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8 changes to LinkedIn that you need to know about
December 16, 2012
LinkedIn is probably the only social network where you can bump into senior corporate decision makers and professional intermediaries.
In fact in the UK, your LinkedIn profile is most likely to be checked out before a potential client, recruiter or introducer takes the next step and gets in contact. Over the last week, LinkedIn has been rolling out a new profile, and new functionality. These changes will mean you need to alter your existing LinkedIn profile or maybe the catalyst for you joining LinkedIn.
Events are no longer supported
LinkedIn switched off events at the end of November. This means you can no longer publicise your event using the old event application.
Applications are no longer supported with the new profiles
This means that you can no longer share your blog, documents, presentations or video clips via google apps, box.net or slideshare within your LinkedIn profile. However, LinkedIn is slowly rolling out the feature where you can embed rich media, such as presentations, documents, video clips within three sections of your Linkedin profile – your summary, experience and education section. Effectively, you can add in a link to the media content that you want to share within your LinkedIn profile.
Profile has been rejigged and refreshed
This is mostly a cosmetic update to the LinkedIn profiles. However, instead of your profile being one big block where you can move around all the different sections, there are now several different sections and you can only move the sub-sections around in the sections.
The sections are now (in order): Activity, Background, Recommendations, Connections, Groups and Following.
LinkedIn has integrated your recommendations into the experience section and shows the two recommendations at the top of the list for each role you have added on LinkedIn.
The recommendations still all appear at the bottom of your profile, but only the top 5 on the list are automatically shown, you have to expand the rest of the section to see the rest of the recommendations you choose to show.
With recommendations now being relegated to the bottom of the LinkedIn profile the endorsements that you receive for your skills and achievements are now very important. This is the 1st snapshot people looking at your profile will see of your externally verified credibility.
And the final change to the actual LinkedIn profile, is the specialities part of the summary has now been removed.
Ability to embed rich media in your profile
This is a big change to the functionality of LinkedIn. It is also a major opportunity to see your Linkedin profile as the start a journey someone takes to find out about you and your firm – be they prospective client or recruiter. Before you whizz in and start embedding documents and videos left, right and centre, it is worth taking a step back and thinking about what media items you can use to showcase your expertise or lead the reader on a journey to discover more about you.
For example, these are things which possible on the new LinkedIn profiles:
- embed links to published articles
- embed links to landing pages on your website and blog, allowing you to customise the pathway that a visitor from LinkedIn takes to your website
- embed links to white papers, guides and templates which help to educate and inform your prospects and clients
- video clips introducing yourself and your firm, or even you being interviewed on a topic
LinkedIn now provides an infographic of your network on your profile. This means that you can click on your connections profiles and see where they have large clusters of people that they know from the same industry, school, location or company. If you would like help with how to win business via your network, how about downloading our free (email required) guide to building your personal networking strategy?
What do you need to do as a result of these changes?
- Request the new profile if you haven’t already got it.
- Take a long hard look at the recommendations you have received on LinkedIn and make sure that the most important ones are in the top 5 on the list for each of your roles.
- Consider whether to add in some more roles, so you can segment the documents, presentations etc so the reader of your profile can easily verify your credibility and expertise.
- Decide on what parts of your ‘story’ you will share presentations, videos, website links to to help strengthen your credibility
- Decide on what landing pages you will direct visitors from LinkedIn too on your website, via embedded links.
- Take note of critical content which you are currently sharing on LinkedIn profiles via the Box.net, Google Apps, Slideshare applications and make plans to share this content within the new LinkedIn profile
- Add in skills to your profile
- Start going into LinkedIn daily and participating, as your activity on LinkedIn is now given far greater prominence on your profile.
Heather Townsend helps professionals become the ‘Go To’ Expert. She is the author of the award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. Heather regularly blogs at How to make partner, Partnership Potential and Joined Up Networking