I can hear you now: they changed something on social AGAIN?!? Yes, the powers that be at LinkedIn changed the profile layout… again. But this time, LinkedIn’s new profile changes aren’t for the sake of change. They are truly useful!
What ARE The Changes To Your LinkedIn Profile Layout?
● The profile image is larger and left aligned, along with your name and title.
● The summary preview allows 80 more characters (to 300).
● On the top right, your connections and contact information are featured.
● You can add media to various parts of your profile.
● The ‘People Also Viewed’ section is more prominent.
Why Are The Changes To Your LinkedIn Profile Layout Awesome?
The profile image alignment — This change looks a lot like the profile layout you would have on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re building a brand, having some consistency in the look is a real bonus!
The sizing of the profile image — The only proviso here is that it could impact your custom background image so check it on mobile and desktop to make sure your profile image isn’t cutting into text or other vital features of your background. You’ll need to edit your background image if it does. Ideally, you will be using a customized background banner (1584 x 396px) that can be edited so that all the essentials are clearly visible. Also, the profile image is still centered when viewed on mobile devices (which makes up about 60% of LinkedIn views), so you need to factor that into any edits. But overall, the new design draws the eye nicely to your profile image and information.
The left justified content — The advantage to this layout is that it is readable. Centering just doesn’t work for the eye but left justified makes your information that much easier to take in. It’s neat, clean and easy to scan. Remember that the first three things your prospects see about you on LinkedIn are your photo, name and headline. The latter should contain a benefits statement over a title, if company policy will allow. Especially now that the ease of reading your benefits statement is enhanced. (To learn how to write a benefits statement, watch this video – the video itself is dated, but the content remains relevant in terms of how to write a solid profile on LinkedIn)
The two column content — The use of two columns also makes it possible to put all of the essential information where it can be seen without scrolling. The ‘See Contact Info’ and ‘See Connection Links’ used to be off to the right but are now front and centre, including logos, for quick and easy viewing. These are vital for anyone who is interested in who you are and who you know!
The summary preview — You can see more of the text in the summary preview (318 characters instead of the 215 previously shown on desktops), without expanding it to ‘Show More’. The full summary is up to 2000 characters but if you are using your true elevator pitch, you should be able to get it down to 300 or so. Hoping that people will click ‘show more’ might be wishful thinking! That said, a bigger preview gives you a better chance of wow’ing viewers, so get to it!
Visible Media — I love this. To be clear, you could add rich media to your profile before, but readers couldn’t see it without clicking ‘read more’. The new layout keeps your media front and center, and will show up to six links below the summary section, before a viewer has even expanded it to ‘Show More’. What can you add? PowerPoint files, PDFs, Word documents or links to online media and videos – especially videos. TIP: the thumbnail images for the media links may not be gorgeous if it’s a document, for example, so make sure you rearrange them so that your best foot is always forward and your best, prettiest thumbnails are showing first.
People Also Viewed — This section, which used to sit to the right, below ‘See Connections’ and ‘See Contact Info’ benefits from a bump up higher on the column as these other two were moved to the centre section. Particularly if you are in HR or sales, you’ll find that when you search for skills, individuals or other information on LinkedIn, what other ‘People Also Viewed’ can be helpful to mind data that is relevant to you.
These might not seem like huge changes but it really feels like LinkedIn is finally taking online UX into account when they design and the new layout will put your most important and shareable information front and centre. I always tell clients that LinkedIn is the single best network not only for professional services, but for professionals in general. That’s why it’s time to take a fresh look at your profile, and get ‘er fixed up and networking!