Tag Archives: LinkedIn Lite

5 ways LinkedIn Lite’s anchored sections are hurting its members

The inability to move LinkedIn profile sections around may cause consternation for some members. Although the new LinkedIn profile is condensed, slim, and uncluttered; members are prohibited from strategically rearranging sections to highlight what’s most important.

Read How to brand yourself with the new LinkedIn profile: part 1.

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Did LinkedIn have its members’ best interest in mind when they made this decision? Will the profile revert to the former version when one could move sections about the better brand them? Below are reasons why LinkedIn members are hurt by the sections being anchored.

1. Education first comes to mind 

One night I volunteered to critique current students’ and recent grads’ LinkedIn profiles for my alumni association. One thing that’s become clear from critiquing their profiles is how the inability to rearrange the profile’s section is a disadvantage to them.

One recent grad, with whom I spoke, had virtually no work experience or internships to tout. She had focused on completing her double major in business management and mathematics. She did extremely well, earning above a 3.5/4.0. However, her dual major put a toll on her, making it virtually impossible for her to secure internships.

Because LinkedIn has arranged the profile in the following order: Summary, Experience, Education, and less significant sections; this woman could not highlight her greatest accomplishment, her education.

What about teachers? The anchored sections isn’t a problem for only the recent grad; it affects most notably teachers, who benefit from placing their Education section below the Summary, rather than below the Experience section of their profile.

Generally speaking, teachers must immediately show their teaching license, school transcript, and GPA. School systems would like to see this early on.

Even IT job candidates might want their Educations section near the top. Not only teachers place their education at the top of their profile. Information technology candidates have been known to do this.

When I asked one of my workshop attendees why he placed his education at the top of his profile, he said it was a major requirement for a job he last applied for. He was going to keep it near the top for future jobs.

Other sections could be highlighted to strengthen a profile

2. Volunteer Experience. LinkedIn members who want to display their Volunteerism near the top of their profile will be frustrated. I had a private client who wanted to highlight his volunteer experience over his employment. With the old LinkedIn, this was an easy fix.

3. Featured Skills & Endorsements. I had this section placed under my Summary (which was expanded in the old LinkedIn), because I was more interested in showing my outstanding skills than my experience.

As an added insult, this section has been truncated to show only the top three skills. If visitors want to see additional skills, they must click “View more.” I fear people will only endorse their connections’ top three skills, because they will not think to…view more.

4. The Recommendations section was anchored at the bottom of the old LinkedIn profile, which caused consternation for some business owners, I’m sure. Recommendations are testimonials for members who rely on them to grow their business. To me this was a lack of respect for this section.

Now Recommendations are given the same amount of respect as Skills & Endorsements…well, almost. Let’s say they’re given more respect now, prompting me to request and write them more than before.

Note: recommendations are listed in order in which they’re written. AS well, the people who write your recommendations are not shown in the Experience or Education sections.

5. Accomplishments. LinkedIn has done such a great job of truncating the profile that sections some would like to relocated are hidden from the common observer. Within the Accomplishments section are subsections that used to be separate and rearrange-able:

  1. Certifications
  2. Projects
  3. Organizations
  4. Patents
  5. Publications
  6. Courses
  7. Honors
  8. Awards
  9. Test Scores

I know a LinkedIn member who uses Projects for highlighting a mini documentary filmed by Aljazeera America. In the video he is depicted as a New York City photographer who films models and the homeless. He used to have this section at the top of his profile; now it’s buried in Accomplishments.

Patents might be another section members would like to rearrange. Maybe not closest to the top, but within the first three-quarters. Engineers, scientists, and inventors could see these as some of their greatest accomplishment, and therefore place them below their Summary.

Courses, Honors, Test Scores all might benefit college students or recent grads. Yet, like all the sections contained withing Accomplishments, they must be discovered and chosen in order to view.

The goal of your LinkedIn profile is to highlight the most important aspects of your career. If you can’t rearrange your sections to do this, what’s the solution?

Two solutions to solve the anchored section’s conundrum 

The fist solution would be making better use of your Branding Headline. Let’s return to Education. Begin by showing your value in the Branding Headline by stating that you’re a student from your university, include your major, and what you’ll offer employers.

Wrong: many college students will simply write in their Branding Headline, Student at the University of Connecticut. This uses 40 of the 120 characters you’re allowed in your Branding Headline.

