Since the summer, the way that LinkedIn has been ‘doing’ profiles has changed significantly; firstly we had the introduction of Skills, and then of endorsements; we’ve had the option to add extra sections to our profiles for a while now, including publications, courses, qualifications etc … However, the biggest change has been in the demise of the LinkedIn Application, which happened just last month.
Until, December users were able to expand on their profiles and LinkedIn experience with a series of ‘plugin’s from third party providers such as Slideshare, WordPress and Tripit. These have now been completely removed and we are given instead a variety of alternative options for just some of the applications. Others didn’t make the cut and have been removed altogether, such as Blog Link.
Now, if you have a WordPress blog the best you can do is use publicize feature in WordPress.com or a third party social media management tool to send your blog posts as a status update. The same with trip-it. This will be a blow to many, but all is not lost as they have replaced the old 3rd party plugins with what is called Rich Media.
You can now add a wide variety of Rich Media content to your profile in the Summary, Education and Experience sections. To use this feature, your content must be loaded in an external service; this could be your own website, or it could be in a network such as Slideshare, Behance (for portfolios) or YouTube. The sort of media that can be added is documents, images, presentations (PowerPoint style) and videos.
Every time you add one of these documents to your profile it is added to your Professional Gallery. This is a pop-up section of your profile that shows the current selection in the main window, with a sliding gallery of other media you’ve added below it, viewers can scroll through selecting items of interest as they go. The interesting thing about the professional gallery is that it loads all your Rich Media in just one place, giving viewers the chance to scroll through until they find something of interest. They may click on a particular Slideshare presentation, but they’ll be able to see all you added.
You might be wondering why you would want to add Rich Media items to your profile; in a word it’s about expertise. Nothing says ‘expert’ or ‘professional’ like a well crafted presentation, a perfectly written document or demonstrates understanding like an explanatory video.
The only thing you need to bear in mind before getting started is whether you have the right to load the content. Just because you created a presentation when you worked at XYZ Company, does not mean you own copyright and are allowed to show it on your profile.
If you have a bunch of presentations or videos you would like to share already then the best thing to do is get started. You can add Rich Media by visiting your Profile page in Edit mode, scrolling to the section (either Summary, Experience or Education) you would like to add your media too, and then clicking the square plus box icon you can find next to the title, or section, you are updating. Add the full web address for the content you have created and press the return key, your media is now added to that section, as well as to your Professional Gallery.