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Advice / Job Search / Networking

3 LinkedIn Updates You Need to Know About for 2017

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If you’ve logged into LinkedIn recently, you’ve probably noticed it’s undergone a makeover. But there’s more to it than a cleaner look. The site’s rolled out new features to make growing your network and job hunting even easier.

Whether you’ve clicked around, but aren’t quite sure what the changes mean for you—or if the rollout’s yet to come to your profile and you’d like to know what to expect—here’s how to make the most of the updates.

1. New Messaging Features

As always, the platform wants you to use it to build your network and stay in touch with people you know.

One new feature is suggested responses to InMail (pictured above). Translation: If someone contacts you, you can instantly respond whether or not you’re interested. This makes getting back to them—even if the answer is “no”—so much simpler, so you don’t have to worry about gaining a reputation as a ghoster.

On the other side of things, you can only reach out to a stranger for free by sending an invite. (Here are three templates for sending one—and not getting rejected).

As always, it’s still free to send a message to your contacts. If you’d like to reconnect with someone, it’s as easy as picking out one thing you see from their profile and using the template below:

Hi Garrett,

I see from LinkedIn you’re currently working at an engineering firm. That’s awesome. I’ve actually been contemplating a move there and would love to hear what the transition was like for you. Would you have time for a cup of coffee, a brief phone call, or for me to send over a few questions by email?


2. New Profile Design

The new profile design is meant to be easier to navigate. And because there’s an emphasis on making pages more attractive, there’s even more reason to pay attention to how yours looks.

If you don’t already have one, add a cover photo (We have 23 free ones you can steal right now!) Then, make the whole page more interesting by adding media to your experience section.

The new profiles also highlight recent posts and activity more prominently. That means, by spending less than 15 minutes a week liking and sharing content, you can keep your profile looking fresh and updated. For bonus points, consider posting more regularly, as the date of your last post shows up as well. (Confession: The first thing I notice on mine is that I haven’t posted since April 2016.)

Unsure, what to write about? Check out Muse columnist’s Nathan Tanner’s advice in How to Write a LinkedIn Article if You’re Not a Writer.

3. New Way to Reach Recruiters

Wouldn’t it be great if you could update your LinkedIn profile, then sit back and have recruiters come to you with all the jobs? While it’s true, they’re not, in the words of Career Coach Jenny Foss, “your personal talent agents,” it is helpful for them to know you’re looking.

So, make sure they do.

Go to the LinkedIn jobs page and look for “Update preferences” in purple near the top of the page. Along with selecting the field you’re interested in, experience level and size of company you’d prefer, toggle “Let recruiters know you’re open” from off to on.

From there, you’ll get an email confirmation that you’re “sharing your career interests”—and if you’d like to shut it off after you land that new job, you’ll get a second email that you’re “no longer sharing” them.

Note: LinkedIn says that while it tries to hide your search from you’re current company, it can’t 100% guarantee recruiters connected to your organization won’t find out, so if you’re nervous about that, read this.

I’ll admit it: I’m that person who gets annoyed every time a site I like changes up how it looks. But if you can put aside that frustration at having to re-learn how to navigate it, you’ll find a bunch of features there to make your profile stand out and help you on your job search. And if you’re looking to move companies this year, that’s pretty exciting.

Did I miss anything? Tweet me and let me know.