If you are a casual LinkedIn user you might not have noticed, but LinkedIn has been very busy releasing new features and enhancing some of their familiar standards over the last four months. The quiet, conservative company has launched more features and updates during this short window of time than at any time that I can recall. There have been so many changes and additions that I thought we should review them for you in one post.
Here are the new or updated features that have been rolled out in the last several months and why you should be aware of them:
Resume Builder. This is a brilliant example of using the power of LinkedIn for new solutions. Launched in early December, 2010 this feature takes input from you in a few easy steps, uses your Profile information and with the help of some drag and drop and several pre-built templates, pops out a very nice, well-formatted resume. You have privacy options and sharing options to control how and when it is seen, along with the ability to output to print or file if desired. Well done on this one LinkedIn! Here is the link to try this out for yourself.
Bump (iPhone Application) announces ability to Connect on LinkedIn and find Mutual Connections on LinkedIn with just a bump. When you meet someone you both simply open Bump, select LinkedIn and “bump” the iPhones together to invite your new connection. No more waiting until you get to a computer to send the invite. The 2nd feature allows two people to bump their phones and you can then see if you share any of the same connections. Speeds up the “do you know” discussion and moves you to the more exciting stuff.
Groups within LinkedIn have changed quite a bit, both on the member side as well as the group management side. Lots to cover on this topic on another post specifically on Groups. Group owners now have the option of making their Group “open”, allowing the conversations to be visible and active across the entire web, not just restricted to the walls within the group. Changes to the Discussions tab caused quite a bit of a stir during the summer within many groups. Spam within a Group was a hotly debated topic as one person’s dinner is another’s spam.
LinkedIn iPhone App has been upgraded several times, providing a much nicer screen layout for Profiles, a screen to see who you and the contact that you are viewing have as shared connections, and everything has been prettied up to take advantage of the gorgeous Retina display.You will enjoy better Inbox flow and the ability to view recent activity more clearly. If you are an iPhone user, I recommend you visit and join the LinkedIn for iPhone Group to stay up to date on what they are working on.
Company Pages and Company Follow enhancements include a cleaner screen view, more personalized insights showing your 1st and 2nd level connections and other activity the company has on LinkedIn. Better highlights of the employee base, types of positions, educational backgrounds and very important-the addition of the Career Tab on the Company Profile, showing the range of opportunities available, employee comments about the company and an ability to gain a much more helpful understanding of the company for purposes from employment to business development.
LinkedIn Signal (beta) provides a streamlined super-search and filtering capability with tremendous flexibility for all that data that is streaming across your screen in real time. I am writing a series of posts about LinkedIn Signal and will be hosting a Web Training event later in February. There is just too much to cover here in this overview of new features.
LinkedIn Labs is the place you need to visit constantly if LinkedIn is a key part of your business online activity. Within LinkedIn Labs you will learn about some really cool internal projects that are being developed and played with. If you have ever visited Google Labs, this is a similar type site. Make sure you bookmark LinkedIn Labs and see what the future of LinkedIn has in store.
Profiles have gone through some dramatic changes if you haven’t noticed. To get an idea, click on the “Add Sections” area of your Profile page to see a total list of the new sections that you can add. The five new profile sections are:
As you can see, your ability to highlight your unique and valuable professional capabilities and credentials is much more more robust.
LinkedIn for Blackberry was completely redesigned to make it easier for users with version 1.5 of LinkedIn for Blackberry, also adding new sections in the Profile like Recommendations, mutual connections and detailed Profile updates.
LinkedIn for Android (beta) was rolled out on December 16th, 2010 for all Android devices running OS 2.1 or higher.
LinkedIn Share Button. You know this one was coming after the success of Twitter and Facebook share buttons amongst others. Many of you have your own blog or website, and now you can add a LinkedIn share button. Here are the steps to do it if you have a WordPress blog.
Recommendation Widget is now available for your Company Page, making it easy for your customers to recommend you by clicking on your new “Recommend” button.
Analytics Tab is now visible on your Company page and will surely receive enhancements in the months ahead. You are now able to see how many LinkedIn members visit your page, how many are following your company, which industries and functions your followers come from.
Sample Chart from the Company Page Analytics tab
As an Owner or Executive of your company, you will now be able to compare yourself against similar companies to help in establishing performance benchmarks. You can now see how all of the data that sites like LinkedIn have been accumulating are now being delivered to members in much deeper, more meaningful ways than just connections.
Sample Benchmarking Chart
Several new Applications have been added, many to serve subsets of LinkedIn users. Here are the additions:
- FT Press – insights for business and career interests
- Real Estate Pro– tied into the Rofo service
- Legal Updates-source of info for Attorneys
- Portfolio Display– showcases your creative work efforts and unlimited content
- Lawyer Ratings – from Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ and Client Review Ratings™
- Manymoon -project management with your connections
LinkedIn Polls went through a major refresh as well. Streamlined creation, “Share the Poll” buttons and more robust reporting, charts and analytics of the results and responses. I miss some of the old features myself but am getting used to the new charts. If you have never created a Poll, you really should consider building one and learning how it all works. Just click on “More” in the Home page menu and select “Polls” from the pull-down menu. Have some fun with it.
YouTube videos are now able to be shared directly in your Profile. There had been several work-arounds developed using SlideShare or Google Apps, but those are now unneccessary. Adding video to your Profile can be very effective. Keep them short and your connections will get the most value.