Using LinkedIn shouldn’t be this hard. That’s what she said.
Here in Canada it seems we’ve finally received the dreaded rollout of LinkedIn changes. Like a LinkedIn also ran, we were blessed with these updates well after our friends to the South but really, thanks for suffering before us guys.
So seriously, WTF happened to LinkedIn?!
What I’ve noticed…
A more condensed design to prevent infinite scrolling: Thanks for doing your part to prevent carpal tunnel Linkedin!
sexy social back: Kinda sorta addd a “wall” feature to the top of profiles?
“Profile Paralysis”: Can’t. Move. Sections. At. All.
Recommendations are wrecked: Oh, someone wrote you a recommendation for a specific job? HA, tough sh*t. All your recommendations are now consolidated.
Awkward treatment of Media: Like a bad hair piece, Media is now just, there. Not doing you any favors.
After-thought Accomplishments section: Seriously, I can just hear the conversation that the LinkedIn developers had: “Hey Mike, um, yeah so we forgot to do something with the Certifications/Honor and Award/Organization/Language/Project/ALL THE OTHER SECTIONS.”
“Yeah, let’s just throw it all into an ambiguous “Accomplishments” section. They’ll never notice.”
WTF Do I Do Now?!
Streamline Your Summary
No LinkedIn profile is complete without a solid summary. But now we need to take it one step further and prioritize the first 250 characters, which will be given the most prominence, with the rest hidden under a “see more” link. Knowing that it’s unlikely people will click on, hit readers right out of the gate with the most tantalizing tidbits about yourself that they absolutely must know.
Follow the LinkedIn Law of 3’s
As part of the Global Coalition to End Carpal Tunnel, LinkedIn is now only giving your top 3 skills real estate, and concealing everything else. So what does that mean? You need to give some serious thought to what you want to be known for, narrowing it down to your most 3 important specialties, and highlighting those.
Use. Every. Single. Character. Effectively.
I feel like we’re downsizing from a mansion to a studio apartment. Now somehow we have to tetris our king-sized bed, sectional sofa, and 72-inch TV. It just ain’t gonna happen. So we have to trim and use out-of-the-box thinking while still coloring within the LinkedIn lines.
In particular, we need to make sure we’re properly leveraging our Experience sections because, we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: No one will click on “see more”, “see description”, or “view more” buttons.
My friend Erica Breuer of Cake Resumes threw down the best strategy for this.
First, Erica recommends that you don’t stress over the descriptions of older roles as these are going to be hidden (and probably not read) anyway.
Then, she encourages something that I’ve personally used for some of my clients already because it’s pure genius: to include your absolute BEST win or wins from your current or previous roles in the role title itself since you’re given 100 characters to work with.
What does this look like? Here’s some titles I’ve written for my clients IRL:
“Account Executive: Grew sales pipeline 20% year-over-year, coaching 15+ reps”
“Director of Finance: Streamlined operations saving millions in salary costs”
“VP of PMO: Championed 150+ projects each with $10M+ budgets, producing a 97% accuracy rate”
Freshen Up Your “Following”
This is just good LinkedIn practice. Now that updating our profiles is on our radar, make sure that your following reflects the brand you want to represent.
For example, it totally makes sense that I follow J.T. O’Donnell. She and I are in the same industry.
But should I really be following Gwyneth Paltrow and her goop? Um, no.
Same goes for the companies, groups, and schools that you keep tabs on. Keep it on brand, and reflective of your interests and career.
All hope is not lost for LinkedIn. It’s still the platform that is preferred by 87% of recruiters, and actively employed in their talent sourcing strategies. So until such time that LinkedIn becomes extinct, we roll with the punches, adapt, and make the most of the technology at our disposal.
About our Columnist:
Kamara Toffolo is a resume Writer, LinkedIn Consultant, and Job Search Strategist who helps established professionals DARE to do work differently and land great-fitting gigs!