Before discussing the new, exciting changes coming from LinkedIn, let’s define what LinkedIn is:
LinkedIn is really a huge database of professionals. Unlike other social networks, like Twitter, which lacks profile depth, or Facebook, which is all over the place demographically and is also hard to find people, Linkedin standardizes information entered by users into predefined “Profile Headline”, “Summary”, “Education”, “Company”, etc. categories. In addition to this huge database of information, LinkedIn provides an awesome search tool to allow you to pinpoint the person you are looking for depending on a number of very specific factors.
6 New LinkedIn Updates
I read an outstanding update about LinkedIn and 6 new LinkedIn updates and thought I would share
1. ‘LINKEDIN TODAY’ IS A NEW PAGE YOU SHOULD VISIT EVERY DAY: LinkedIn.com/today, a new mashup of LinkedIn and Twitter, is one of the most useful ways to start your mornings. As one of the new LinkedIn updates, it displays, in an easy-to-read, easy-to-share and easy-to-save manner, the most shared items among your LinkedIn contacts. It’s also broken up by industries you are interested in, which makes it even more useful professionally.
2. THE NEW RESUME BUILDER IS VERY USEFUL: One of my favorite new LinkedIn updates is the Resume Builder at resume.linkedinlabs.com. It takes your LinkedIn profile and creates an instant, customizable resume that you can save as a PDF or share on the web with privacy settings. There are several templates to choose from, including “classic,” “business,” “law” and more. Here’s my new resume, (which I haven’t done any editing or customization on yet); you can compare it to my LinkedIn profile at LinkedIn.com/in/sreenivasan. (A tip about the profile URL that I learned from LinkedIn’s Krista Canfield, who teaches journalists on using the service better: try to customize it with your full name, not just your last name — since that’s how LinkedIn’s search engine work. I need to fix mine).
3. LINKEDIN LABS HAS COOL FEATURES: LinkedIn’s experimental Labs page at LinkedInLabs.com, which hosts the Resume Builder, is filled with new things you’ll want to check out. Among them: InMaps at inmaps.linkedin.com, which makes visualizations of your network (see my wife’s above); Swarm at swarm.linkedinlabs.com, which shows you the most searched companies; Year In Review at yir.linkedinlabs.com, which shows you who among your connections changed jobs in a year; in 2009, 607 people in my network changed jobs; in 2010, 922 people did; so far 267 have done so in 2011).
4. YOU SHOULD BE FOLLOWING COMPANIES: Most of the time, we think of connecting with people when we think of LinkedIn, but we should also be thinking of connecting with companies. One of these new LinkedIn updates allows you to do this. If there is a company you are interested in (because you work there or would like to work there or you work with its competitor), you can now follow it on LinkedIn, keeping track of employees and much more. For example, here’sDNAinfo’s company page — you can read info about the company, along with a list of folks you know (or folks you know who know) who work there. There’s also a section where you can find “insightful statistics” about a company’s employees (see the link on the right rail of the page), which works really well for big companies, such as Google or The New York Times. Here’s a detailed explanation from the LinkedIn blog. A word of caution: If you start following a company, it will send out an update on your network, so my suggestion will be to follow, say, 3-5 companies at the same time, so your connections aren’t clued in to why you are following a particular company.
5. CHECK OUT THE NEW SKILLS SECTION: A part of the new LinkedIn updates is the Skills section at linkedin.com/skills. You can use it to learn what skills are growing and shrinking these days among LinkedIn users. For example, here are Skills pages for college teaching, budget oversight and social media, three skills I’ve added to the new skills section of my profile. They are, respectively, down 3 percent; down 4 percent and up 50 percent among the skills that LinkedIn users have chosen to add to their profiles (it’s still very early days yet).
6. OTHERS, BIG AND SMALL, ARE GUNNING FOR LINKEDIN: Several companies are getting into the professional networking space and gunning for LinkedIn. Facebook’s recent revamp, with its forced highlighting of your job and where you live is part of it’s effort to become more professional (even if Facebook denies it). Smaller players are involved, too. For instance, there’s BranchOut, which “brings career networking to Facebook,” and InTheDoor, which offers “job search for the Facebook generation.” At this moment, I believe that no matter how much traction these others get, LinkedIn will stay safely ahead for several years.
In addition to the LinkedIn blog, another good way to learn about new – and old – features is Learn.LinkedIn.com, which is filled with tutorials as well as other new LinkedIn updates. http://www.dnainfo.com/20110407/manhattan/six-newish-things-about-linkedin-you-need-know
Article: 6 New LinkedIn Updates