Do you think the profile changes in the new LinkedIn interface are simply cosmetic? Not hurtful to your job search? Wrong!
Do you think LinkedIn had your personal best interest in mind when they revised how your profile looks or works? So maybe the profile changes are helpful? Sorry. Think again.
Without a doubt: LinkedIn hurt the effectiveness of your profile. I apologize for being the bearer of this bad news. But I also bring good news.
Within 15-20 minutes, you can take these five simple steps to update your new profile so it works just as well as the old one—maybe even better.
Here are five steps to dramatically improve your new LinkedIn profile…
Your profile photo is no longer a large square that is placed way over to the left. It’s now a smaller circle (so you may need to crop your photo differently). And it’s almost centered on the page. This means your photo is catching more people’s attention. A recent article from LinkedIn will help you make the necessary changes.
Your Headline is also almost centered and is one of the few sections of your profile that isn’t collapsed—which means it has increased importance. This may be the perfect time to revise what I consider to be the most important 120 characters on your profile for search ranking and clarity.
For help with your Headline, download my free, three-page worksheet. Be warned that I haven’t had time yet to revise the graphics for this worksheet to reflect LinkedIn’s new look, but the strategies are still spot on.
Your Intro, a brand new term on LinkedIn (the first approximately 200 characters of your Summary), needs to give the reader your most important information and work in tandem with your 120-character Headline above.
I am partial to including whatever contact information you feel comfortable sharing in your Summary. After that, make the spaces count, because very few people are going to click See more if they haven’t found your profile relevant or interesting up to this point. In the past your complete Summary was displayed, but now it’s collapsed until the reader clicks See more.
The First Experience Entry
With the new profile changes, your first Experience entry is now the only experience entry on your profile that is not collapsed. This means it better be really good because it may be the only one anyone reads.
Additional Experience Entries
Your subsequent Experience entries are now collapsed. As such, they may no longer be read as frequently as they were with the old profile layout. The critical strategy here is to use all 100 characters of the Experience Title fields to not only display your job title but to also highlight specific skills you used in that job.
The cleanest way to do this is to follow up your title with something like this: (Specializing in ______, ______, ______). Repeat this process for all titles in your Experience section. In addition to clarity, a further benefit is that the LinkedIn search ranking algorithm gives extra weighting to words included in the Experience Title fields.
It’s important to get these profile changes done soon, because you never know how soon the right people will start checking you out.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.