The top 3 changes you need to know about LinkedIn as a job seeker

LinkedIn constantly changes and while many of us can benefit from the personal brand-building power of LinkedIn, it can be difficult to keep up and it takes a long time and a lot of effort to really leverage the benefits of this network. So in no particular order, here are some recent changes and not so recent changes you need to know about LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s Profile Card on Office 365 

For users of Office 365, you can now connect your LinkedIn account to your Microsoft account. This gives you access to information about your contacts, sourced from your LinkedIn profile.

Now, there is nothing that is special about this feature, in that you can find out all about your connections on LinkedIn anyway and your connections can search your profile. Profile cards just make the process so much simpler and hence there will be a greater uptake of people looking at your profile.

So what does this mean for professionals on LinkedIn? Simple, you need to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date. So for example, if you have a meeting with someone you have not met, but they are a LinkedIn connection, they will use this tool to understand you better. They will view details such as where you work, what you do, and where you went to school.  Hence the need to regularly update your LinkedIn profile. If you find this too creepy, or too much like hard work, don’t be on LinkedIn, as there is no such thing as privacy on LinkedIn (you did read the fine print on privacy when you joined?).

If you want to use this tool as an Office 365 user, just open a person’s Profile Card in Outlook and click on the LinkedIn match. Confirm when prompted and accept an order to review all the information you want about your contact.   

For more information simply go to the LinkedIn Office Blog site on LinkedIn’s Profile Card.

Key Skills

This is quite an old change, but most job seekers I talk to, have no idea that their skills list is really important. Way back in 2015 (which is like yesterday for anyone over 40 years of age and a million years ago in the technology sphere), Recruiter Premium Account, allowed recruiters to shortlist candidates based on the skills required for the position. Today, over 51% of searches are made using key skill searches by recruiters.

What that means, is you need to ensure you optimise your LinkedIn profile with relevant key skills, so you show up higher in the search results for recruiters.

When you join My Career Groove, we make sure you successfully identify ALL your key skills (and communication skills is not a key skill) and teach you how to optimise LinkedIn, which is part of our training academy for MCG members. For more information on My Career Groove.

Resume Assistant in MS Word

You might not be aware, but you need to be aware of this relatively new LinkedIn feature. Rolled out in November 2017, Resume Assistant allows users from across the planet to create new resumes and profiles, by being shown examples of suggested skills and work experience summaries from LinkedIn.

Embedded into Microsoft Word, for Office 365 subscribers, it sounds like a great idea, until you think through how your career could be potentially impacted by the tool. Take this scenario.

You have invested time and money on getting the most fabulous and robust LinkedIn profile together. You are very proud of your LinkedIn profile, in fact that profile is so great; when Office 365 subscribers see it they decide to copy your LinkedIn profile. That is, potentially dozens or hundreds of people could swipe your content and use it on their profiles.

Meanwhile, recruiters and employers that are targeting talent in your category come across your profile.  They also discover other profiles that are virtually identical.

Who copied whom? That is the question they can’t answer, so you will probably be passed over.  Another problem is that search engines (that is Google and Bing), penalise duplicate content. So your rankings on Google will be lowered. (Now this is related to complex search algorithms, which I won’t explain in full. For this article, I just want to tell you this is a bad news, as you are less likely to be found by employers and recruiters).

So, if you do nothing else today, opt-out of Resume Assistant.

  • Go to the drop-down men under ‘Me’ at the top of your profile.
  • Click on ‘Settings & Privacy’.
  • Click on ‘Privacy’ in the menu at the top.
  • Scroll down to ‘Data Privacy and Advertising’
  • Click on ‘Microsoft Word’
  • Check ‘NO’ to keep Microsoft from displaying work experience descriptions from your profile to users of Resume Assistant.

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