When it come to building a consistent personal brand online, there is no question that LinkedIn is a critical tool to have at your disposal. Unfortunately, the new visual layout of LinkedIn has also resulted in a lot of the core features of LinkedIn disappearing.
So although I love LinkedIn as part of a personal branding toolkit, right now I hate the effect the new layout has by burying key elements of one’s professional brand on LinkedIn. Here are five critical changes that hopefully will be addressed with new updates.
1. People Have to Scroll for Information
LinkedIn has wonderful features like Recommendations, Projects, Organizations, etc. which used to be associated with a role. However, now those items are no longer appearing under roles, but at the bottom of the profile. This makes it tough to get a snapshot of someone and their current position as well as feedback and a sense of the scope of their work.
Tip: Still create these projects, write and request recommendations, and now – in the experience section be sure to include projects via a list, and make sure your summary and experience is expertly written.
2. Top 3 Skills, vs. The Top 10
Granted, maybe thinking we have 10 skills is a bit egotistical, however only showing the top three can be limiting or freeing. The jury is still out. That said, given skills can be EQ and/or IQ related, seeing more than three can be very insightful. Now the presentation of the skills is potentially less helpful.
Tip: Make sure your top 3 are the most critical, and that the next 7 still work for you. Getting this right is more important now than ever.
3. Core Promise: Easy to Build Relationships & Research Potential Contacts
It is critical that LinkedIn delivers on its unique promise of value, unless that has changed with the Microsoft acquisition. Although I can connect, I can no longer download a profile, even my own.
Tip: Export your connections quarterly, make sure you do not lose access to that ability. For now, your connections are your property.
4. Premium Gets Less Value – at Least Visually
Part of the value of Premium is having a larger banner to display visual material relevant to an individual. Now, when someone visits my profile that advantage is gone. The banner is now skinnier, even though on my own profile, the banner remains “tall”. So in this transition period, Premium members are paying for space, yet not getting it.
Tip: Consider resizing your banner now so that it fits the new layout. Use the size 1536X768 for the banner. Canva is a great tool for creating your own. Basically, you want a very wide photo that is much shorter than before.
5. The New Layout is Cleaner…
Although the new layout is cleaner, it is not as easy to use as the old layout. And since the roll-out is happening in stages, it is unclear how that will disrupt usage given there is little info on where things are now. For example, turning off your notification used to be easy and on your profile page, now it is under editing.
Tip: Check in weekly if not more frequently and use LinkedIn to stay relevant and visible. With the changes, one way to control your visibility is to keep commenting, sharing content, and connecting with new people.
I am willing to give LinkedIn a chance, however, keep in mind that people are already frustrated with LinkedIn starting to have “Facebook” type tendencies from users. So my next question is not what will replace LinkedIn, but when?
Be a Noisebreaker,