LinkedIn Profile Changes: What You Should KnowLinkedIn is rolling out an updated version of its profile pages, including larger photosand heavier emphasis on the Summary section. Heres how to stay current on theprofessional social network.By Kevin Casey, InformationWeekAugust 22, 2012URL: http://www.informationweek.com/global-cio/careers/linkedin-profile-changes-what-you-should/2400060052012 Salary Survey: 12 Career Insights(click image for larger view and for slideshow)LinkedIn has begun rolling out a refresh of its profile page, the online face of morethan 175 million professionals. Among the most noticeable changes: Your actual faceis more important than ever.
The updated profile includes a larger, more prominent picture, which LinkedIn-Makeover.coms Donna Serdula listed as the most obvious impact to the page. As aresult, that crop-and-chop job you did on a recent family photo isnt going to hack itanymore."LinkedIn is really putting that out at the forefront. Its putting the emphasis on theway the person looks," Serdula said in an interview. "Its no longer going to beenough to scan a photograph that was taken at a wedding. If you want to stand outfrom the crowd, youre going to have to go to a professional photographer and get aheadshot."Photographys not the only skill needed to optimize the new LinkedIn profile; youllwant to hone your writing chops, too, because the Summary content now standsunder a brighter spotlight. "At one time, a person could copy-and-paste their resumeand feel like they did a good job," Serdula said. "Thats not true anymore."[ Read LinkedIn Password Breach: 9 Facts Key To Lawsuit. ]To hear Serdula tell it, the best LinkedIn profiles require the same level of attentionas any business website; without the right mix of content, keywords, and otherelements, youre liable to get lost in the fray. Treating the profile as just an onlineversion of your old-school resume is a rookie mistake."People are using LinkedIn as a search engine and theyre looking for people. Simplycopying and pasting your resume isnt going to provide enough keywords to befound," Serdula said. "Say to yourself: How are people trying to find me? And: Let memake sure that all of those keywords theyre using, Im peppering throughout myprofile so I can be found."An honest, robust summary is also critical, Serdula said, because users areincreasingly using LinkedIn to do their homework on people they do business with ina variety of contexts. "People are really using LinkedIn as a way to research and feelmore comfortable with candidates, with vendors, with people. You need to take thisopportunity and really showcase yourself. Now that the summary is so front-and-center, you cant just not fill it out or copy-paste your introduction from yourresume. Its just not going to cut it anymore."LinkedIns profile updates are part of a broader site-wide reboot that includes therecent redesign of the homepage and the launch earlier this year of LinkedIn Today,the companys social news service. Expect more changes to come, including moreupdates to the profile page."We are focused on making it easier for LinkedIn members to get more value out ofthe services we offer by creating simpler, more relevant, more social experiences," aLinkedIn spokeswoman said via email. "This new look-and-feel to the profile is thefirst step of many more exciting changes to come to the LinkedIn profile later thisyear."
Serdula pointed out another significant change: Job titles no longer appear in thebrief overview that appears next to the photo--only the names of current and recentemployers, as well as educational institutions, are listed. In general, that light-grayarea atop the profile is much smaller than in the past. "Thats huge," Serdula said."Perhaps theyre leveling the playing field there, but that also saves in screen realestate."Contact information, including websites, email, Twitter handle, and phone number,are now housed behind a Contact button just beneath the photo and brief overview.Users need to click to reveal them, but Serdula said this is an improvement ratherthan a de-emphasis of the content."Yes, theyre saving screen real estate. But theyre actually making it easier to reachout outside of LinkedIn," said Serdula. "Success on LinkedIn is getting off [of]LinkedIn. If you want to forge relationships, you cant do that strictly online. Youhave to call that person up and talk to them directly. Thats whats going to separateyou and lead you to future success. LinkedIn, I [think], believes that, and thats one ofthe reasons theyve brought that up from the bottom of the page."The space freed up by these tweaks enables the heavier emphasis on the Summarysection, which means its time to revisit what yours includes. Even on LinkedIn,content is king. "You have to tell a story, you have to hook people, and you have toget them motivated to pick up the phone and call you," Serdula said.Thats something Serdula said she has been preaching to clients for years; theupdated LinkedIn profile is probably a good thing for profile-writing businesses likehers. But she said her advice now will likely include a much sharper focus on pickingthe right photo, noting that a poor profile picture is already one of the biggestmistakes people make on LinkedIn. That mistake could sometimes be glossed overwith the smaller image, but no more."Over and over and over again, we see people uploading photographs that arentprofessional, arent attractive, arent appropriate," Serdula. "This picture is [now] sobig that there cannot be an error there. Its just going to be too glaring."Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Heres how to listen andreact. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of TheBrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your socialbusiness architecture. (Free registration required.)http://www.slideshare.net/Spredfast/marketing-your-brand-on-linkedin-webinar (from hutch on business)Box for LinkedIn Overview and FAQs
LinkedIn recently announced a new profile design that replaces its current inAppsplatform with a new method for viewing content like documents, presentations andvideos from a profile page. As a result, the current Box inApp integration is no longersupported.Part of the new design, LinkedIn has developed a new tool to let users showcase 3rdparty portfolio-type content on their profiles. You can now choose individual Boxfiles to display on your profile, making it quick and easy to share important contentwith visitors.When would I use the Box for LinkedIn integration? •By adding files from Box to a LinkedIn profile, you can share important content forprofile visitors to view and download. •Example use cases: •Looking for a job? Share your resume or portfolio on yourLinkedIn profile so your LinkedIn contacts have access. •If youre recruiting, get your employees to spread job requisitions virally by postingthem to their profile. •Small business? Consultant? Freelancer? Post a one-pager or presentation that willget you hired. •Are you a start-up? Post your company overview to get angels, VCs, potentialemployees and customers excited about what youre launching.How do I add Box content on the new profiles?•After opting in to the new profile type, you can easily add a specific Box file todisplay in the LinkedIn professional gallery •To get started, copy and paste the file’s direct link in the LinkedIn professionalgallery on the page •Find the direct link by previewing the file as you normally wouldin Box, selecting File Options > Share > Get Link to File and then clicking on DirectLink to generate the URL •Paste it directly in the LinkedIn professional gallery •Repeat the same steps for other files you’d like to add to your profileWhat types of files can be added?•Currently, the LinkedIn professional gallery allows users to add and display .pdf,.ppt and some image files (.jpg, .gif and .png) •Some common file types, such as .pptx, .doc, .tiff and .docx are not supported •Please contact LinkedIn for a full list of supported file typesCan I add multiple Box files to my profile?•Yes, just follow the same instructions outlined aboveCan I add a folder from Box on my profile?•No, currently only individual files can be added to the LinkedIn professional gallery.