LinkedIn Changes Job Seekers Need to Know About
Like all things technology, the moment you think you understand it all, new updates and changes occur. Whether you’re an every-day user of LinkedIn or one to check in periodically, you may have noticed that LinkedIn has a new interface. It was phased in in waves and by now most, if not all users, should have the new interface. Not only does LinkedIn have a new look, but a few of the key features and functionalities have changed too. Some of it is entirely new to LinkedIn.
Whether the changes are for better or worst it’s important to understand how the new interface impacts today’s job seekers. LinkedIn has become an integral part of job searching so like it or not, re-learning it is to your benefit!
For those who have grown accustomed to using the old LinkedIn interface, the new Navigation bar may have you asking: “Where is everything?” Yes, the look and some of the button labels have changed, but for the most part it still contains what you used to have under the Navigation bar. The new LinkedIn Navigation bar now shows Home, My Network, Jobs, Messaging, Notifications, and Me. It supposedly makes communication access easier and notifications come across clearer than the old flag icon.
The frame that once held your profile picture has changed under the new interface. On the old interface the profile photo was enclosed in a square frame. Now, the new interface has profile photos enclosed in a round frame. If you have a LinkedIn profile set up, now’s the time to check in and see if your picture still works. For some, the cut off corners may require you to re-position or change your photo. You can change your profile picture by going to the “Me” tab on the Navigation bar at the top to “View profile.” The “Me” tab is essentially what used to be “My Profile” and it’s where you can also adjust your privacy settings.
Your Profile remains divided into sections with some less popular sections removed. The option to move sections up and down to prioritize the order of information shown is no longer available. What you still have in the Profile is a Background section and right below that and prominently displayed is your recent posts and activities.
The sections to follow in your Profile include Experience, Education, Featured Skills & Endorsements, Recommendations, Accomplishments, and Interests. The new design seeks to make the page more attractive and easier to navigate by also allowing users to add media to the Experience section.
You probably know from reading resume writing tips that it’s important for your content to make an impact instantly. Well, it’s even more critical on your LinkedIn profile now with this new interface. The new interface’s Summary section is limited to showing only the first few lines before getting cut off with a “See more” link. When you click on “See more” that’s when the rest of your Summary is shown to the viewer. Considering the window to impress has been cut short, it’s critical that the top half of your page sells. Present an impressive Headline and makes sure the first two lines of the Summary speaks to employers’ needs.
One of key components to LinkedIn many job seekers found valuable was the ability to make direct contact with an individual without having to research their email address. This was possible through InMail. Unfortunately, InMails are no longer free and only available with a paid LinkedIn membership. While this is a major lost to job seekers with a free LinkedIn membership, the new interface does allow for Messaging. If you’ve used Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn Messaging is essentially the same format. Parties involved in Messaging can instantly respond to one another. Messaging works, however, only if the contact is already part of your network. If they are not, you will have to first send an invite to the contact. The Messaging option also allows you to attach a file.
The earlier LinkedIn user interface allowed everyone to conduct advanced searches whether you had a free membership or paid one. You could search and filter by first and last name, title, and keywords. Unfortunately, now if you are not a premium user those advanced search options are no longer available with the new interface. There are still other filters available like location, industry, and company, but filtering beyond that will no longer be possible without a paid membership.
Sure, these changes can feel like a setback and you’re going to have to learn the ropes all over again, but that’s to be expected with all things technology. It’s certainly easier today with information on the Internet to search for jobs, employers, and to network with others than in the past when the Internet and social media didn’t even exist!