Don’t Underestimate These 3 New Profile Features on LinkedIn
By Chuks Agada, M.A., Adjunct Faculty
Last month, LinkedIn started rolling out its new profile format. Featuring an updated design and notable insights, the fresh take on profiles will make it easier for you to tell your professional story, discover people and opportunities, and engage with your network.
Upon receiving the upgrade, your profile will have a much cleaner look and feel. Icons of the companies you work for or have worked for will appear next to the relevant positions in your experience section. A breakdown of your overall network – based on company, school, location or industry – will display in the right hand column. Relations to groups, associations and other LinkedIn users will also be shown in a more visually appealing manner.
While each change provides its own advantage, here are the three most important features that students and alumni shouldn’t ignore.
- Profile Strength: This metric appears in the right hand column of your profile, and it’s only visible to you. The concept of your profile strength is simple: The more complete your profile is, the higher your strength. This is an important data point to keep an eye on, as the professional networking site reports that its members whose profiles are more than 75% complete are two times more likely to be contacted by recruiters than those with 50-75% complete profiles. Even if you’re ranked as an “All-Star”, the highest profile standing on LinkedIn at this time, that doesn’t mean you should slack on maintenance. You should strive to update your profile – whether it’s adding new skill sets or following additional companies and thought leaders – on a quarterly, if not monthly, basis.
- Endorsements: Any LinkedIn member can endorse or “put a stamp of approval” on another LinkedIn member’s skill and/or knowledge base. Instead of only asking your current or previous employers and colleagues to validate your strengths, consider asking your professors. Having endorsements from a mix of real-world professionals is one way to more strategically present your talents, effectively showing recruiters and potential employers that you are not lagging in key areas.
- Follow Thought Leaders: In addition to following companies and groups, LinkedIn’s new Influencer program enables you to keep an eye on updates from notable professionals without being officially connected to them. On top of big names, such as President Barack Obama and Richard Branson, seek out thought leaders in the industries that matter most to you. For instance, if your lifelong career goal is to launch your own business, you may want to follow entrepreneurs like Reid Hoffman, Caterina Fake or Guy Kawasaki. Doing so will enable potential employers to see where your true interests lie.
If you’ve already been upgraded to the new LinkedIn profile, share which feature you like best and why in the comment section below. Meanwhile, if you have yet to receive the update, click here to be added to the waiting list: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/sample.
Chuks Agada, M.A., serves as an adjunct professor for Colorado Technical University where he teaches Human Resources courses. In addition to this, Chuks works as a Talent Solutions Consultant for LinkedIn Corporation where he educates clients on the value of LinkedIn Corporate Recruitment Solutions. His background is in staffing and recruitment, human resources, and talent acquisition strategies. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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Image credit: LinkedIn