However, it’s been such a headline-grabbing period for LinkedIn that I feel many of the aforementioned applications and tools available have been overshadowed. So I’ve decided to put together this list of apps that every student should be using to ensure they get the most from their LinkedIn presence.
I’ve written about Behance before, but to recap it’s essentially, a fantastice-portfolio tool that enables users to showcase examples of work, testimonials and galleries in a visual and interesting way. Behance can now synchronise directly with LinkedIn profiles, so there’s a huge opportunity for students to showcase their work on the number one professional network using the creative industries favourite e-portfolio tool. If you’re thinking of producing an e-portfolio this year, look no further than Behance.
This app lets users quickly convert their LinkedIn profile into an attractive infographic CV. There’s a lot of debate about the value of infographic CVs, I’m of the view (providing it conveys information effectively) they are a great way to standout and engage a potential employer. The only drawback is that Visualize.me takes all the skill out of graphic design, which could work against you if a potential employer is familiar with the app. Whilst, this is an application I recommend students explore, they should also consider the more popular infographic CVs become, the less outstanding they seem.
Here’s my Visualize.me infographic CV.
3. Resume Builder
Resume Builder promises to ‘turn your LinkedIn Profile into a beautiful resume in seconds’. I see this as a great time-saving tool that can really enhance the appearance and feel of your CV in no time at all. There are several attractive and professional looking templates to choose from, and users can easily edit parts of their LinkedIn profile, before turning their resume into a PDF which can be easily shared online or emailed to potential employers.
4. Box.net Files
This app doesn’t do anything special on its own. Indeed it’s just a file management and sharing tool. It’s up to you to be creative, but I can envisage Box.net Files being a very useful way for students to record achievement, share CVs, publish a portfolio and document skills developed. In addition, Box.net Files allows seamless file sharing within LinkedIn, so students can deal directly with a potential employer without leaving LinkedIn.
5. Video (SlideShare)
We all know the value of online video, however a little known option within LinkedIn is the ability to upload a video via SlideShare to your profile. If you have the skill-set what better way for a student to standout and demonstrate supplementary skills than by having a welcome video? Simply upload your video to YouTube, create a SlideShare account and add the app on LinkedIn. Then upload a presentation to SlideShare, insert the YouTube link on the first slide of your presentation and publish it on your LinkedIn profile.
Again, this app will require some prior work, but SlideShare is fantastic for sharing presentations and documents with your LinkedIn network and potential connections. I see this app being valuable to anyone looking to publish a portfolio, resume or any kind of successful presentation or talk that highlights expertise and skills. I’ve mentioned video above, but it’s also possible to embed audio within SlideShare and make your presentations more engaging with sound and commentary.
If you blog, quite simply you should be sharing this on LinkedIn. In fact I would strongly recommend to any PR student or person wanting to break into the industry to start a blog. Not only is it an effective way to document your thoughts on the industry and improve your writing, but it can be a great networking tool and will score highly on search. In my experience, being able to demonstrate a firm grasp of wider industry issues at an interview is a brilliant way to stand out.
Being able to include Tweets on your LinkedIn profile is a relatively new innovation and led many people to discuss how the distinction between their personal and private online worlds are becoming even more blurred. Nonetheless, Twitter has been the darling of the PR industry for the last three years, so it is well worth adding Tweets to your LinkedIn profile. Do remember that employers will check your tweets to try and find out more about you. So it is worth considering what you write.
9. Card Munch
At the turn of the year LinkedIn snapped up CardMunch, a very useful, time-saving business card app. Essentially, users can take a photo of a business card on their Smartphone and the information is then cleverly transcribed and synchronised to contacts on their phone. I see this being useful to students as there is now the option to send the information automatically to LinkedIn and request the person to become a connection, so students need not worry about losing business cards ever again.
This is perhaps one of the most useful apps launched by LinkedIn. Signal allows users to search, filter and browse status updates from their LinkedIn and Twitter streams. It provides a fantastic source of rich information and you can drill down and target updates from associates, colleagues and competitors. I can see this being immensely useful prior to a job interview or when preparing a covering letter to a potential employer.
Are there any apps I’ve missed from this list? What would you like LinkedIn to introduce to improve your user experience?