This article was published on November 6, 2017

Rise of the new LinkedIn (and what you need to know)

Rise of the new LinkedIn (and what you need to know)
George Beall

Remember how you got your first job? You probably filled out an application — hope you brought your own pen — and waited for the manager to call you back. Then you went in for an interview in your best outfit and gave them the most polished version of yourself. These were the steps you took to show them what you’re made of back before social media was really a viable way to connect with potential employers, but as things do even the basics of getting a job have changed. The good news is that you still know all the steps, you just have to adapt them to the digital age.

The New LinkedIn is a lot like that first job interview. You have to show up and do the work to be noticed, pen optional. You have to put your best qualities on display through the use of video, original blog posts, and your network. It’s the place to make yourself seen and known. This is where you are going to find your next job.

Where do you start if you haven’t logged on to LinkedIn in a while?

Start with the basics. If you haven’t logged on in a while, you’ll need to update a few things. Make sure that your profile pic is great — this is literally the first thing anyone sees. Don’t be afraid to get creative — there’s no need to have a boring corporate-looking photo unless that’s just who you are.

Update your cover image to a photo that says something about your personal interests, your business interests, or whatever moves you. Let your personality shine through! Update your headline to something attention-grabbing, update your bio, and update your work experience and portfolio sections. Once everything is up to date it’s time to get to know LinkedIn’s new features.

What’s new on LinkedIn, anyway?

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For starters, there are more people on LinkedIn today than ever before — from 140 million users in 2011 to 500 million users and growing today. And most of those people are actually spending time on LinkedIn these days posting interesting original content, having casual conversations, and connecting with other thought leaders in their respective industries.

There’s native video with filters where you can share your professional story. You can see who’s online if you want to chat. There are publishing insights that can help you grow your audience and your personal brand.

So how do you get hired on LinkedIn?

Once you have started to build your personal brand and connect with people on LinkedIn, make sure you update your Career Interests under the jobs section and turn on your availability beacon. This lets recruiters know that you are open to hearing from them.

But that’s just one way to get hired on LinkedIn. The most important thing to pay attention to is your personal brand. Keep up the good work and interact with people on a personal level. When opportunities arise they will know who to call first.

According to LinkedIn:

  • 80 percent of Professionals say that networking is important to having success in your career
  • 70 percent of people were hired into companies where they knew someone in 2016
  • 35 percent of professionals on LinkedIn say a casual conversation has led to a new job opportunity
  • 75 percent of people who changed jobs used LinkedIn to learn more about their decision

Networking is still important, even when it’s not done in person

If you’ve ever been to a “networking event” you might have the wrong impression of what networking is supposed to be about. It’s not about handing out as many business cards as you can in the shortest period of time possible so you can hit the bar. It’s actually about making personal connections with people who share your interests.

Networking on LinkedIn is the same thing, except without the bar. You’re there to meet the people who inspire you, the people who you can help, and the people who can help you. In a world where half of LinkedIn members have found a job through a mutual connection, networking is more important to your career than you might think.

But isn’t LinkedIn super boring?

As with most things in life, it is what you make of it. If you want to have a super boring LinkedIn profile with a super boring photo and only post links and like colleagues’ work anniversaries, that’s certainly one way to do LinkedIn. Just know that you aren’t getting the full benefit that way.

Being authentically you and using this powerful platform to tell your story and build your personal brand is how you are going to push your career forward. Learn more about the new LinkedIn by the numbers and then get to work. You have a lot of work to do to start making the new LinkedIn work for you.


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