13 Recent LinkedIn Changes You May Have Missed

June 16, 2017 / admin  /  Uncategorized

When LinkedIn made major changes to the desktop design earlier in the year many users felt frustrated that features had been removed with little or no consultation. Stung by the negative reaction from members LinkedIn has been working hard to listen to users and win back their good will.

As well as restoring some of the deleted features LinkedIn has been busy adding in a raft of useful new features. I have listed some of the more important ones below in no particular order:

1. Ability to edit updates 

If , like me, you have a mistake prone keyboard that throws up typos which you don’t spot until after posting an update, you will be very pleased to see you can now edit the post.


Fig 1: New edit option on update menu

Unfortunately, we still can’t edit discussion posts in group which would be very welcome (LinkedIn are you listening?)

2. Pregnancy Pause

This is an important and if you will excuse the phrase overdue option. LinkedIn is planning to introduce an option for women taking time out with child birth to fill the gaps in their LinkedIn CV. Members simply add a new job as “Mom” at “The Pregnancy Pause” to your LinkedIn profile under “Experience” for the duration of the maternity leave.

Here is LinkedIn’s official video.

3. The profile custom image size has changed

The image has shrunk. The logic for this seems to be to make better use of the real estate at the top of the profile. Those annoyed one line text ads have been removed from the custom background image. For some reason the image is automatically darkened – I
am not sure why this is.



Fig 2: Custom image is now 1584×396

4. Connect button allows custom invitation

The blue connect button in search results now gives the option of sending a custom invitation. A connection invitation is the start of a relationship, I always encourage my clients to send personal invitations when possible. It may be a co-incidence but I have certainly noticed an increase in personal invitations since this change was made.

On desktop searches I also have a button which says “Preview Message”. I am not sure what this is supposed to do. Right now it doesn’t seem to do anything.


Fig 3: Custom invitations now available from search results

The connect button which appears in the list of “People You May Know” however, does NOT currently offer the option to add a personal message.

5. New “improve my feed” option

Following the restoration of the “top v recent” sort option for the home page feed, an extra “improve my feed” option has been added to the three dot menu at the top of updates in your feed. It allows you to add more topics of interest, also to see a list of who you are following and unfollow people in your network without disconnecting.


Fig 4: Improve my feed option

6. Adding images to threads


Fig 5: Images can now be added to threads

Some time ago LinkedIn announced it would be giving users the option to add images in group discussions threads. This hasn’t happened yet but last week it started to roll out the ability to add images to the thread on a post. Each comment now has a small camera icon in the bottom right corner.

In theory people could use this to post advertising images in a thread but in my view it would be a massive own goal as the posts would be quickly reported.

7. Number of followers for 2nd degree connections is now visible

If you scroll down to the activity section of someone’s profile it now shows how many followers that person has. For most people the number of followers and number of connections is virtually the same.


Fig 6: Number of followers are now shown for 1st and 2nd degree connections

Is this helpful? I suggest it can be. Previously if someone had more than 500 connections that’s all LinkedIn would tell you, so the person could have 501 or 50,000 connections. The size of a person’s network can be a useful piece of information when deciding whether to connect with them.

8. Recommendations options now on contact’s page

To ask for or give a recommendation you now have to go to the connection’s profile page.

Fig 7: Recommendations options are now on connection’s page

9. Individual recommendations can be hidden

Although it has always been the case that you can choose whether or not to display a recommendation on your profile there is now an option to hide new or old recommendations individually.


Fig 8: Recommendations can be hidden

10. Option to turn comments on an article off

When you publish an article on LinkedIn there is now the option to choose whether or not readers can leave comments. Most people will choose to allow comments but it’s good to give the user the control over that.

11. LinkedIn API no longer supports group posts

Although you can share an article with multiple groups from within LinkedIn from the end of June you will no longer be able to post to multiple groups using social media dashboards like Hootsuite and Buffer. Most of my LinkedIn training colleagues agree that this is a positive move which should help to reduce the amount of spam posts in groups.

Here is the official Hootsuite announcement about the change.

12. Date of connection

In the contact information of a 1st degree connection it now shows the date when you connected on LinkedIn. A small change but could be a good conversation starter.


Fig 9: Date of connection is now shown

13. New User Agreement

On June 7th LinkedIn updated the User Agreement. The changes are pretty straightforward including giving users more control over what data is shared. You should be aware that LinkedIn will be sharing your data more widely with third parties which is good for overall visibility, if you are not comfortable with this you can opt out here.

