LinkedIn has made several upgrades lately. Have you noticed? Not only has LinkedIn changed the total design and function of the website, but they have been adding more features over the past few months in order to make the site more interactive. Here’s a few of the big updates to note:
When you land on the page, you’ll automatically see the news feed. This is similar to your Facebook Timeline or Twitter feed. You’ll see the header above the feed called “LinkedIn Today” which entices you to click on various news pieces and share articles with your connections. This is so that we can enjoy a more interesting feed than Sally Smith is now connected to Joe Jones.
Once you click “LinkedIn Today” you’ll be taken to a magazine layout of news articles for your perusal. World news and business articles await your discovery. It’s a great resource to share on LinkedIn and your other social sites, too.
You’ll notice that you can now “follow” business and thought leaders who write articles just for the LinkedIn audience. It’s tough to get directly to the list, though. There is no ability to click from the menu. There is no section on the sidebar. I think I discovered this feature because it showed up in my news feed. I went to the LinkedIn Help Page and found this comment:
Visit http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/whoToFollow to see the initial list of thought leaders who can be followed. Currently, only a small, hand-picked set of thought leaders can be followed from their LinkedIn profiles.
Not so user-friendly, but once you do land on this main page, you are treated to a wonderful list of influencers.
Follow the people you want to have show up in your news feed or just browse through the articles on offer. Underneath the header, you can click on the word “Following” to manage who you already follow. I’m not quite sure why LinkedIn would make it so difficult to get to this page. Great feature, but not completely thought out.
One of the features recently added was “Skills.” LinkedIn did this to assist college graduates who perhaps don’t yet have the work experience to fill out a resume. In addition, they now allow you to “Endorse” those skills for any of your connections. Have you noticed that when you view a profile, this box appears to encourage you to endorse specific skills?
This is a nice feature which somewhat replaces “Recommendations.” Previously, you had to ask for people to recommend you, and it was a letter your contact had to write on your behalf. That feature is still available, but now they can go into your profile and just click on the skills they want to endorse. This saves time and is very user-friendly. It also gives greater opportunity for your contacts to endorse you without a request.
Make sure you take the time to add skills to your profile. This will help you get found when hiring managers are doing searches. On top of that, take a moment to go through your contacts and endorse their skills. Perhaps you are working on a project with someone … give them a boost on LinkedIn. If you get off the phone with a business contact, head to LinkedIn and endorse some of their skills. In order to play nice on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to take a look at who has endorsed some of your skills and then go onto their profile and endorse them right back. Good professional karma.
Finally, LinkedIn is rolling out new profile designs. I’ve requested mine, but have not yet received the upgrade. So stay tuned for more information soon.
I would love to hear what features you are enjoying most on the re-vamped LinkedIn. Are these new features making the site easier to use? Are there certain features that are helping you do business better or increasing your contact base? Please share with me. I’m happy to provide updates on my blog or in next month’s newsletter.