise. Just click on a connection and view a colorful graphic which displays this information on the right hand side of the page.
4. Events are gone. LinkedIn has eliminated this feature. This is not a big deal. Hardly anyone used events to begin with.
5. Where did all my apps go? Initially this seemed like a big deal, but in fact the end result will be worth it once LinkedIn gets all the kinks worked out. Applications on LinkedIn have been replaced by a new feature that enables you to add media links to images, presentations, video and the like. I found the new rich media feature a breeze when adding video to my profile. This was a cumbersome task previously. Additionally, several apps including Slideshare, Box.net, Google Presentation, Blog Link and WordPress are no longer supported by LinkedIn as of December 11, 2012. LinkedIn provides some instruction regarding these changes in their Help Center. However, you are better off going directly to the individual app websites for clearer instructions. I, for one, found reconnecting my WordPress blog to be confusing.
Overall, I find the profile enhancements to be a move in the right direction. LinkedIn is making it possible for you to have a top notch professional website virtually for free. As with any new change, the kinks need to be worked out. However, I think the end result will be worth it. You may want to check out Jason Alba’s ‘New LinkedIn Profile Webinar’, on January 17, 2013 for more information on the changes. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.