LinkedIn recently announced that premium users can now create personalized backgrounds for their profiles.
Vanessa Wong, Associate Editor for Bloomberg Businessweek explains in her article, “LinkedIn to Let Users Bedazzle their Profile Pages,” that potential employers will likely be unimpressed with snazzy backgrounds, so it’s best to keep them simple and to the point. She emphasizes that work experience should be the highlight in users’ profiles, not the background. Focus must remain on the content of an account, rather than distracting personalized backgrounds.
LinkedIn is hopeful the change will stimulate more user engagement on the site. Social media sites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter are becoming more competitive as they add job searching and business networking features. LinkedIn believes personalization is the key to keeping users invested. Wong explains, “Get a user to spend time making his profile just so, and he’s more likely to come back again—and again.”
Read more about personalized backgrounds on LinkedIn in an excerpt from Wong’s the article.
Before you start stressing out about hunting down the perfect uniquely-personal-but-still-professional-enough photo, consider that recruiters might not really care too much. Those in creative industries might value candidates with a little more flair, but “more recruiters are concerned with your background and professional experience,” says Derek McKechnie, managing partner at recruiting firm Lucas Group. If you really want to declare your love of wine—or your dog, or live-action role playing—just include it as a bullet in your interests section, he adds. It shouldn’t be the first thing a recruiter learns about you through a splashy background banner.
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