You may have noticed that your LinkedIn profile does not look the same it did a few weeks back. The color and functionality of the navigation bar has changed slightly and your profile overview box does not have as much information as it used to. The news feed has also changed but its functionality has essentially stayed the same.
Fill out all details on your profile
So what does this mean for you? The most important change for any LinkedIn user is, in my opinion, the profile overview box. You’ll notice it only shows your headline, your current job title and company, names of previous employers (without the job title) and your most recent education as seen on the right.
This puts additional emphasis on your headline and current job so you should really think about what sort of image this gives of you. Be creative with your professional headline and remember that it is also visible in other parts of LinkedIn such as the news feed and in groups. Your headline should tell something about what you do that is easy to understand. It should also contain the key words that you want to be found with and be attractive enough for people to want to visit your profile and find out more about you.
You may also want to put more thought into your current job title. Most job titles don’t really tell what you do and are thus quite ambiguous. Adding some context to your job title will help differentiate your profile and draw interest from people who just quickly look at your profile. Try to avoid titles such as manager, consultant, representative and other vague titles. Instead try to use a title that is as descriptive as possible while still short enough to fit the space provided.
Your LinkedIn summary matters
As the profile overview box is now much smaller than it used to be, you can also see the first section of your profile without having to scroll. This is usually the summary box but you can re-order your profile if you wish. I recommend keeping the summary box on top as it is what most people will be expecting to see and gives you a good opportunity to introduce yourself. If you have a long summary make sure you bring out the most important parts of your expertise, career and skills first.
While the new overview box provides better skim value, it does make some parts of your profile less visible. Websites, past jobs and number of recommendations are no longer as clearly visible as before. They are, however, still visible in your public profile overview box (at least at the time of writing this) and should not be forgotten.
There are many other small changes to LinkedIn and it appears that the changes are still on-going. Remember that your LinkedIn profile is often the first thing people look at when they search for you so it should give as good a representation of you as possible both now and in the future!