Sunday, March 12, 2017

How to Navigate the New Look of LinkedIn Simplified

Simplified may be an overstatement but don't get frustrated. Anything new requires use to master; there's a learning curve. This document will help you find your way around the new profile look. The intent is to help you learn "how to" use it. It's not intended as an opinion of whether the new version is better than the old.

The following are the basics of navigation as viewed on a computer. Navigating LinkedIn on a mobile device is not covered.

To view your profile, first open LinkedIn and locate your picture on the upper right hand part of the task bar. Click on your picture or the drop down arrow and select "View profile".

The page you open is divided into two side-by-side areas. The left hand area is the Profile. The right hand side contains the Tools (that's my term for it) which are used to create new sections and perform other useful functions. 

When you first join LinkedIn, you are asked a series of questions that begin to fill out sections of your profile. Any questions you skip don't fill sections, so incompletely filled sections appear in Tools so that you can edit them later if you wish. Whatever you enter in Tools will populate your profile. Once a section is listed in the profile, further editing can be accomplished by clicking with the pencil icon on that section of your Profile.

About The Tools area:
Information that can be accessed in Tools appears differently depending upon whether the page is being viewed by you or by a visitor. It is also different if the visitor is a 1st degree connection or a 2nd or 3rd degree connection. When viewing your own LinkedIn home page you have the option to edit your profile using the Tools side of the page.

On the other hand, when a visitor views your page the editing tools are replaced by very limited details about you. For instance, when viewed by a 1st degree connection visitor, your contact information is visible. But if the visitor is not a 1st degree connection, the contact information is hidden. 

Editing information in Tools is accomplished by clicking on down arrows or small question marks. There are many primary and secondary options for editing sections of the profile so you should click on all of them.
The Tools are organized as follows: "Change your picture" is first
"Add a new profile" follows. Clicking the down arrow exposes 3 sub-options: "Background", "Skills", and "Experience".
*       Clicking the Background or Skills down arrows exposes further sub-options: "Work experience", "Education", and "Volunteer experience".  Clicking the plus signs exposes forms to fill out for each.
*       Under Skills you have the ability to add skills you would like to be recommended for.
*       Clicking on Experience exposes:  "Publications", "Certifications", "Courses", "Projects", "Honors and Awards", "Patents", "Test Scores", "Languages", and "Organizations". Visit each section.

Below the "Add a new profile" section you will find two useful options "Edit your public profile" and "Add profile in another language". It is advisable to click on "Edit your public profile" to view your profile as visitors see it. If you wish to enable reading your profile in another language you can do so in "Add profile in another language".

Next, those proverbial advertisements. That's not different from the old version. But don't stop navigating at the advertisement. After it you will find "See connections" and "Contact and Personal Info". Be sure to visit the latter and make certain it is correct. If you want to be found and receive calls or email, this information is essential.

About the Profile side of the page:
Your profile begins with your picture as before although now it is circular and centered at the top. To the right of your picture are a pencil icon and 3 dots. 

When you click on the pencil icon of any section you can make changes. Depending upon how you set up your privacy settings your changes will be broadcast to your connections or not. Privacy and other settings are accessible from the dropdown icon under your picture on the home page.

The three dots:
On your own profile clicking the three dots gives you options to "Share profile" or "Save to PDF". It's wise to save to PDF whenever you update your profile. If anything goes awry you will have a copy to make recovery easier.

The following table indicates what options are available when you view your own profile or the profiles of others:
Your Profile
1st Degree Connection
2nd or 3rd
Share Profile
Save to PDF
Remove Connection

Request  a recommendation

The populated sections of your profile will appear in the following order:
  • Header with your picture, tag line and summary
  • Who's viewed your profile
  • Strengthen your profile
  • Your articles and activity
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Featured Skills and Endorsements
  • Recommendations
  • Following (Influencers, Companies, Groups, Schools)

How to work around old LinkedIn features that no longer available:

Professional Interests: There is no section to enter Professional Interests into. The work around is to go to "Add volunteer experience" in the tools area. You do not actually have to be a volunteer to fill out the form.

Advanced Search: The Advanced search button is gone. However, you can still conduct searches and filtering is extensive. Simply type in key words into the "Search" space at the top left area of your Profile. Boolean algebra can be used as well. You can search for People, Jobs, Companies, Groups, and Posts. Once you enter some keywords a screen will open with further filtering options: Top, People, Jobs, Posts, Companies, Groups, and Schools.

For example, enter [plant manager] without the brackets. You are brought to a page listing plant managers. If you select  People, Jobs, or Posts, you will be presented with a large list of filters on the right hand side of the page which can be applied to refine the search. At the bottom you can create a search alert.

How to join a LinkedIn group: Just to the right of your small picture on the main screen Groups is a 3x3 dot icon with the word "Work" under it.  Clicking on the down arrow opens a "view more" list of options. Click on "Groups", then click on "Discover". Alternatively you can use the search space at the top left area of your Profile.

Posting on Group Discussions:
To post an article to a group:
Sign in to LinkedIn if you are not already signed in.
Click on the "Me" down arrow under your picture.
Click on "View profile".
Scroll down your profile until you reach the "Following" section (the last section of your profile).
Click on any group.
Click on the Gear located in the reddish-brown area next to "Search" and select the group you wish to post to.

There are probably many more 'tricks' that can be used to navigate. If you know of any please post them here.

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