In January, LinkedIn rolled out its most sweeping redesign since the website launched. Some of the changes make the service easier to use, while others provide better opportunities for networking. Changes have been rolling out gradually, so not all LinkedIn members have access to the new interface just yet.
Amy Parnell, LinkedIn’s senior director of experience design, told Wired magazine the old interface was hard to understand. To keep users engaged and focused, she said LinkedIn wanted a fresh interface that felt familiar, so users may notice that some design elements resemble those seen on Facebook.
When your LinkedIn account switches over to the new layout, the navigation bar at the top of the screen will consist of seven core sections:
- Home: This tab is your newsfeed, including a small snapshot of your personal profile on the left. Down the middle is a chronological feed of updates from all of your contacts and groups. This is also where you can share new content, such as links to other articles, photographs, quick updates or full-blown articles.
- My Network: On this tab, you can see all of your connections as well as pending invitations and suggestions for people you may also know.
- Jobs: This is the key tab for active jobseekers and those who may be considering new career opportunities. Here you will find suggested job postings based on your personal profile and skills. Click on the “update preferences” link and you can fine-tune these suggestions based on location, levels of experience, industries and company size.
- Messaging: LinkedIn’s new real-time messaging interface lets users contact their network from multiple locations on the website. For example, you may be looking at a particular job listing and LinkedIn will suggest you message one of your connections who works at that company.
- Notifications: Rather than simply being a dropdown list,notifications now have their own page. You can see who viewed your profile, jobs of potential interest and activity from your connections.
- Me: Everything about you is conveniently located here. You can edit your photo, headline, personal summary, privacy settings and more.
- Work: Here you’ll find several useful resources, including a salary analysis tool and a slide sharing capability. LinkedIn Groups let you join communities of users who share a common interest, and the new Learning Center features 9,000 online courses in business, technology and creative topics.
Design updates and new functionality are increasingly common in the dynamic world of social media. Likewise, competition is becoming more intense. Last month Facebook added a new “jobs” tab where employers can post job openings. When users see these postings in their newsfeed, they can click on “Apply Now” to instantly submit an application through Facebook Messenger.
Regardless of which websites you use, remember that your online presence creates a powerful first impression. Be sure you have a professional photo, a comprehensive employment history, an accurate summary of your core skills and examples of your greatest accomplishments. Update your profiles on a regular basis, and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your boss or future employer to see.
April McHugh is a career and educational counselor for the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. McHugh helps adults with career transitions and continuing education through individual sessions and workshops. Contact her at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal.