We all know Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are constantly tweaking their platforms. It seems not a week can go by without one of those social media networks changing SOMETHING in the user experience.
But, one social platform seems to fly under the radar a bit when it comes to this conversation: LinkedIn.
And it definitely shouldn’t as LinkedIn is typically the first network you’ll visit when you start looking for that new job. So, it pays to stay up-to-speed on what’s happening with THE professional social network.
In case you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn has rolled out a whole slew of changes in 2018. So today I thought I’d review those changes, rank them in terms of importance to today’s job seeker (on a scale from 1-5; 5 being most important) and talk a little about what they mean for you.
You have to check these out
New feature: Ask for a referral
Why is it important? Talk about useful. For today’s job seekers, what new feature could be better? If used the right way (and not over-used), this new feature is a game-changer in terms of opening doors. But, keep in mind, not all hiring managers and bosses are LinkedIn power users. In fact, in my experience, the higher up you go, the less time people spend on LinkedIn. So, manage expectations appropriately.
New feature: Adding new media to your profile
Why is it important? Blog posts, video testimonials, Slideshare prezos all add depth to your LinkedIn profile. And, we all have SOME media to add to our profiles. Previously, LinkedIn offered only two slots here–now they offer six. Take advantage.
New feature: How you match
Why is it important? You see this functionality a lot on corporate careers sites. Kudos to LinkedIn for adding it here. This new feature allows you to easily see if you’re a good fit for the potential position, or if you should look elsewhere.
New feature: See your commute
Why is it important? One of those little adds that makes a big difference. This new feature simply shows you your commute to and from your future employer when reviewing the job. I realize it’s just saving you a few clicks on your phone, but as we all know, it’s all about the user experience.
Eh, you could probably check these out
New feature: LinkedIn kudos
Why is it important? This is an interesting idea–I just don’t like how LinkedIn executed it. The notion of giving people the opportunity to highlight and thank others for their hard work or achievements is fantastic. But, I’ve seen a few people use this so far, and it just doesn’t seem to get at the concept quite the right way. Plus, THOSE GRAPHICS!
New feature: Active status
Why is it important? Similar to an instant messaging system, this new feature makes it a little more possible to use LinkedIn as a tool to ping colleagues and contacts. The key: Knowing when to push and when to pull back. Don’t go too crazy with the pinging.
New feature: Trending Topics
Why is it important? If you’re using LinkedIn the right way–as a networking tool, rather than an electronic resume–this is a nice add. Much like Facebook and Twitter before them, LinkedIn aims to give you a brief glimpse at what folks are talking about on the social network each day. Not a huge game-changer, but a nice little add for those reading LinkedIn each day.
No need to check these out
New feature: Personal QR code
Why is it important? I’ve been told by people smarter than me that this is more of a play at the Asian market than the U.S. Personally, I think this is a complete waste of time, but some people will use it. I’d put more time into updating and optimizing your profile and using LinkedIn to get smarter about your job than spend 1 minute on these QR codes.
New feature: Sharing quotes from articles
Why is it important?
Share quotes from articles to inspire convos: If you’re a LinkedIn power user, this new feature might get you a little excited. But, for the lion’s share of LinkedIn users, this probably won’t even register. However, for power users, this is much like a tool I use (Diigo), which allows you to easily grab interesting quotes and use them as headlines in your status updates.
New feature: Voice Mail messages
Why is it important? I’m not so sure it is. LinkedIn claims voice messages will be a benefits for those wishing to leave messages “on the go” when they can’t type in a brief message (mimicking popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger). I tend to think this will be a feature that goes widely unused. After all, the era of the voice mail is quickly on the way out. I doubt many of you will ever use this new feature.
New feature: GIFs in messaging
Why is it important? If you’re read this blog for any lengthy of time, you know how I feel about gifs from a professional POV. And, that definitely applies here, as LinkedIn is THE professional network. This isn’t the place for gifs, folks. Keep it on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. This new feature should be used sparingly at best.