Personalized LinkedIn profiles… and I don’t mean wallpaper!

A few weeks ago, LinkedIn announced a new profile format for students. I love this idea because it recognizes that the so-called “standard” format, the resume-like list of employers organized by date, doesn’t work for everyone. It didn’t work for students, because they need to put education front and center, and with a small tweak LinkedIn made their profiles much better.

It seems like such a good idea, why not take it farther? There are other professionals who don’t fully benefit from a standard, resume-driven LinkedIn profile where Summary, Experience, Education and Skills are the only sections. Here are just a few:

Academics. They’re all about publishing and research (and vice versa) and less about various positions. After all, after tenure, don’t they usually spend years at the same institute? Research can be built like the positions, with dates and headers, but in a different section. Publications truly need a different section, one where books, chapters and journal articles all have their own space.

Designers. Sure, they can put a link to a blog or portfolio on another site, for images of their work but wouldn’t it be nice to give them the ability to put a spotlight on a few select pieces?  Their professional experience is almost visual in its entirety and that should be reflected in their profile.

Architects. As a sub-segment of designers, they, too, would benefit from visual representation. But architects also have another problem with LinkedIn’s current sequential format. Many times they work on several projects at once and complete projects not in the same order that they were started.

Lawyers. Yes, they work at various firms, sequentially, but there’s also significance to specific high-profile or precedence-setting cases they were responsible for.

I’m sure there are other professions that could benefit from a few additions and re-sequencing of their LinkedIn profile. Any other ideas?

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