LinkedIn is striving to replace the paper resume, and there are plenty of people out there hoping that it succeeds. Of course, that’s easier said than done. To get there, LinkedIn has been quickly and quietly tweaking its product and adding new features.
This isn’t just good news for recruiters, it’s good for you, too—even if you’re not currently looking for a new job. After all, LinkedIn is the easiest way to casually get on someone’s radar without personally submitting a resume.
So, check out these four updates to make sure you’re ahead of the competition when you are ready to make a move.
1. You Can Get More Feedback Than Ever on the New Homepage
The new LinkedIn homepage is hard to miss. It continues to be a great place to find curated content related to your professional interests, but now there is a new little dashboard at the top that gives you relevant information, such as how many views your profile has gotten recently and how many times your latest update has been shared.
The most helpful new feature, though, can be found at the top right of the page. You’ll notice a little box where you can cycle through ways to interact with your connections. You can comment on a new profile picture, congratulate a colleague on his or her promotion, or even wish someone a happy birthday. Given that the power of LinkedIn comes from the people it connects you with, creating an easy way to strengthen these relationships makes it an even more powerful tool.
2. You Can Now Learn More About Who’s Reading Your Content
There are plenty of benefits to publishing on LinkedIn (as I explain here ), but now there are even more! The social network has added new analytics for everything you post. You can see the top industries your readers work in, the most common job titles they hold, where they’re reading from, and how they found your article.
All this helps you create more effective content for your readers to engage with. Plus, it’s always satisfying to see who is listening when you shout into the void.
3. You Can Research Graduate Schools Before You Apply
LinkedIn has put its enormous amount of user data to good use and created a new tool for researching graduate schools that ranks schools by career outcomes in specific industries. With only 10 industries, it’s not super comprehensive, but it’s certainly worth exploring as part of your decision-making process.
Unlike marketing materials or top 10 roundups with suspicious ranking methods, these school lists are based solely on their success in placing their graduates within that field. Not to say this is the only thing you should care about when choosing a graduate school, but it’s definitely pretty important.
4. You Can No Longer Search Endlessly
This last update is a little different from the others in that it limits functionality for users, rather than expanding it. As a way to push users (recruiters in particular) onto a paid plan, LinkedIn now limits how many people searches you can do .
What does this mean for you? Likely nothing, unless you happen to be a really intense LinkedIn user. Just know that the number of searches you’re doing is tracked, and too many will get you shut out for the rest of the month until the internal counter resets.
To stay up to date on LinkedIn changes as they happen, consider following the official blog . Also, hang around here more often, since we’re obsessed with finding new ways for you to best use it. Whether that’s telling you how to increase your page views , getting people to accept your requests , or teaching you how to turn your posts into job opportunities , we’ve got your back.
Photo of woman reading courtesy of Shutterstock .
Lily Zhang serves as a Career Development Specialist at MIT where she works with a range of students from undergraduates to PhDs on how to reach their career aspirations. When she's not indulging in a new book or video game, she's thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. Follow her musings on Twitter @lzhng.More from this Author