Earlier this spring, LinkedIn rolled out redesigned user profile pages. If you didn't already know that, you should, because there are new ways for you to capitalize on the changes when it comes to highlighting your career. Besides, you should already be going to LinkedIn regularly -- tweaking your profile, posting and liking articles, reaching out to connections. Heck, you could even get this done every day -- or a few times a week at least -- on your coffee break. If you're hopping on LinkedIn only when job hunting, you're missing out.
So, what are the changes and what do they mean to you?
More information at the top
The changes have been implemented on users' desktop interface and are gradually being rolled out on mobile, according to LinkedIn. They focus on the very top of your profile page -- what LinkedIn calls the "top card." For starters, your name, title, location and profile photo are all flush left instead of centered. Up top and to the right are your company, university, contact information, and connections at a glance, and those viewing your page can click each to see more information. Having all of this information together and in one spot is big win for your profile page. Well done, LinkedIn.
Next up: your summary section. LinkedIn has increased the amount of summary text displayed before the "Show more" link. And LinkedIn now allows you to post not just one media link, but a ton of media to the bottom of your summary. And in the desktop version, the first six pieces of media are nicely displayed right below your summary story. On mobile, the first three pieces are shown.
I asked LinkedIn about the changes, and here's what spokeswoman Tatiana De Almeida said in an email.
"We did this so that people can quickly see key details about you (where you work, your connections list, and contact info). We heard from members that they wanted this information to be easier to find. One other key piece was making it so that members can hide their education from the top section, since not everyone wants to display this or has traditional education (e.g. university). Lastly, we updated the summary section so that if you add images, videos, or files they stand out more - now the person doesn't need to click into the summary section to see this type of rich media."
There are four things you might need to do to now to update your redesigned LinkedIn profile.
1. Check out -- and perhaps swap out -- your cover photo.
Now that your profile photo has been moved from the center to the left-side of your profile, you will want to make sure your cover photo still works. If you have text or a key design element on the left side of your cover photo, your headshot is now blocking it, and you will want to find an image or have your company's marketing department create a new image that moves those blocked elements to the center.
2. Verify your contact information.
Now that your contact info is prominent on your profile and easy for recruiters and prospective managers, clients and more to find, you will want to make sure it's up to date. Otherwise, you might miss out on making a connection and snagging your next great opportunity.
3. Check your story.
LinkedIn has increased by a line or two the amount of summary text that appears before the "Show more" link. Sure, you have just three to four lines, but make sure you use them. This is your chance to draw in would-be recruiters, hiring managers and more and tell them a story that will make them remember you. Don't waste this career storytelling opportunity.
4. Add more media links.
This might be my favorite of the changes. You used to be able to include just one media link at the bottom of your summary page; now it seems you can upload as many as you want, and the first six will be displayed for all to see without them having to click the plus sign to see more. Of course, you want to include your business web page, but chances are there's so much more to link below your summary. Think of company videos, blog posts and white papers, LinkedIn articles you've written and posted, news stories you've been quoted in and podcasts you've been featured in -- just to name a few possibilities.
Bottom line: LinkedIn has freshened up your profile page, giving you more opportunity to highlight who you are and what you do. Now it's up to you to do the rest.