"More LinkedIn Profile Changes: What You Should Know" by Christine Hueber

As I wrote about last week, LinkedIn has rolled out a refresh of its profile page, the online face of more than 175 million professionals. Among the most noticeable changes: Your actual face is more important than ever. The updated profile includes a larger, more prominent picture, which has the most obvious impact to your page. As a result, you might want to update your profile picture so it’s more professional and polished. And photography’s not the only skill needed to optimize the new LinkedIn profile; you’ll want to hone your writing chops, too, because the Summary content now stands under a brighter spotlight, as I recently posted here. The best LinkedIn profiles require the same level of attention as any business website; without the right mix of content, keywords, and other elements, you’re liable to get lost in the fray. Treating the profile as just an online version of your old-school resume is a rookie mistake. You want to craft your profile as you do you website … with keywords so people find you through search and a strong call to action so they take the next step with you. An honest, robust summary is also critical because users are increasingly using LinkedIn to do their homework on people they do business with in a variety of contexts.  And for most of us, it’s the top part of our profile and our first chance after our headline to draw our audience into our profile.   Your audience uses your LinkedIn profile as a way to research and feel more comfortable with you as a business owner and entrepreneur. You need to take the 3 seconds viewers initially give you to engage them on your profile to really showcase yourself. Now that the summary is so front-and-center, you can’t just not fill it out or copy-paste your introduction from your resume. It’s just not going to cut it anymore. LinkedIn’s profile updates are part of a broader site-wide reboot that includes the recent redesign of the homepage and the launch earlier this year of LinkedIn Today, the company’s social news service. Expect more changes to come, including more updates to the profile page. “We are focused on making it easier for LinkedIn members to get more value out of the services we offer by creating simpler, more relevant, more social experiences,” a LinkedIn spokeswoman said via email. “This new look-and-feel to the profile is the first step of many more exciting changes to come to the LinkedIn profile later this year.” Another significant change: Job titles no longer appear in the brief overview that appears next to the photo–only the names of current and recent employers, as well as educational institutions, are listed. In general, that light-gray area atop the profile is much smaller than in the past. Contact information, including websites, email, Twitter handle, and phone number, are now housed behind a Contact button just beneath the photo and brief overview. Users need to click to reveal them, as I mentioned here last week. This makes it actually easier to take the next step to go outside of LinkedIn.  To be success on LinkedIn you need to move beyond it. If you want to forge relationships, you can’t do that strictly online. You have to call that person up and talk to them directly. That’s what’s going to separate you and lead you to future success. The space freed up by these tweaks enables the heavier emphasis on the Summary section, as I mentioned here last week, which means it’s time to revisit what yours includes if you haven’t already done so. Even on LinkedIn, content is king … tell a story, hook people and motivate them to take the next step with you.     Adapted from:  Informationweek.com

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