LinkedIn recently launched a new version of its user profiles. It will be available to all members in the coming weeks. More than just a design change, the new profile increases your opportunity to make connections, tell your professional story, and engage with others in your network.
LinkedIn emphasizes member profiles more than many other social networks. And while it is important to create an engaging company page — see "LinkedIn Retools Company Pages," my previous article — the individual profile is usually the first point of connection for LinkedIn users.
This article describes the changes in LinkedIn's user profiles.
1. Basic Information
Compared to the current profile, the new basic information section provides a more concise snapshot of the member. It contains a larger profile image and fewer elements: member name, current position, previous positions, and education credentials.
2. Activity Feed
The "Activity" feed is located beneath the basic information, which includes updates on items you share. This could include links to products in your catalog, blog posts you have written, or articles from other sources. You can update your status directly from top of profile and other members can like, comment on or share the entries.
The current activity feed, located in the right-hand column, is less noticeable. The new design puts it front and center, where it can be easily seen.
The "Background" section in the new profile is located below the activity feed and features a simpler, more visual layout. It includes "Experience," "Education," and "Skills and Expertise."
"Connections" is a new section. It resides beneath Background. It contains profile images of members in your network.
5. Right-hand Column
In keeping with the emphasis on simplification and visualization, the right-hand column has been redesigned, as follows.
- "People You May Know" contains recommendations from LinkedIn of people with whom you may wish to connect.
- "Profile Strength" is a visual representation of your profile completeness.
- "Your Network" is a breakdown of your network by companies, schools, locations, and industries intended to help understand your network's reach.
- "People Also Viewed" displays information about people who have viewed your profile.
Other items included in the new profile are: professional-group affiliations, and people and companies you are following. When visiting other member profiles, you can see how you are connected, and view interests and groups you share.
The revised LinkedIn profile is more current, focusing on engagement and connection with other members. For a more detailed description of the new profile, view this presentation by LinkedIn staff.