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Latest LinkedIn profile changes – Time to review and refresh?
As with most social networks, LinkedIn often makes changes to the design and functionality of the platform, in particular the design and layout of profile pages which we’ve become accustomed to. However the most recent profile changes are a little more striking!
You may have noticed that the main field on your profile has shrunk in size and simplified content while simultaneously blowing up your profile photo! This was rather a shock to me, as I suddenly saw my face appearing with much more prominence on my profile. Like perhaps many users I was quite happy with the original modest profile photo size, but now I’m having a re-think about changing my profile photo due to this re-size.
Coming shortly after the recent homepage re-design, the new profiles emphasise a more personable direction for the network. Perceptions of LinkedIn are often of a professional, corporate network that can perhaps dissuade some people from seeing the real benefits of building relationships with real people, which is what the new re-design seems to be trying to emphasise and encourage.
So what does this mean and what do I need to look at?
- Your summary is much more prominent on the new profiles, there is no need to scroll down to see it meaning the eyes of a visitor are drawn to the content more than before. It may be a good idea to consider re-writing your summary. Can you make it more succinct? More punchy and personable?
- The three link opportunities on your profile are now much less prominent meaning your key content may be more difficult to find. Have you noticed a dip in click-throughs? This is disadvantageous as the new slimmed down profile information about work experience does not allow for key detail without scrolling down your profile. You may need to think about what content you link users to and if you can use the links perhaps more frequently in status updates.
- Change your photo? The re-design may have given some users a wakeup call regarding their profile photo. It certainly has for me. It is advisable to have a professional photo done if not already. Your profile is 7 times more likely to be clicked on with a profile photo than without. I wonder how more likely your profile is to be clicked through with a smiling, professional looking photo?
- Your professional headline is now more important than ever before. It is the most visible text description on your profile and along with your profile photo, needs to draw visitors in.
It could be argued that the previous profile design made it difficult for anyone visiting your profile to find your key contact details as they were below the page fold. Now the details are under a ‘contact info’ tab along with your three web links and Twitter links.
The new re-design is likely to please some and frustrate others. The slimmed down profiles certainly make it easier to the find key information you’re looking for quickly when viewing someone's profile, however it does make it a little more difficult to showcase your expertise in content that is not visible at the top of the page and get your key content and messages noticed. This is also the case with status updates. Your status updates now only appear on the right hand side of your profile in your activity box, therefore you cannot see the most recent update of a user at the top of their profile.
The new profile design very much aligns with the recent homepage re-design, as people have noted a more Google+/Facebook type interface, a little more personable and perhaps less formal network. With LinkedIn promising further changes we shall see if and how the direction of the network changes too.