Conclusion

Whilst the changes I have highlighted here are not exactly transformational, they do suggest that LinkedIn is continuing to pay more attention to member feedback. There seemed to be a period when every LinkedIn update involved taking away features, in contrast many updates now are adding useful functionality.

There are still features which were taken away which I would love to see restored, for example, the ability to attach a recommendation to the relevant position, and the ability to see who has shared an article post but it does feel that things are moving in the right direction.

What do you think of the recent changes? What other improvements would you suggest?

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you enjoyed this article please like and share it, so others can too.

How to Create a LinkedIn Profile When You Have More Than One Hat

June 1, 2017 / admin  /  Uncategorized

In these days of portfolio careers, it is increasingly common for people to wear more than one hat. You may be a freelancer working for several different businesses or a senior executive with multiple directorships or perhaps you are employed but run a business in your spare time.

How do you reflect this on LinkedIn when you are only allowed one profile page?

Ultimately there is no one size fits all solution, however, I believe there are some simple strategies that can help you to present the different parts of your work-self in a way that makes sense as a whole.

Here are my suggestions:

Use the headline to advertise your core expertise

Your professional headline (120 characters) is immediately underneath your name on the profile page. It defaults to your job title but you can use it instead to position yourself by focusing on and describing your core expertise. The reader gets an immediate impression of what you offer.   

Here are two examples, in both cases the member has more than one current position:



Use a well-chosen custom image

LinkedIn’s custom image gives an opportunity to reinforce your branding visually, without specific reference to a current position.

Here is an example of how a freelance event manager is reinforcing his brand with the custom image.



Custom image can reinforce your expertise visually

Spell out and explain your different roles in the summary

LinkedIn’s summary has 2,000 characters you can use this to spell out exactly what you do and for whom. You may also need to explain how the different roles relate to each other.

If you have several current roles I suggest decide which role you want to prioritise, create a heading and devote 50% of the space explaining what the organisation does for whom, what exactly you do and how you add value for your customers. Keep it simple, pay attention to layout, use bullet points and paragraphing to make it easy to read, you can add more detail in the experience section.  

Give 25% of the remaining space to your other roles under separate headings.

In the last 25% include a paragraph titled “Specialities”, this is where you put the keywords that you want to be found for across all your roles. This will optimise your profile page for search without annoying your reader by cluttering the main text with keywords.

After reading your summary the reader should be able to easily explain your different roles to someone else.  

Don’t forget to tell people how they can get in touch with you for each hat you wear.  

Use images and video to add depth and clarity

We love images don’t we, still or moving. Adding some visuals to your summary and your experience sections is a great way to grab the reader’s attention and helps them engage with your story.

Be careful however not to confuse the reader with too many images in the summary section, it may be better, for example, to save all the role specific images and videos for the experience section of your profile.  

Use the experience sections to add more role specific information

Having given an overview of your roles in the summary you can now give more detail in the experience section.

You have 2,000 characters for each position you list so there is plenty of room to expand on each position. If you have multiple roles it may be enough just to summarise the roles’ aim and scope as below.

LinkedIn allows us to re-order the top two current positions (but only the top two). Move the role you want to feature most prominently to the top.

 

Use role specific images and videos.

This is one of 8 current roles for marketing expert John Courtney

Use skills and endorsements to draw attention to your key skills

Since the LinkedIn desktop redesign and the end of last year only your top 3 skills are displayed, as below. You can re-order these. Make sure the ones showing reflect the emphasis you have given in the rest of your profile.

Now only top 3 endorsements are displayed initially

If it’s just too difficult or confusing to choose three representative skills, you can turn off the endorsements feature entirely and LinkedIn will just display a list of all your skills.

Publish selectively

Writing articles on LinkedIn is a great way to boost your brand and promote your expertise. If you have several very different hats it could be confusing for the reader (and the LinkedIn algorithm) if you write about too many topics.  

My advice would be therefore that less is more. Write about those topics which are really important to you. Your passion will come across in the article and the reader will be engaged.

Big picture, little picture

The approach I am suggesting could be called big picture, little picture because you are using the professional headline and summary section to give an overview of who you are, the different roles you fill, and how this all ties together. In the experience section, you can then give more details about individual roles.

I hope this post has been useful and those of you who combine a position as Lion Tamer with one as an IT Analyst, or similar, will see that it is quite possible to incorporate multiple roles into your LinkedIn profile.

Remember the key is to craft something that the reader will find easy to digest and understand. Profile viewed = profile understood

I would love to hear your ideas on how you have tackled this LinkedIn challenge.