As of the writing of this post, I have to say that I have not had the opportunity to do a complete review of the 2017 Linked In changes and upgrades. I can tell you that I like clean format of my new profile and the overall look and feel of the functionality. Bottom line, we all have much prettier profiles. However, I am not sure yet how that is translating into a solid job seeker experience.
I do a lot of Linked In coaching and profile rewrites in my practice. I can tell you that most users still consider the site an online resume and barely touch the rest of the functionality. For the job seeker that is using 50% or more of their profile, they definitely have an edge.
As you should know by now, over the last few years, there have been significant Linked In changes. Microsoft purchased Linked In in 2016. They also purchased a site called Lynda.com, which offers some of the best online courses, certificates, and online education out there to help increase certain job skills. So, now we have an online destination for networking, career branding, resume curation, digital portfolio management, and continuing education.
One other thing to note is that there are three ways Linked In makes revenue, probably more, but for our purposes, these are the most relevant:
In short, they sell advertising, recruitment services, and subscriptions. That said, only about 20% of their revenue comes from premium subscriptions for job seekers. Lynda.com or Linked In Learning offers more bang for your buck on those, but recruitment services has always been their revenue bread and butter.
Prior to the acquisition, and in my recruiter/workforce solutions view point, Linked In did a great job providing tons of functionality to the job seeker. One simply did not need to buy a premium profile to have success on the site. Good SEO, clean and direct language, and understanding how to make a profile stand out was all a job seeker needed. I’m starting to think some of this is getting muddied with the new functionality.
Well, I’m still not totally convinced you should…
The most important thing is still a clean, SEO optimized profile. Recruiters search Linked In like they are looking for gold from sunken Spanish Galleon. Recruiters would RATHER find their own candidates than use the ones that respond to jobs. Something about managers giving bonuses and special recognition for a strong recruited candidate pipeline. If a job seeker can optimize their profile and they happen to have the right skills, no problem, you are going to attract recuiters. Job seekers should be making their profile look very shiny, clean, up to date, and tantalizing to a recruiter. Kind of like Gollum and that ring, or my dog when I say cheese, but I digress.
A few years ago, Linked In made “Who Viewed My Profile” a paid add on. You get a couple names on a free profile, but there is a lot of benefit when one is in a heavy job search mode to have that info. I often suggest my clients reach out to every person who “stops” by their profile and asks them if there was something they are interested in or if they thing it would be beneficial to network. If you can’t see who stopped by, it’s not that helpful.
If you are thinking about spending the money, I suggest the following:
It’s not necessary for everyone to upgrade. I would also say that if you are finding that you apply to jobs through the Linked In portal and it appears many of them are using Linked In’s recruiting tools vs. pushing to an outside applicant portal, that might be a situation where you would be advised to upgrade.
Here is Linked In’s own slide share on the topic:
This is one of those follow the money questions. For the near term, I say, yes. They can’t make their revenue for the recruitment products if they are not catering to job seekers. If it is cost prohibitive for job seekers to get a benefit from the tool, no matter how great the Linked In changes appear, their recruiting services are going to take a big hit. That does not mean that someone else is going to innovate and provide a better product, but the global reach Linked In has with the insights of every profile in the tool is staggering. Here are a few examples of the content they offer under their talent solutions brand.
I plan on revisiting the new Linked In functionality in the near term. For now, here is a good article on updating your profile with the new functionality. Forbes: Linked In Gets A Makeover