If you’re a LinkedIn user, you‘ll more than likely have noticed some pretty drastic changes to the desktop interface. Love them or hate them, change always brings with it opportunity, so let’s explore how to make the most of them
Why has LinkedIn made these changes to its desktop UX?
According to LinkedIn, the point of the updates is to:
- Make it easier to find new contacts, interact with Connections, and write posts
- Simplify navigation
- Bring desktop in line with the app
The changes have been rolling out since January, but many have only recently been affected by the changeover.
I think this is much cleaner and groups together all the functions and features in a much more intuitive way.
Source: Donna Shannon
The only thing that took me a while to get used to is that Pages You Manage are now accessed under the Me tab:
On your Profile page, only the first two lines of your summary are now visible followed by ‘see more’. This means that, even though you still have 2,000 characters to play with, these two lines matter more than ever – so make sure you use them to grab readers’ attention.
In line with many other social networks, you can now apply filters to your profile photo (which was previously square)…
On your own profile, you’ll now see your headline stats on your profile views, post views and weekly search appearances (more about this in a moment) and a summary of your posting activity, between your summary and your work history:
Contact details and social media links are easier to find on each Profile page, displaying down the right-hand side when you click Show More:
Sadly for those of us who enjoyed a bit of pointless competition in the office, LinkedIn has removed the ability to compare yourself in a league table with colleagues and Connections under Who’s Viewed Your Profile.
Plus, you can no longer reorder the different sections (Experience, Qualifications and suchlike) of your profile.
According to LinkedIn’s own data, people with at least five skills listed on their LinkedIn profile receive up to 17x more profile views.
So in my opinion, one of the most important (yet seemingly underplayed) of LinkedIn’s recent updates is to make the Endorsements section of your profile more data-driven and, therefore, more relevant.
Firstly, LinkedIn will now highlight Endorsements that matter most to the individual viewing your profile; they’ll see Endorsements made by mutual Connections, colleagues, and people who are knowledgeable about a particular skill. This tailoring will make your profile more engaging to each person who views it and maximise the value of the Endorsements you’ve earned.
Targeting has also been overhauled to suggest Endorsements to Connections that know the skills and your work best. This means the right Connections are much more likely to validate you for the skills that you want to be recognised for.
Make the most of this by ensuring your skills are listed in order of the strengths you want to highlight and LinkedIn will know to target suggestions for those top skills.
LinkedIn says its now using data to make more relevant suggestions for improving your profile. Personally, I haven’t noticed anything different about the suggestions that are specific to my skills or job title. I’m still getting the generic:
Here’s an example from my colleague Scott’s profile. (However, we weren’t sure how confirming his job title would strengthen his profile):
The new optimum size for posting images, on either your own timeline or Company Page, is now 1800 x 1200 px. Otherwise the sides will appear cut off on some mobiles.
Previously frowned upon for a ‘serious’ platform, LinkedIn has accepted that hashtags are a thing.
Hashtags included in your posts (or others) are now tappable and lead to search results so that you can discover other posts with the same hashtag. Simply add a hashtag to your post and it will be automatically available publicly. As you would expect, you can also search for a hashtag to see all public posts tagged with it
Also introduced is a Facebook-style messaging box omnipresent in the bottom right-hand corner:
You can now quickly customise aspects of your notifications on both mobile and desktop, based on what you find the most valuable:
As you can see, I’m not particularly interested in hearing about my Connections’ birthdays and anniversaries on this platform (especially as they so often seem to be inaccurate):
LinkedIn has also added the ability to:
- Mute and unmute specific notifications
- Unfollow specific connections directly via notifications, without them knowing and remaining connected
Other additions to your Notifications include…
A summary of the top news, algorithmically selected.
This is probably one of the most significant updates (although in my opinion it doesn’t make up for the limitation on the Who’s Viewed Your Profile feature).
You’ll start to receive a weekly notification analysing how your profile is being searched, as well as the companies your searchers work at. This notification helps you understand how you’re being discovered so that you can optimise your profile for the opportunities you want to be found for. You can then click through to see open jobs at each company as well as who the hiring managers are so you can follow up for more information.
(It doesn’t reveal the keywords the searchers used, but LinkedIn has hinted that this will become available in the future.)
You now have one single search box at the top of every LinkedIn page to find People, Jobs, Companies, Groups, Schools and Posts.
This means you can get more granular when searching for people (as shown in the right-hand menu below) using search operators such as Keywords, Locations, Companies Worked For, Industries and more:
When you click on the ‘Home’ tab in the toolbar, your newsfeed appears more prominently and your profile picture and profile headline will be in a vertical box to the left. General stats – your profile views and views of your last post – are also displayed on the left hand side.
