As it has done with increasing frequency of late, LinkedIn has once again made changes to its interface in the last several months: some subtle and others more prominent. Here’s a quick review of some of the recent changes.
Starting from the top, some slight changes have been made to the navigation bar. The Network menu has been changed to simply Connections, and under the Profile menu, LinkedIn has added Your Updates.
Clicking on Your Updates brings you to a page listing Recent Activity—the recent Updates you’ve posted to LinkedIn—similar to your Timeline in Facebook. There’s also a separate list of Posts if you’ve published using LinkedIn’s publisher platform.
When you go to the Edit Profile screen, you’ll now have the option to upload what LinkedIn calls a “background photo” which appears as a banner behind the top of your Profile. To add a background photo, click on the camera icon at the top of the page and follow the instructions. LinkedIn advises that photos 1400×425 in size render the best as background photos. It’s an awkward size, which may make it difficult to choose a photo that represents you well as a professional and is recognizable to those who visit your LinkedIn Profile. (Remember, LinkedIn is a professional network, so always choose images carefully).
View Profile As
LinkedIn has added a new button at the top of your Profile—View Profile As.
Clicking on this button brings you to a view of your Profile. You can choose to view your Profile either as a Connection or as a member of the Public (the profile that non-LinkedIn members see, or that members see when they are not logged in to LinkedIn). This will give you a good idea about whether you should change your visibility settings so that others can see more or less of the information you’ve posted.
Keep in mind that regardless of your individual settings, some items will always be hidden from view on the Public profile. These include: the full text of recommendations (the number of recommendations will display, but the text will not; the Additional Info section; and any Rich Media items you’ve uploaded to your Profile (images, presentations, documents, etc.).
You’ll also notice the small downward-pointing arrow next to the View Profile As button. Move the cursor over that arrow and you’ll see some additional navigation options. You can view your recent activity (which will bring you to the same screen seen above—Your Updates), ask for recommendations, create a version of your Profile in another language, save your Profile to a .PDF, or, if you don’t like what you see when you view your Profile as it appears to the public, you can manage your public profile settings.
Speaking of Settings, LinkedIn has made some changes there, too. Generally, to manage your Settings, you’ll click on your thumbnail photo at the top right of the LinkedIn navigation bar and click Manage next to Privacy and Settings.
You’ll come to a screen with several options for managing your settings.
Viewing this page, you may notice some additions. For example, LinkedIn’s How You Rank feature shows how many profile views your LinkedIn Profile receives compared to your connections and others. You can turn the setting off, but if you do, not only will your rank be hidden from others, but you won’t see your own rank or get tips on improving your visibility.
The How You Rank feature is displayed on your Home Page with the Who’s Viewed Your Profile stats (see highlighted portion below):
Clicking on that number will bring you to a page providing additional details and a list of your most-viewed connections. You can also reach this information by clicking on the Who’s Viewed Your Profile link in the Profile menu and then clicking on How You Rank for Profile Views at the top of the page.
Some other new settings under Profile include the ability to manage who you’re blocking, who can follow your Updates, and managing your WeChat settings if you use that service.
You’ll want to review your settings in each of the settings categories: Profile, Communications, Groups, Companies and Applications, and Account to ensure that you are receiving only the notifications and communications you would like to receive at the frequency you would like to receive them. Customize all of these preferences in Settings.
Some new promotional communications have cropped up that you may want to turn off (when a new category is added, the default position for these items is usually on, rather than off). For example, under Communications, you may want to decline invitations to participate in research or to receive Sponsored InMail messages from LinkedIn partners. Under Groups and Companies and Applications, you may want to review settings for data sharing with third party applications, and under Account, you’ll want to review the Advertising Preferences settings.
Editing Your Profile
You may also notice some changes on the Edit Profile screen. Now when you move your cursor over a section of your Profile on the Edit Profile screen, LinkedIn will highlight the areas you can edit and display the pencil icon.
Although the up and down arrows still appear at the top of each section, allowing you to rearrange sections in your Profile, the method of rearranging items within a Profile section has changed; those up and down arrows have been replaced by a grey bar to the left of the item. Click that grey bar and drag and drop to rearrange items. This feature is available in the Experience, Education, and Publication sections of your Profile.
Don’t forget to revisit your LinkedIn Profile frequently to ensure that it is up to date and that you are taking advantage of all of the available features to make your Profile stand out from others in your field.