Do you think the changes to your new profile are simply cosmetic? Wrong!

Female Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident

Do you think LinkedIn had your personal best interest in mind when they revised how your profile looks or works? Sorry. Think again.

Simply stated, LinkedIn hurt the effectiveness of your profile.

I apologize for being the bearer of this bad news, but I do have some good news. Within 15-20 minutes, you can take these five simple steps to update your new profile so it works just as well as the old one—maybe even better.

Five steps to dramatically improve your new LinkedIn profile

Your profile photo is no longer a large square that is placed way over to the left. It's now a smaller circle (so you may need to crop your photo differently), and it's almost centered on the page. This means your photo is catching more people's attention.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 2.12.19 PMThis recent article from LinkedIn will help you make the necessary changes: "LinkedIn Profile Photo Tips: Introducing Photo Filters and Editing."

Your Headline is also almost centered and is one of the few sections of your profile that isn't collapsed—which means it has increased importance. This may be the perfect time to revise what I consider to be the most important 120 characters on your profile for search ranking and clarity.

For help with your Headline, download my free, three-page worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Headline. Be warned that I haven't had time yet to revise the graphics for this worksheet to reflect LinkedIn's new look, but the strategies are still spot on.

Your Intro, a brand new term on LinkedIn (the first approximately 200 characters of Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 2.14.06 PMyour Summary), needs to give the reader your most important information and work in tandem with your 120-character Headline above.

I am partial to including whatever contact information you feel comfortable sharing in your Summary. After that, make the spaces count, because very few people are going to click See more if they haven't found your profile relevant or interesting up to this point. In the past your complete Summary was displayed, but now it's collapsed until the reader clicks See more.

Your first Experience entry is now the only experience entry on your profile that is not collapsed. This means it better be really good because it may be the only one anyone reads.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 2.17.42 PMTo improve the Experience entries on your profile, check out Does the LinkedIn Experience Section of Your Profile Impress Anyone?

Again, be warned that the screen shots represent the old profile format.

Your subsequent Experience entries are now collapsed and may no longer be read as frequently as they were with the old profile layout. The critical strategy here is to use all 100 characters of the Experience Title fields to not only display your job title but to also highlight specific skills you used in that job.

The cleanest way to do this is to follow up your title with something like this: (Specializing in ______, ______, ______). Repeat this process for all titles in your Experience section.

In addition to clarity, a further benefit is that the LinkedIn search ranking algorithm gives extra weighting to words included in the Experience Title fields.

It's important to get these profile changes done soon, because you never know how soon the right people will start checking you out.

I want to thank my recent one-on-one LinkedIn consulting client John Schneider for allowing me to showcase some of his updated profile sections.

In the next few weeks I am offering a limited number of one-hour individual LinkedIn consulting sessions for just $175. This is 50% off my regular hourly consulting rate.

Let me help you enhance your profile and develop a winning LinkedIn strategy.

Our one-hour session will be via phone and screen share. Prior to our session, I will analyze your profile and email to you a marked up copy of it. Click here to schedule your session.

Here is the recommendation I received from John after our time together:

"I decided to engage his consulting services to review and make recommendations for my LinkedIn profile and for how I use LinkedIn. Wayne is very generous with the information he shares and provided me with several excellent insights. I immediately started using his recommendations, and I look forward to seeing the results in the upcoming weeks."

I look forward to helping you upgrade your profile and use LinkedIn to exceed your 2017 goals.