BY ERIN EWART
As you may have seen by now, LinkedIn has recently undergone a pretty major facelift. If you haven’t gotten the new interface yet you will soon, since they are releasing it to users in waves. If you’ve already been using the mobile app you’ll find that the new site has a similar look and feel to what you’re used to there.
In addition to the cosmetic upgrades, there are a number of changes that are likely to impact your experience on the site. Much has been written online about these changes, including summaries here and here, so I won’t rehash them all, but I do want to share several important implications and updates I’m recommending that my clients make:
1. Make sure your summary has a strong “hook”: in the new LinkedIn interface, only the first two lines of your summary will show automatically. This makes it even more important that you start off strong and hook your audience with something interesting and unique. Avoid generic or overused language and use short, impactful sentences to start off your summary. Looking for ideas or inspiration? This article has some great summary examples.
2. Revise your experience section: visitors to your profile will now see only your five most recent positions under Experience, and will only see the summary for the first position without having to click “more”. Make sure those top five positions are the most relevant and interesting ones you have. Think carefully about the titles you use (are they easy to quickly scan and understand, and do they contain keywords relevant to your desired role?), and combine or eliminate any positions that are taking up extra real estate in that section. You should still have a short, 2-3 sentence summary for each position including a brief overview of your role and a few key accomplishments, but now you’ll want to pay extra attention to the summary for your most recent role, since that may be the only one that people read.
3. Be more active: your activity on LinkedIn (content you create as well as likes, posts, comments, and shares on other posts) has always been important from a personal branding perspective, however with the new platform it’s become even more important to maintain an active presence. Your activity is now featured prominently at the very top of your profile, so if you haven’t liked a post since 2012 that will be obvious to anyone who visits your profile. Try to get into the habit of taking a few actions on LinkedIn several times a week: share an interesting article with your thoughts on what resonated, comment one someone else’s post, or if you’re feeling brave write a post of your own. Just make sure the content is relevant to the type of work you’re targeting.
The recruiting world is still processing these changes and there will be more implications to share in the weeks ahead. One major and perhaps unsurprising trend is that more of the most desirable features of LinkedIn are now restricted to premium memberships. Remember, you can do a 30 day trial of those memberships, so check them out before you buy!
Drop me a line or comment below with any other changes you’ve noticed or questions you have about the new LinkedIn, and I’ll address them in a future post.
Have questions or need help navigating LinkedIn or with other aspects of your job search? Contact us for more information on individual and group job search coaching.