LinkedIn now features Pulse articles in your newsfeed, which means you’ll be able to see the stories that are trending at your company, at companies similar to yours, in your industry, and your region.
Your newsfeed will also show third party curated content, alongside posts from Connections and people who you’re following:
Other Newsfeed features:
- In Your Activity, you can now see analytics for each post.
- You can add images to Comments on others’ posts.
- LinkedIn has gathered its other services under one Button called Work, which includes a mix of paid (Advertise, Post a Job,) and free (Learning ,Groups, Slideshare, Profinder), as well as its Business Solutions (Talent, Sales and Learning):
The biggest bugbear for me is that you now have to scroll well below the fold to view company posts as Connections take precedence:
This means you now have to rely more heavily on your posts being seen in people’s newsfeeds rather than when they visit your page (although your most recent update does appear higher up, next to your About Us section).
You’ll need to revise your cover image to fit the new measurements – 1536 by 768 px.
Admins now automatically land on the Company Page as a visitor with the option to ‘Manage Page’ at the top. Also, Admins can now comment, like etc posts on a Company Page as themselves (rather than as the company – which stops you accidently ‘liking’ your own post as a company).
Employee data headlines
These are now visible on free accounts:
You can now tag people/companies in Company Page posts, something which was not previously available and is major improvement, I think.
In line with most other social media platforms, videos now play automatically in newsfeeds when you include the link; you don’t have to upload them anymore and you don’t have to use third party video hosting platforms like YouTube. This could make a major difference by offering new ways to engage on the network to show your thought leadership.
For those that have added Careers Page onto their Company Page, there are changes that offer huge opportunities to showcase their culture and help attract the best talent (LinkedIn reckons 40% of job seekers use LinkedIn as part of their job search).
Source: LinkedIn blog
Candidates can search for open positions within your company by job title or keyword.
Meet the Team
Surfaces employee profiles from your company that are similar to each person that visits your page. This allows candidates to easily identify the background and qualifications of people who are currently in roles they may be interested in.
This module is an automatically generated section that provides stats about the employees at your company. The data is based on the LinkedIn profile information of current employees who have associated your Company Page with their profile.
Both Meet the Team and Employ Insights are automatically generated and cannot be edited, but you have the ability to turn visibility on or off.
The really exciting new module is…
This provides “a preview of life at your company through photos, testimonials, employee-written content”. This is fully editable and allows employers to customise the way their culture is perceived, in a peer-perspective format, targeted to audience they want to attract. It provides the opportunity to give a rounded and authentic picture to prospective candidates of what it’s like to work at your company and decide whether they’d be a good fit for your team before applying:
The modules include:
- Company photos
- Company leaders
- Custom spotlight modules
- Employee perspectives
- Culture insights
Check out how Lego Group has taken advantage of this new feature:
This section seems cleaner and easier to navigate than the previous ‘Careers’ tab.
Jobs You May Be Interested In are now suggested by LinkedIn using your profile, keywords, Groups and Preferences. In turn, this translates into better targeting for recruiters, who can now post job listings directly from this page.
This view also allows you to keep tabs on jobs you’ve both saved and applied for.
Sponsored InMail, once the preserve of only the highest-spending businesses, has now become available to anyone and any business on the network. InMail is LinkedIn’s email marketing solution that allows you to send direct messages to targeted personas, containing links to lead gen pages.
The platform has also introduced website and email remarketing options, allowing business to show ads to those who have visited their site or provided an email address.
While the makeover has certainly brought some long-needed improvements, the new UX has attracted mixed reactions and users have been quick to voice their disapproval:
My own top grumbles
- The Notifications dropdown menu is gone and instead it loads a page now, containing a feed containing reactions to your posts, who’s viewed your profile, jobs that might be of interest and updates about your Connections. This takes some getting used to as it’s so different from the previous interation of the UX. Same with the messages and My Network (new Connection requests).
- Less functionality on free accounts (for example, the disappearance of the profile rank feature).
- View Profile As is no longer available. This allowed you to see various ways members could view your profile.
- Advanced Search, which was a big reason for users to purchase Premium-level accounts, have moved into LinkedIn’s pricey Sales Navigator product
- Company Pages – you now have to scroll well below the fold to view company posts.
- LinkedIn has failed to improve the appearance of the PDF produced when you download your profile to create a CV.
LinkedIn is still a useful platform, distinct in its benefits and advantages from other social platforms, and, in fairness, most of the changes are cosmetic. However, it’s still early days for potentially larger changes, as Microsoft only acquired LinkedIn in December.
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