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New LinkedIn Design - Quick Review

By the end of this month, all UK-based LinkedIn members will receive the new user interface. I was recently fortunate enough to be given a preview of it so I thought it would be useful to offer you an overview of the new (and removed) features.

On the new version of LinkedIn a large number of fantastic features have been removed and very few significant new ones added. Some of the removed features are now only available on the paid versions of LinkedIn (this article is also written on the basis that some of this could change again over the coming weeks).

 First, the GOOD:

  • The new design looks a lot cleaner and contemporary and aligns with the mobile design. It is a lot more intuitive to navigate and is easier on the eye than the old version
  • The updated messaging system is pretty good as all messages appear as a pop-up in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, so you don't need to keep navigating to your LinkedIn Inbox to see your messages
  • When you connect to someone new, you no longer have to select a reason how you know them (colleague/classmate/friend, etc) and any tailored message you write is a lot more prominent for the recipient, both on desktop and mobile
  • Most links open up a new browser tab, making for less frustrating navigation
  • Your profile looks completely different and is almost identical to the mobile version. In summary:
  • All profile photos are now circular and the background image is narrower
  • Your summary appears directly underneath your photo and cannot be moved, so it's important to get the reader's attention in the first 2 sentences as this is all the reader sees until they click on 'see more'
  • It is a lot easier to view someone's recent activity as this is more prominent

And now the BAD (and this is quite a long list!):

  • In terms of your own profile:
  1. You can no longer re-order the different sections - these are now in a fixed order
  2. You cannot edit your display name and you can't re-order current positions
  3. You cannot re-order your recommendations - you used to be able to 'click and drag' the best ones to the top
  • Here is the deal breaker - Advanced Search is now severely limited in its functionality and matches the mobile version. All you can do now is run a basic search e.g. 'Director' and then re-filter the results. Boolean searches are much better however i.e. the ability to use 'not', 'and' and 'or' e.g. "director" and "golf"
  • You can no longer save searches on the free version
  • You cannot see a list of your own followers (i.e. people who you are not connected to but who are following you)
  • Only your last post shows on your profile (it used to be your last 3) and this area now contains your recent activity, not all of your posts
  • Thankfully, emoji options in messages are no longer available
  • There is no button to 'Ask for an Introduction' to a 2nd line contact - you can still see who the mutual contact(s) is, but there is no way to facilitate it on LinkedIn
  • You can't sort your newsfeed between Top and Recent Updates - as if it wasn't annoying enough to have to sort your newsfeed every time you landed on the home page, you now can't sort it at all! The content is now based on what LinkedIn thinks you want to see

I expect some of these updates will change again over time but hopefully this has given you a feel for the most important changes. LinkedIn is still by far the best place to go to find business contacts and content and they obviously realise this so are encouraging more users to pay for the premium versions. Let's see how things develop!

Your LinkedIn Housekeeping Checklist for 2017

It's that time of year when I like to refresh and update my LinkedIn presence - over the course of the last 12 months, you may have found yourself connecting with people you don't know, adding sections to your profile that are no longer relevant, as well as a whole multitude of other LinkedIn activities which you have no recollection of doing! So here is my New Year checklist for tidying up your LinkedIn presence (LinkedIn are in the process of rolling out a completely refreshed user interface so it's worth going through this checklist now):

Your Profile

  • Is your photo up-to-date? LinkedIn isn't a dating site so your photo really should be a reflection of you!
  • Check that your contact information and website links are still current - click on Edit Profile then Edit Contact Info.
  • Is your professional summary, work experience and other sections a fair reflection of your day-to-day activities? Remember, if you have attended one of my workshops you will understand the importance of telling the reader 'what's in it for them' - LinkedIn is not just an online CV. Why would the reader want to engage with you?
  • Tidy up your Skills & Endorsements - this is one of those sections that really can get out of hand very quickly. Remove any skills that are no longer relevant, add any new ones, and remove any endorsements from people you don't know!
  • Scroll down to the very bottom of your profile where you will find a list of all the LinkedIn Groups you are a member of, as well as all of the Companies and Influencers you are following. I'm a big fan of keeping these lists to around 5-10 of each, otherwise I simply can't keep up-to-date with everything that is happening on my LinkedIn newsfeed. Un-tick those Companies and Influencers you no longer want to follow, and leave any Groups that are no longer relevant to your objectives

Your Connections

I like to have an annual cleanse of my connections, otherwise the number can get out of hand. You have probably connected over the last 12 months with people you don't know or have never met, so it is worth going through all of your connections and removing those that are no longer relevant (or have annoyed you!) - remember, they don't get told that you have removed them. To do this, go to My Network, then Connections, and when you scroll down the page you will see a list of all your Connections. To remove someone, just hover over their name, click on More, then Remove Connection. You may also want to export your contacts to Excel for easy reference - do this soon as this feature isn't available on the new version of LinkedIn!

Your Settings

In this era of data protection and online privacy, it is important to check that the visibility of your data is set to a level you are comfortable with. I won't go through all of the various Settings here, but the ones to pay particular attention to are:

  • See where you're logged in (all of the locations where you are logged in to LinkedIn)
  • Set the frequency of e-mails (this will tidy up your Inbox)
  • View your applications (a list of all third-party sites that have access to your LinkedIn account)
  • Select who can see your connections

All of these can be found by hovering over your photo in the top right-hand corner, then click on Privacy & Settings.

 Happy tidying up!

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