Better, show your accomplishments and goals: High Honors Student at UConn | Major: Business Management | Minor: Mathematics | Aspiring Business Analyst

Despite the Summary section being condensed and showing only the first two lines, it’s more important than ever to tell your story. Moreover, it’s essential that you use those two lines to highlight your greatest accomplishment.

You might indicate within the two opening lines that you worked extremely hard completing a Chemistry major while also completing four internships.

While at Tufts, I majored in Biology and completed internships in all four semesters. As a testament to my time management skills and ability to stay focused, I maintained a 3.8/4.0 GPA.

This falls well within the characters allotted for the opening two lines of your Summary statement. You will continue to tell your outstanding story about your college years, including participating in extra curriculum activities.


While the anchored sections might be a deterrent to showing the skills and accomplishments you want to closest to the top of your profile, LinkedIn has done a fine job of streamlining the profile.

No longer do we have people abusing the ability to overload their profiles with pages upon pages of extraneous information. Touche for that, LinkedIn.

How to brand yourself with the new LinkedIn profile: part 1

LinkedIn has gone through some recent changes, some of which are welcome, other that are not. Regardless of how you feel about these changes, you will have to adapt in order to be successful in your LinkedIn campaign.

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In this three-part series I will talk about the components of a LinkedIn campaign that will brand you, which include:

  1. Creating a powerful profile
  2. Connecting with the right people
  3. Engaging with your connections

I will also point out the changes to the former LinkedIn that have led to the new LinkedIn Lite.

In an Entrepreneur article, author Thomas Smale stresses the importance of having an online presence: “Do you have social media profiles? If so, are they fully fleshed out with all of your information? Do they present you in the best light possible, and make you look professional? Are you using high-quality professional photography? Are you interacting with others and sharing their content?”

Change: By now most of you have the new LinkedIn user interface (UI) and have noticed that you cannot move your sections about as you were able to do with the older version. This change is disconcerting because LinkedIn has unilaterally decided how your profile is structured.

Read 5 ways LinkedIn Lite’s anchored sections are hurting its members.

As a professional, your LinkedIn profile is a critical component of your online personal brand. Let’s look at the major sections of your LinkedIn profile and how they can contribute to your brand:

Snapshot Area

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I call this section the Snapshot because that’s exactly what it is: a snapshot of who you are. The Snapshot section of your LinkedIn profile includes your photo and your Headline. Failure to impress viewers in these areas will hurt your brand.

A photo that is unprofessional is an immediate turnoff. Perhaps more damaging is a non-photo. It’s believed that a profile with a photo is 14 times more likely to be read than one without a photo. Your photo is the first area of your profile that brands you.

Headlines that say things like “Seeking Employment” or “Finance Manager at Company X” are ineffective, as they fail to show value.

Rather, your Headline should be something like this: “Finance Manager at Company X | Financial Planning and Analysis | Auditing | Saving Organizations Millions.” This headline shows your value and brands you. It also adds to your keyword count.

Changes: The photo is no longer square and situated to the right; it is in the center and smaller. Therefore you need to make sure your face and shoulders are captured in your photo.

We only see a person’s current place of employment, instead of current and previous. The relationship section has been taken away; there is no longer the ability to tag your connections, among other features. 

Most notably is that the Summary section is located at the bottom of the Snapshot. More on that below.

What About Those Three Dots and Contact and Personal Information?

The location of actions like removing connections, unfollowing, requesting, and writing recommendations will take some time for to get used to, but the information is nicely placed.

The same applies to the contact and personal info section, which drops down to reveal the information visitors would see if they choose the “Info” tab on the older version.

Change: Unfortunately, a user’s public URL is located in this area, instead of in plain view just below one’s photo.

Summary

Support your brand with a kick-ass Summary. This is where you tell your story, which can include the passion you have for your occupation, a statement about your expertise, or some talk about how you’re changing your career.

You’ll want to use close to the 2,000 characters allowed in the Summary in order to include the keywords your profile needs to boost your visibility. But your Summary must also be compelling. It should mention accomplishments that will capture the reader’s attention.

You should write your Summary in either first or third person point of view. Don’t simply copy the Summary from your resume for this section. For a little guidance on what your summary should be like, read “Put a Human Voice in Your Summary” by Liz Ryan of Human Workplace.

Change: As mentioned above, the Summary is now located in the Snapshot area; it no longer has its own section. Also, only the first two lines (approximately 220 characters are revealed); visitors must click See more to see the full-blown Summary. Therefore, these lines must immediately sell you. I suggest a branding statement.

