In early June, one of the most profitable and successful online social networks announced that it was time for a visual change. Borrowing a page from Facebook and Twitter, the leading social media platform for business professionals has changed the layout of its premium profile pages, which now feature an attractive, image-centric design.
A corporate blog announcement from LinkedIn explains that the new layout reflects the efforts constantly made by individual members who strive to make their profiles stand out. Personal branding is what fuels the LinkedIn experience, and this is precisely what the new profile layout addresses. At this time, this new look is only available to members who subscribe to the LinkedIn Premium service, but the company also announced a more affordable tier that starts at $9.99 per month.
Over the last few years, the Internet has become a very visual digital platform. Images rule the online world, and many tech analysts believe that video will take eventually take their place. For the time being, however, online images are living up the adage of being worth a thousand words.
The main element in the LinkedIn makeover is the visual enhancement of member profiles. The profile photo is now larger and is displayed in the foreground. The background picture is similar to the cover image seen in Facebook Timelines. The current gallery of pictures that can be selected as LinkedIn background images are attractive and inspiring. One of the images depicts is an artistic and colorful photograph of a street scene.
In the near future, LinkedIn members will be able to select a custom image for their background; in fact, the company’s recent blog post invites members to become beta testers of this feature.
With regard to the profile photograph, some LinkedIn members in the United States and other regions where pictures are not traditionally attached to resumes may not be too excited about this feature. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that LinkedIn is not only a digital repository of electronic curriculum vitae and resume documents. Professional networking is the lifeblood of LinkedIn; to this effect, a nice headshot is essential. This does not mean selfies or scans from a driver’s license, either: LinkedIn profile photos deserve a visit to a well-lit photography studio.
Aside from the background and profile pictures, the new profile layout is certainly easier on the eyes thanks to its sensible font selection and use of spacing. This is good news for recruiters, headhunters and others in the staffing industry whose job entails looking at hundreds of profiles each week.
The new profile features responsive design that adapts to various screen sizes and looks great on desktop monitors as well as on smartphones and tablets. Since the new look is more visually pleasant, LinkedIn members looking for a job should consider the new, lower subscription fee as a job search tool Recruiters and potential employers will certainly be attracted to profiles that feature the new design.
The new LinkedIn profiles are not only prettier; they are also more useful. As premium members are completing their profiles, menu windows pop-up with recommendations from LinkedIn that address keyword trends. These suggestions help profiles stand out and become more visible when recruiters and human resources departments are searching for job candidates.
Premium members will also be more prominently featured in search result listings, and they can see basic analytic reports such as who has viewed their profiles, how they rank among similar profiles, and how they are connected to those who visit their profiles.