You not only have an up-to-date profile, but you also have a stellar headline, plenty of endorsements and a photo that manages to make you look both professional and approachable. So you’re all set on that front, right?
Nope! Think again. The company recently rolled out a few new features that you should know about if you want to take full advantage of the platform. Especially if one of your goals this year involves getting a new job, improving your personal brand, or just maximizing the usefulness of LinkedIn in general.
1. Updated job postings
I put this one first because it's my favorite and, of course, it's super useful. LinkedIn has now created a streamlined way for you to find your "in" when you see a position you're interested in.
This means you get to see who you are connected to at the company right on the job posting, so you can immediately reach out. And, if you're a premium subscriber, you get even more goodies like information on people who currently work in similar roles at the company as well as an inside look at some of the hiring trends. There are many moving parts to the platform, but it's at its best when separate features come together like this.
2. Greater emphasis on skills
LinkedIn expert Donna Svei has noticed that recruiters have the brand new option of searching for and narrowing down candidates by their skills — as in their LinkedIn Skills. The very same skills that are, occasionally, poked fun at because it's always been a bit unclear how useful they are.
There has been some evidence that these endorsements help with SEO, but now with the inclusion of this new feature for recruiters, you know for a fact that they're important and can help you get found. So, if you haven't gotten around to it yet, now would be the time to beef up that section.
3. New groups experience
LinkedIn Groups have always seemed a little underappreciated to me, especially since being active in a few can be a rather powerful way to get more profile views. Perhaps now with a new facelift, they'll get a bit more well-deserved attention.
Aside from being more aesthetically pleasing, there are a few more changes to note. The good news is your posts can be customized with images and direct mentions of other group members. The bad news is you can no longer message group members as a way to get around using InMail, which is a bit of a bummer.
4. Different messaging system
This one was kind of hard to miss. The company completely scrapped its old email-like messaging system and replaced it with something much more akin to an instant messenger. In LinkedIn's own words, it's "introduced a chat-style interface to allow for easy back and forth messaging.”
As you can imagine, this changes the whole experience dramatically. You can certainly continue writing your messages like emails, but the medium now encourages more casual conversation. So, if you find that's the direction it seems to be heading, embrace it. One note of caution though: While it won't be out of place to be more informal, let's not forget that LinkedIn is ultimately meant to be the place for your professional social media network. That means no hitting up recruiters with "Sup?"