Here’s what you need to do to ensure your profile is branding you the way you want it to – starting from the top and working our way down.
One: Brand Yourself with that Summary “Teaser.”
One of the first things someone viewing your profile will see, in the top box (often called the Snapshot), is the beginning of your Summary – the first 92 characters on mobile, 220 on desktop – along with a “See more” link. Not everyone will click to see more, so make sure those first words contribute to a relevant, positive first impression that supports your professional brand.
The truncation process eliminates line spaces, so you may find that those first 92/220 characters include words or sentences jammed together with no space in between, like this:
CATHY L. CURTISSustainability Consultant – Corporate Social Responsibility – Communicationscathylcurtis@gmail.com
To prevent that, use dashes or symbols (from the “Symbols” font on your computer) to separate the words, like this:
▒ CATHY L. CURTIS ▒ Sustainability Consultant – Corporate Social Responsibility – Communications – firstname.lastname@example.org
Two: Pay Attention to Your “Articles and Activity.”
Since your recent posts and post “likes” now show up at the top of your profile, they’re much more noticeable. So make sure your posts support your professional brand. If you wouldn’t talk about a certain topic in a large meeting at work, don’t post it on LinkedIn. And if the last time you posted was a long, long time ago, it’s time to share some news or an interesting work-related article.
Three: With Job Descriptions Hidden, Make Sure Your Titles Speak for Themselves.
Your job descriptions are now hidden until the reader clicks for more. If there’s something super-important in the description – like the fact that “Analyst III” actually means you built websites – add some description to the job title field, in parentheses like this: “Analyst III (Web Development & Design)”.
That’s actually been a good idea all along, since job titles are a very important field to load with key words if you want your profile to come up high in searches for people with those skills.
Four: Claim Your Accomplishments.
Several sections that once were separate are now grouped under the heading “Accomplishments”: Certifications, Courses, Honors / Awards, Languages, Patents, Projects, Publications, Test Scores and Organizations. You don’t need all of these things, of course. But by labeling them “Accomplishments,” LinkedIn has made them more important. Enough said.
Five: Be Aware of Other Changes.
You no longer have a choice about the order of the sections. If previously you had Education or Certifications near the top of your profile to emphasize it, that’s no longer an option. Instead, use your Summary (especially those first 92/220 characters) to draw attention to what’s important.
Groups have not disappeared, but it’s less obvious how to find and interact with your Groups. Click the magnifying glass next to the search field at the top and then click the “Groups” tab that appears. Or scroll down to “Following” near the bottom of your profile and “See more.” Various changes have been made to how your Groups function, mostly to make it less spammy. Here’s more on that.
Advanced Search is still there, you just have to click the magnifying glass first.
The new Notifications page makes it easier to engage with post activity.
LinkedIn Posts is now called Articles and works differently in various ways. The bad news is that your articles are no longer shared with all your Connections. Here’s more info on changes in this area.
Exporting your LinkedIn connections is now done under Account>Basics.
There’s a new messaging feature similar to Facebook Messenger with a chatbot for scheduling meetings with Google Calendar.
Tagging of contacts is no longer available, but you can do that and more with add-ons like Dux Soup.
Capitalize on the Power of LinkedIn to Build Your Brand
Despite Facebook’s recent entry into the job posting world, LinkedIn remains the preeminent professional networking site. Use it to your advantage!