If you’ve logged into LinkedIn in the past few weeks, you may have received a bit of a shock. If you haven’t checked in lately, you probably should. Since December, the social network has been slowly rolling out a new look. Some of the changes will affect the way that you’re found and how you’re seen on the network.
In balance, the redesign is good. The platform needed some dressing up
and the appearance is definitely better. The remodeled site if familiar, but looks more current, incorporating the latest flat design trends and an icon-based navigation bar that is attractive, if not completely intuitive.
Of more importance, there have also been some functional changes, a couple of which may somewhat diminish the value of the social media network for power users. For most job seekers, the LinkedIn changes afford job seekers a few more options that can help you to be more easily discovered by the recruiters and decision makers who used LinkedIn to find qualified candidates.
Why should you care about LinkedIn?
Even with the new makeover, LinkedIn isn’t exciting, but it remains the social network for the business crowd. Here are a few relevant stats:
LinkedIn has 433 million users in 200 countries and territories.
100 million people actively use the site each month.
1 in 3 professionals worldwide have a LinkedIn profile.
Military and Veteran members are the most active users.
If you’re actively managing your career, there’s one very important statistic that you should be aware of:
87% of recruiters use LinkedIn.1
That’s the statistic that makes LinkedIn worthwhile for job seekers. If you hope to be identified as a candidate for one of the 70 – 80% of jobs that are never advertised, you must have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. The motive fact is that LinkedIn is where recruiters go to find qualified prospects to fill the positions that you’d like to have. That’s why the business social network should be as much a part of your career plans as your resume or a new interview outfit or suit.
Updating Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn has spruced up their look just a little, but like your interview outfit, it’s not flashy. The stated objective for the LinkedIn update was to align the mobile and desktop user experience on the site. The result is that your profile is a little more compressed than it used to be. Viewers will find the new look easier to scan, but will have to click on “more” arrows and links to read in depth.
Don’t worry, all of the information that you’ve worked on over the years is still there, it just needs to be updated a little to make sure the key elements get seen. That’s your first checkpoint for your LinkedIn profile update. Start with the home page (your newsfeed). You’ll see that your photo and your headline show up in the left-hand column, backed with LinkedIn’s new teal “constellation” background.
That little photo and your headline will show up whenever you publish on LinkedIn. To begin editing your profile, click the photo. The image and your headline can be edited in the top “Intro” box of your profile. Just click the pencil icon to get started.
The previous version of LinkedIn allowed you to change the order of presentation on your profile page. That’s gone now. Your Articles and Activity will show up first, followed by your Experience. Only your most recent position will show up in the expanded mode. The others will be collapsed, showing only the company and dates of employment.
Take a quick look at what’s showing and what appears in the first paragraph when the “more” options are selected. The collapsed format means that recruiters will scan quickly. You’ll need to front load key accomplishments for each position in the first paragraph of the expanded view.
Add Some New Information
Even though your profile is more condensed than previously, LinkedIn hasprovided a new way to augment the information on the page. At the top of the right hand column is a teal button that allows users to “Add a New Profile Section.” You can add to your employment history here, but there are also opportunities to add volunteer experience and list up to 50 skills. The “accomplishments” tab enables you to list your publications, certifications, and training that you’ve received.
Under the blue box on your profile page, you also have an opportunity to change your public profile, the information that is displayed from search engine results. To date, LinkedIn hasn’t changed this format, so you shouldn’t have to spend time here. If you’re multi-lingual, LinkedIn also provides the opportunity to add additional profiles in second or third languages on the Profile page.
Taking LinkedIn for A Test Drive
Now that you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile, you might also want to take the new platform for a turn around the block. LinkedIn is an excellent resource for job seekers who want to research companies of interest and seek out connections to help with their career. For those who have used these features before, the new iteration of the platform incorporates a couple of limiting changes that slightly impact the way users find and manage their connections:
The Search feature has changed – Advanced Search, which allowed users to filter, sort and save searches, has disappeared in the new version. You can still find many of the filters by clicking the magnifying glass in the Search field.
The ability to sort and tag contacts is gone – The new version allows users to sort by recently added contacts and name fields only.
It’s likely that these features will be missed only by LinkedIn “power users,” many of whom use the platform for sales and marketing more than for career purposes. For job seekers, the search functions of the “Jobs” page are still robust. Posted jobs can be searched by title, keyword, company, and location.
There are also some new LinkedIn features under the Jobs menu option that will be especially useful to job seekers who might not want to publicize their availability, but want to enhance their visibility with recruiters who are using LinkedIn to find candidates.
The new features are a bit hard to find. They’re accessed from an “update preferences” link in the second box on the “Jobs” page. After clicking the link, you’ll see options to turn on notifications to recruiters and the ability to specify experience levels, company size, and industries of interest. Another valuable LinkedIn tip for job seekers is that there is a switch that allows you to automatically submit your profile directly to a recruiter when you are directed off of the LinkedIn profile to an application website.
You’ve Updated Your LinkedIn Profile. Now Let’s Take A Look at Your Resume
LinkedIn has become an important resource for recruiters who need an efficient and practical method to identify qualified candidates. Your profile can provide them with an overview of your capabilities and experience, but they’ll also want to see a more complete resume that details your qualifications for the positions they’re seeking to fill. Now that your LinkedIn profile is running smoothly, perhaps you should also take a good look at your resume.
Private sector demand for talented applicants is near a 10 year high. It’s a great time to consider a military transition or your next career move and to seek professional guidance to make sure your profile and your resume present you at your best. CareerPro Global can help you with coaching, executive resumes and management resumes that will improve your prospects for landing the interviews and job offers that will advance your career. Interested? We hope you’ll get in touch for a free career consultation.
Barbara Adams is the founder and CEO of CareerPro Global, Inc. and has led the company since 1990. She is recognized as one of the pioneers in the career services industry and a titan of the resume writing industry. Barbara has built CPG into one of the largest and fastest-growing premier career services organizations industry-wide. She is committed to CPG’s core factors that include quality product, exceptional customer service, a successful proven process, and taking care of her people. Barbara has Co-Authored numerous books, including:
Roadmap to the Senior Executive Service
Roadmap to Becoming an Administrative Law Judge
Job-Winning Military to Civilian Resumes
Roadmap to Federal Jobs
She also co-authored the certification requirements for the Master Military Resume Writer (MMRW) and the Master Federal Career Advisor and Trainer (MFCA-T) certifications.