Tag Archives: Snapshot Area

5 ways the new LinkedIn profile has changed for the good and bad

LinkedIn is at it again.

I guess when it comes down to it, I can be adverse to change. (I wrote a post claiming that LinkedIn made changes to its people filter feature just for the sake of making changes. ) But now that I think of it, the changes that LinkedIn made to All Filters aren’t that bad. In fact, some of them are quite nice.

So I’m going to go at the new changes LinkedIn made with an open mind and not be too judgmental. LinkedIn didn’t overhaul its members’ whole profile; just the top of it, which I call the Snapshot area. Nonetheless, this is important real estate.

For the purpose of this post, I’m displaying my new profile followed by my previous one.

The New

New Snapshot2

The Old

New Snapshot Area

Full disclosure: I’m not the first one to write on this topic; I just recently received these changes. So, without further adieu….

Background image

You’ll notice that the new version of my LinkedIn profile’s background image is smaller than the previous one. This is not a drastic change; however, I liked how the background image used to covered the whole screen.

What’s taking up the rest of the background image? Ads that are specific to you and only you can see. With every profile you visit there will be a different ad. On my profile today there’s an ad telling me, “Picture yourself  at General Motors.” It’s a position for which I’m not at all qualified.

Photo

The photo (purported to be 20% larger), along with the information below it, has shifted to the left. Again, nothing drastic about this. Because our eyes read from left to right, I’m assuming this is LinkedIn’s purpose for moving the photo to the left.

One problem with the new placement of the photo is it might block something important in your background image, such as a logo or a piece of your background image you value. Some LinkedIn members will be struggling to re-position their image or replace it with a new one.

Name and Headline

Nothing new here, other than moving these two areas to the left. This was done to make room for the information mentioned below. Some say it’s easier to read text that is left-justified. I concur. However, center-justified text is more appealing to the eye.

This change is not enough to cause an uproar. I hope eventually LinkedIn will extend the number of characters (currently 120) for its members Headline. Some have benefited from it by using the mobile app to utilize the extra characters. I was not given that privilege, though.

Summary

This is the best change LinkedIn has made. The previous profile only displayed two lines, or approximately 40 words, on the desktop version. The new one displays a whopping three lines of text, approximately 50 words, which means that you have more space to write an impactful opening for your Summary.

Missing from the new profile is the Summary header. I hope LinkedIn will come back with it, as some visitors don’t know it’s the Summary they’re looking at in the Snapshot area.

Along with expanding the opening text from two lines to three is the display of your Rich Media area, where you can show off videos, audio, documents, and PowerPoint presentations. Previously visitors had to open the entire Summary to see your media. This is a pleasant change. Kudo’s LinkedIn.

Note: you can display your rich media in your Experience and Educations sections. My valued connection, Donna Serdula, works her rich media areas.

One additional improvement to the Summary section is darker font. Comparing the font to that in the Experience section you’ll note that it isn’t larger, it’s just darker. I’ve publicly complained in the past about the too-light font. Perhaps LinkedIn will return to darker font throughout the profile.

“Place of employment, education, See contact info, See connections” area

I love this change, as it not only highlights this information; but each icon is a live link to your current or previous place of employment, alma mater, contact information, and connections (if you allow your connections to see them).

The older version showed us this information, but it wasn’t placed it in one central location. Notice on my previous profile that the contact information is situated to the right. Many of my workshop attendees aren’t aware of this important area, until I point it out. Well done, LinkedIn!


Final analysis

Overall, I think LinkedIn has made nice changes. Are they earth shattering? No. Do they improve functionality? No. But they are an improvement to the top part of your profile. I look forward to what LinkedIn does to the Experience area, even if it doesn’t need enhancement.

 

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The first of 3 steps for a successful LinkedIn campaign: creating a presence

linkedin2Some of my LinkedIn workshop attendees have told me they were encouraged to join LinkedIn because LinkedIn is the answer to their job search. I cringe when I hear this because what they were told is only partly true.

Being on LinkedIn will increase your chance of getting a job, but it isn’t a guarantee, especially if you don’t understand what it takes to be successful on LinkedIn.

I tell my workshop attendees their LinkedIn strategy involves 1) creating a presence, e.g. your profile, 2) connecting with others, and 3) being active. Without all three, your LinkedIn campaign will crash and burn.

Creating a presence. Let me make this easy for jobseekers who are starting their LinkedIn campaign. Leverage what you’ve already created, your professional résumé, by copying and pasting it to your profile. However, don’t stop there. After doing this you need to revise it to reflect a networking document.

Many pundits have written about how to create a powerful profile, so I’ll simply outline the necessary components:

Your Snapshot area is where you capture readers’ attention with your quality photo and branding headline. Don’t waste this area with a poorly done photo and a headline that simply states your title at your previous job. Both your photo and headline can brand you–a photo that shows you’re a professional and a headline that states your strong areas of expertise.

Let’s not forget how your headline can contribute to the keyword count. These are the skills recruiters/hiring managers/HR type into Search. Having the proper keywords and more instances of them will rank you higher and, consequentially, garner more visitors.

Make your Summary worth reading by writing it in first- or third-person point of view; include some Wow statements; and express your passion for what you do. You’re allowed 2,000 characters for your Summary, so use them all. This will allow you to tell your story, as well as give you more space for those ever important keywords. For more on this, read 4 reasons why you need a strong LinkedIn Summary.

Your Experience section can resemble your Work History from your résumé or you can simply highlight the accomplishments. I favor the latter, but some think their profile might be the only document an employer sees, so showing all is the way to go, duties included. One of the areas weighed heavily for keywords is the position’s title. You’re not limited to your title; you can add some areas of strength as well.

Ex. Project Manager | Budget | Lean Six Sigma | Cost Reduction | Leadership

The Media section is where your profile can be really dynamic. I tell my workshop attendees that it’s their online portfolio. There are a number of different media you can include in your Summary, Experience, and Education sections. On mine I share PowerPoint presentations and a link to my blog. Others, like my valued connection Anton Brookes, have YouTube videos and/or documents.

Your Education is more than what you include on your résumé. It allows…or rather encourages you to expound on your degree and/or training. Along with the traditional information–college or university, dates attended (optional), GPA (also optional)–you’re given the option to include Activities and Societies, as well as Description.

Next we’ll look at the second of three components necessary for a successful LinkedIn campaign, connecting with other LinkedIn members.