The top 5 LinkedIn changes that affect you

Danika Stahl
Danika Stahl // January 30, 2017

When was the last time you logged into LinkedIn? If it’s been awhile since you last updated your profile, you’ll notice the platform has changed.

(Thanks to Matt Weiner for his special appearance in this blog post)

Let’s cover the obvious first: it looks pretty gosh darn sleek. If you’re an aesthetics junky like me, that nifty gray-blue navigation bar, brand spanking new icons and “Me” tab (reach your profile here) might sidetrack you from other changes.

But it’s that category—“other”—that will affect the way you use LinkedIn the most. From profile to search, there’s a lot to take in.

I’ve explored LinkedIn’s new and reimagined features, and here’s my first take on what I’ve found.

Connect with anyone.

Ok. Maybe don’t literally connect with anyone. But remember when you tried to connect with John from that conference a month ago, but you couldn’t do it because this screen popped up…

…and your selection prompted you to enter his email, but his business card had already mysteriously disappeared?

Now, you can connect with anyone and you’ll see this screen instead:

The triumph: Invite anyone to be a connection, but beware! It’s more important now than ever to include a personal note. Help John remember who you are and give him a reason to want to hit the accept button by:

  • including where or how you met
  • mentioning a previous conversation or sharing a compliment
  • explaining how connecting would be beneficial for both of you

Your recent activity is all in one public place.

Have you been liking content more suited for Facebook? Leaving weird comments on your buddy’s posts? Sharing articles without actually reading them?

Think twice about the content you interact with because LinkedIn has added an Activity box on your profile, just under your Summary.

Anyone visiting your profile can get a full list of the content you’ve liked and shared. Plus, your latest post takes up a bigger piece of real estate.

That means the posts you publish will be more eye-catching and easier to find.

Your summary could use a hook.

Your profile will show the first 200 or so characters of your Summary, which is a great spot to showcase who you are, why you do what you do and incorporate some keywords.

Write an opening line that pops. You want people to read your Summary to learn more about you, so reel them in early with an engaging lead that entices them to click See more.

You don’t have to start out with dessert, but there are plenty of ways to get people hooked:

  • ask a question
  • show passion
  • do something a little unexpected

The Search function works differently.

LinkedIn’s official blog released a detailed post about the new search, but I’ll run down the key highlights.

For the most part, it’s been simplified and is easier to use. Just type what you’re looking for into the top Search bar. If you want to get more specific, you can select options in the dropdown menu.

You can conduct an even more detailed search by clicking through to the search results page…

…and selecting Group, Company, People or Jobs. From there, select options in the right hand column.

Want to use search operators like AND, NOT and OR in your search? LinkedIn’s full list of advanced search operators can be found here. (Savvy users of the old Advanced Search can take advantage of these search functions to approximate something pretty close to the old feature.)

A newsfeed you can actually use.

DAH DAH DAH DAHHH! (That’s supposed to be the sound of a trumpet)

LinkedIn has updated the algorithms that pull together your feed and given you some options to tailor the results. While these changes first showed up in July, it’s important to know how they work, especially as LinkedIn has been pushing the new-and-improved feed front and center.

In theory, more relevant content like industry news should appear in your newsfeed. But if you’re seeing posts you’d rather not, you can make adjustments:

  • follow and unfollow people and companies
  • hide posts you don’t want to see
  • flag offensive content

These are not the only updates.

There are plenty of new and revamped features to explore.

Your Skills and Endorsements work a lot differently. There’s a Highlights section that shows what you have in common with other users. Your profile photo is round.
Maybe that last one doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but if you want to get the most out of your LinkedIn experience, invest a little time in rethinking your strategy with these changes in mind.