More changes on LinkedIn – Pay to Play

by | Jan 18, 2017

How to approach new changes on LinkedIn

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[Tweet "LinkedIn has for the longest time been the go-to platform for career professionals."] Whether you are an active job seeker, an entrepreneur looking for commercial opportunities or a corporate executive wanting to cement their personal brand, LinkedIn was the space to be. I have always encouraged candidates and job seekers alike to make sure that they have at the very most, a complete online profile.  There are now new changes on LinkedIn, with more to come, so what does this mean for your profile?

Read: LinkedIn – Should I connect with people I don’t know?

Gradual shift

changes on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become less professional and more social

Over the past year we have seen a number of changes on LinkedIn where it has assumed a more general rather than professional focus. It is now not unusual to see postings more commonly associated with Facebook. Photos, quizzes and non-professional subjects, usually prefixed with the line “ I know this is a professional platform but…..”   My views on this are already published. I am seeing an overall drop in engagement at least in my network, whereas Facebook seems to becoming increasingly professional. LinkedIn Pulse posts from non-influencers which used to get traction of thousands, now barely hit three figures. Katrina Collier, global social recruiting trainer, suggests that even sharing LinkedIn updates is becoming a waste of time. The stream of soft porn images and fake profiles were also getting LinkedIn into trouble.

 I truthfully preferred the old-style, straight professional version.
Now that it has been taken over by Microsoft, we are seeing further changes on LinkedIn. The aim is apparently for simplification. My dashboard changed overnight without any warning and this will come to all users over time I suspect.  On my profile, my language setting defaulted to Dutch, a language I don’t speak, and it still drifts back from time to time, despite English being the saved langauge. I’m still playing around with the functionality and finding out only by chance what is missing. There seem to be no tutorials in the Help section and it’s only by some intuitive learning did I get some sense of the changes.  Support is available via Linkedin Help – but this can take a couple of days, with no chat facility which is increasingly found on other platforms.

Easier?

It's supposed to be easier but it's just fustrating

It's supposed to be easier but it's just frustrating

Some changes have supposedly been made for easier navigation and others seem to have been made for no obvious reason at all.  The official LinkedIn statement is that they want to enhance user experience. The commercial reality is that many of the features are being blocked for fee paying members to monetize the business. Clearly LinkedIn is a corporate enterprise and wants to enhance its bottom line. I get that. Now having seduced members in with free accounts over a decade and half to create the biggest global professional data base, it is going to generate revenue by placing limitations on access to the certain types of information.  [Tweet "We are going to have to pay to play."]

Dependent on our needs and goals we will all have to decide how much we are willing to budget for that expense. Much will depend on results. I dropped my Premium membership last year because I was frustrated by the poor level of data base management by LinkedIn with soft porno content and images and the high level of fake profiles frequently coming into my stream.
Job seekers will need to decide if the connectivity they get through a paid membership offsets the anonymity of free membership, when high visibility is paramount in job search. Entrepreneurs and recruiters will have to make separate decisions about the data they want access to and how well that additional cost fits into their business model with the added value they want to receive.

Read: LinkedIn changes and why I don’t like them

Major recent changes on LinkedIn

The profile menu at the top of the upper dashboard toward the left of the old-style page has been dropped. To edit your profile or even view it you now have to scroll to your own picture which for me is in the top left of my page on my English language version. If I scale it down to 75%, I get the whole dashboard in which case it is also on the right! When my dashboard is in Dutch I get all the functions. Go figure! This is my own little idiosyncrasy I suspect.*

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To view a contact’s full profile you will find that each section has been concertina’d requiring further clicks on expand, including the summary which is an additional step. Contact details are on the right of their profile.
The search function has been overhauled and in my view is less efficient than before. The previous general search function on the upper dashboard gave a drop-down search options for All, People, Jobs, Companies, Groups, Universities, Posts and Inbox.  That has now gone. Missing too in the re-looked version is the "Advanced" search option, followed by a simple choice of fields and filters to track the required information whether groups, people or companies. The “universities” search function is also more limited. InMail is restricted for Premium Subscriptions, but reports on opening rates question its usefulness.
LinkedIn Trainer and guru, Wayne Breithbarth is advising people to protect themselves and their data from further upcoming changes from LinkedIn.  This includes exporting your data in a zip file to your PC and saving your profile as a PDF.
Online networks are valuable currency and take time to build up. You've invested heavily, so don’t let all your work go to waste.
 *Since publishing this post my English language profile now scales into the whole screen as it should 

Do you want to find top female talent in 2017? Contact 3Plus

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she joins the dots between organisations, individuals, opportunity and success.
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