Written by Kristin S. Johnson on March 3, 2013
With all the changes LinkedIn has rolled out in recent months, what’s a job seeker to do? I’ve heard from many people that as soon as they figure LinkedIn out, more changes pop up to learn about. It can be overwhelming!
Well, you can take a deep breath, and relax. This post will help you to determine the priorities to be most concerned about and find a fix for.
So, what makes a LinkedIn change a big deal or not? Assuming you’re on LinkedIn to be found, anything affecting how easily you can be contacted would be of utmost importance to address. When deciding where to start to bring your profile back to optimal, first consider your ultimate goals for LinkedIn and how it promotes your personal brand. That will help you in deciding which changes will be a priority for your profile.
Most job seekers will want to start in one of the following 7 places:
- Check that your contact information is still available. When my profile was first switched over to the new layout, I was pretty disappointed. My contact information was in a newly hidden spot visitors to my profile have to click on to access (grrr!). If the lack of visibility wasn’t annoying enough, I discovered my email and websites were missing!
Since I want visitors to my profile to go on to visit my website, I was very eager to fix that! Go check and make sure your contact info and websites are still there and plug them back in if they are missing.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about the placement of the information, but at least you can make sure it is still entered into that field. I also recommend placing your email and phone number in your Summary and “Advice for Contacting” sections to make it more likely that someone will reach out to you.
- Be sure your picture is the right size. I’m still seeing profiles that have the old, smaller-sized photos where you can hardly see who the person is. This gives the impression that the individual doesn’t understand how to use the technology. Of course, you know you’re not a luddite , but the recruiter looking at your profile may think you’re technologically challenged.
To avoid this, upload a new photo with the correct specifications. For more on what makes a great LinkedIn profile photo, see my blog post here.
- Select skills for people to endorse. Trust me, endorsements are a good thing. They will help you to be found by boosting your SEO and will help you promote your brand.
I’ve got a couple of other posts where I discuss endorsements ad nauseum, so I won’t bore you with that here. Just know they should be high on your priority list.
- Add rich media back onto your profile. If you are an avid LinkedIn user, I’m sure you’ve noticed that LinkedIn’s apps have gone bye-bye. This is a serious bummer, but I totally get why LI had to make the change. They are saving a ton of server space by not hosting all of our materials and documents.
There were many apps, and rest assured, there are work-arounds. My colleague, Brenda Bernstein, has a great series showing how to deal with these, so I’ll refer you to her blog, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
What I will say is that adding your materials back in is probably just a matter of having a valid url on the internet to cut and paste into your profile. Here’s one example. If you’ve got a profile on another site, say box.net or youtube, you can take that url and link your profile to it.
How? Go to your edit profile page. Look for the little blue box with the plus sign on the right corner next to the pencil. When you click on it, a box will pop up for you to put in your url. Put it in, add a description for better SEO, hit save, and you’re done!
Just know that some sites, like box.net, don’t create a pretty graphic for your viewers to click on. Behance does a better job of this, and I plan to write about how to use this site to create more appealing visuals on your profile in the near future.
If you don’t have a little box on your profile, don’t wait for it to come. Email LI support and tell them you want it. They’ll fix it for you.
- Double check your privacy and contact settings. I’ve heard reports of people saying they swear they had the “Viewers of This Profile Also Viewed” box un-checked so that people viewing their profile wouldn’t be led to the competition. Then, they got their new profile and the box WAS checked.
Whether your settings could be changed during the rollover, I don’t know for sure, but it can’t hurt to take a minute and make sure you’ve still got them the way you intended. Double check your contact settings, too, to make sure you’ll be able to receive Inmails.
- Make the most of your headline. Now that your professional headline is so much more visible on your profile, you will want to take the time to formulate the most keyword-rich branding statement possible.
There’s a ton to say about this, and you can see an example of a strong headline in detail here. Briefly, you’ll want to emphasize your career target, and consider what others might be searching for in order to find you.
- Know your activity feed options. Since your activity feed now pushes your summary section down lower on your profile now, you might not like how it looks.
I still haven’t decided myself. I’m so used to having people see what I’ve been up to, and I like that if I post something it’s there for a while. But, there is the option to turn it off. I was recently on a webinar instructed by Jason Alba, who reminded us that you can adjust your settings to have your activity feed seen by “Only You.” This will make your summary hop back up toward your picture, becoming more visible. See how Jason’s looks here.
Whether you totally dig LinkedIn’s new layout, or think all the changes are a real pain, I hope the priorities outlined in this post will help you to roll with them a little better. Although these seven items might keep you busy for a while, watch my blog for more ideas in optimizing the new layout.