NEWS FLASH—LinkedIn has messed with your profile (or will soon). Yes, that's three times in three years. And although they may look minor, the changes should encourage you to revisit some of your current strategies for the affected areas.

In summary, all the changes have taken place above the fold (or very close to the fold), which is good news and bad news. The good news is that not much profile real estate has been affected, but the bad news is that it's the part people see when they first land on your profile and begin scrolling through it, and thus it's extremely important.

So, let me address the changes and what actions you should take so your new profile is in prime condition for viewing by your target audience.

Be sure your Headline gives the reader a snapshot of who you are and what you do. 

What used to be your Summary section has been renamed the About section, and it's now below the fold. Therefore, the only real content readers get before scrolling is your Headline. If they don't see what they're looking for or aren't impressed by what they see, they may move on to someone else's profile and never see the impressive details in your About section.

Action step: If your Headline doesn't clearly convey who you are and how you can help people, it's time to make some changes. There are lots of differing opinions on how this should be formatted, but there is complete agreement that the current search ranking algorithm gives priority to the keywords in this section.

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

Be sure your Contact info section has your best and most current information.

Because LinkedIn has moved this section to the left side of your top box, where other important information is displayed, more people will be inclined to open it and check out what's in there.

Many times the information in this section (websites, email address, phone number, etc.) entices viewers to take action and visit your website or give you a call.

Action step: Review all the information in this section to make sure it is current. Take advantage of all three website entries. Be sure you've customized your Linkedin URL. I cover this information in great detail in my recently updated book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success.

Make sure your profile and background photos are sending the right marketing message.

First impressions are extremely important, and some of the first things viewers see are your profile photo and background photo (if you have one). Thus, it's important to be sure these images are helping you rather than hurting you. These images have taken on even greater importance now that the About section is below the fold.

Action step: Make sure your profile photo is current and reflects how you look when you're in your professional space. Don't miss the opportunity to build a background graphic that's more than just a big photo. Treat it like an informational billboard that lets your target audience understand how you can help them. Personally, I've even chosen to include my contact information so people can quickly and easily reach out to me. Many people use a simple tool called Canva to build a productive background photo.

Update the content in your About section so your viewers easily get what they need.

Even though the About section is now typically below the fold, it's still the first large section of detailed information about you that viewers will see. Originally viewers could see your complete Summary section without having to click See more. Now only the first 200-300 characters are visible until you click See more. So it's important to use those characters to entice viewers to open the rest of this section and/or scroll down to look at the other sections of your profile.

You can also choose to add media to this section, and visitors don't have to click See more to see the media. Way too many people fail to take advantage of this opportunity. Don't be one of them!

Action step: It's called the "About" section, so include great information about yourself. Put your best stuff in the first 200-300 characters, but take full advantage of the 2,000 characters LinkedIn allows.

Test a few different options, because I've found that the character limit seems to be inconsistent, and sentence breaks and spacing can have a big impact on how it shows up.

If you're hoping to use LinkedIn as a gateway to your website or to encourage people to call or email you, you may want to place that contact info near the beginning of this section.

And here's one more reason to put your best stuff at the beginning: On the mobile app, only about 140 characters of your About section are initially visible.

Add your two best pieces of media to this section. These can either be files (white papers, customer testimonials, etc.) or links to web pages. For more details on this strategy, check out my article Here's How to Give Your LinkedIn Profile that WOW Factor.

If you have educational chops, make sure you're showing it.

The name of your university or school can display in your top box just below your current job entry. However, during this changeover the entry has been dropped on many people's profiles. If you think the school you attended adds to your credibility on LinkedIn, make sure it shows up in your top box.

Action step: In the edit section of your top box, check the box titled Show education in my intro.

Also, make sure your most impressive educational institution shows up first, because that's the one that's displayed in your top box. You can rearrange your educational entries by holding and dragging the Rearrange icon on the entry you want to move.

There you have it—the complete roadmap to getting your 2019 LinkedIn profile ready for viewers who may just turn into your next client, employer, referral source, or best friend.

If you would like personal help with your profile and overall LinkedIn strategy, check out my one-on-one LinkedIn consultation service, which includes a one-hour virtual consultation and a complete profile critique for just $197. Click here to get the details and book your session.