I remember the first time I heard about LinkedIn. It was two years ago. I was in Paris visiting my rather ambitious and very well connected friend from college.
As a highly motivated and incredibly financially savvy college graduate, I had no doubts that my friend was on the fast track to professional success. Yet, this was also the same kid that had next to little experience and couldn’t tie his shoelaces and speak French at the same time. And here he was—working at one of the biggest financial firms in Europe. I had to ask.
“How’d you score this job?”
A shy smile formed, and between bites of a baguette I managed to make out the words “linked in.”
LinkedIn has come a long way since its debut in May 2003 when it started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman with a modest 4,500 members. Today it boasts the largest professional network with 175 million plus members in more than 200 countries. In spite of its great success and networking potential, I will admit that when I joined as a late adopter in mid 2010, I wasn’t too impressed by the overall design and functionality of the network.
I felt it lacked the aesthetic appeal that so many other social networking sites had, and navigating the site was equally as disappointing. I especially felt this way about the company pages. As an eager and job-searching college senior, you best believe I was scoping out all potential employment opportunities; but I couldn’t help feel that the site looked like it hadn’t had a makeover since its launch in 2003. Maybe it hadn’t?
And maybe I’m being a little harsh, after all LinkedIn means business. However, LinkedIn is changing, especially for companies. The recently announced changes for LinkedIn company pages are complete with bigger images for branding, easier page navigation (my biggest qualm beforehand), a more centralized updating stream of news, jobs, and info, and a crucial mobile friendly layout!
Company updates will be placed front and center, which enables users to like, share, or comment quicker; in turn, making it much easier for LinkedIn users to find and follow companies whether it be on their phone, tablet, or computer. This redesign is huge, not only for companies that want to showcase their services, career opportunities, and products, but for the members who want to engage with these companies.
While LinkedIn may never be the top social networking site for visually stimulating content and design, it will look and feel a whole lot less antiquated with all the new design has to offer. As a user all you’ve got to do is sit back and enjoy, and of course keep that personal profile looking spectacular. And as a company if you haven’t boarded the LinkedIn train, now is your big chance.