Your Articles and Activities

Don’t blink when your looking at these sections, because there’s a lot of information packed in. In “Highlights,” visitors can see mutual connections, as shown above. However, in order to see all my connections, one must click on this area and choose “All.”

A great deal of information is located under the “Posts & Activity” heading, including my articles, posts, and all activities. Articles are the ones I’ve written on LinkedIn; this is straightforward. What is not straightforward is the difference between posts and activities. As far as I can tell, they’re one and the same.

Change: Unlike in the older version, only one article is displayed. In the older version, three were displayed, which meant you had to have written at least three articles if you didn’t want to be embarrassed, but I’m sure LinkedIn’s motive here wasn’t to save you from being embarrassed.

Experience

truncated-experience

I’m often asked by job seekers how they should address the experience section of their profile. I tell them they have two options: They can either write a section that resembles the work history found on their resume, or they can use their experience section to highlight only their most important accomplishments.

I favor the latter approach, but some think their profile might be the only document an employer sees, so they believe showing all is the way to go. What’s most important in building your brand is listing accomplishments with quantified results.

Good: Increased productivity by implementing a customer relations management (CRM) system.

Better: Initiated and implemented – before deadline – a customer relations management (CRM) system that increased productivity by 58%.

It’s a good idea to use bullets to highlight your accomplishments. One of my LinkedIn connections, Donna Serdula, has created a handy list of bullets and symbols you can copy and paste for use on your own profile.

Change: In its effort to truncate the profile, LinkedIn expands only the first job listed. For the others, visitors must click See description. This may become tedious for hiring authorities, as they’ll have to open many job descriptions. See below.

Education

Many people neglect this section, choosing to simply list the institution they attended, the degree they received, and their date of graduation. This might be the norm for resumes, but LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to further support your brand by telling the story of your education.

Take Mary who completed her bachelor’s degree while working full-time – a major accomplishment in itself. If she wants to show off her work ethic and time management skills, she might write a description like this:

University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Mechanical Engineering, Magna Cum Laude

While working full time at Company A, I attended accelerated classes at night for six years (two years less than typically expected). I also participated as an instructor in an online tutoring program, helping first-year students with their engineering classes. I found this to be extremely rewarding.

Volunteer

Build your brand by showing visitors that you are utilizing your skills and developing new ones. It’s fine to volunteer for what I call “a good cause,” but to show people you’re serious about your occupation, you’ll volunteer at a host agency that requires your expertise.

(If you volunteer for a significant amount of time, I feel it’s fine to list this experience in your Experience section, as long as you write “Volunteer Experience” beside your job title.)

What surprises me is that this section comes before Skills and Endorsements. This section hasn’t changed much, save for the fact that visitors must expand each volunteer experience. I wonder what LinkedIn was thinking when they made this decision for me.

Featured Skills and Endorsements

A healthy Skills section consisting of 30-50 skills is another way to strengthen your brand. The skills you decide to list should demonstrate your expertise. Do not list skills you are simply familiar with.

To further enhance your brand, the skills may be endorsed by your first-degree LinkedIn connections. If you’re unsure as to which skills to endorse, here is a previous article of mine that can help you.

Change: Now the Skills section shows only your three top skills and one person who’s endorsed you. Previously it showed your 10 top skills and more than 10 people who endorsed you. Visitors need to click View (the number) more in order to see all yours skills.

endorsements

Recommendations

This is a section I talk about in my LinkedIn workshops, and I always stress how valuable it is to receive recommendations from and write them for others. By receiving recommendations, you show the value you bring to employers. Meanwhile, writing recommendations shows your authority and what you value in workers.

Change: This has to do more with your Experience section, where previously visitors could see two people who endorsed you for a particular job. Now there are no nice miniature photos of the people who endorsed you. There is also no link that brings you directly to your Recommendations section. Oh, this also applies to Education. Bummer.

Accomplishments

Certifications, Organizations, and Projects are listed under Accomplishments. Prior, they had their own real estate, but now they’re buried under this header. And yes, they must be expanded like most sections.

Change: Do you remember painstakingly listing your professional and personal interests under Interests? Well forget it; that section has been retired, as far as I can see. Shame.

Following

This section includes your Influencers, Companies, Groups, and Schools you’re following. These used to be their own sections but have been truncated to save space.

Change: In order to see the above sections, you must click (you guessed it) See more. Unless visitors are aware of where these sections are, they will go missed. 


These are just some sections on your LinkedIn profile that contribute to supporting your strong personal brand. In the next post, I will talk about maintaining strong personal brand via connecting with others on LinkedIn. Stay tuned!