UPDATE: LinkedIn has discontinued all apps, meaning none of these work.
LinkedIn, the most widely-used social recruitment site, provides a directory of applications available for users to add to their profiles. Applications cover a variety of subjects – from creative portfolios, to travel, to blogs – and today I will be testing and studying the blogging and presentation applications, seeing what works best for me.
When adding an application, the user is given two options – to display it on their profile, or to display it on a console on their LinkedIn homepage. By adding an application to their profile, a user can highly increase their chances of catching the eye of a future recruiter.
There are two main blogging applications available for LinkedIn profiles- Blog Link and WordPress – and together, they support all types of blogs.
The WordPress application syncs a WordPress blog’s posts with a LinkedIn profile – which may be handy for a professional blog, or someone who documents their working life in a more casual manner.
When you add the WordPress application, you are asked for your WordPress URL and to choose one of two options – to show all blog posts, or those with a special tag.
The special feature they offer – simply use a special “LinkedIn tag” on certain posts – allows for only certain posts to be shown on the LinkedIn profile. Updates are automatic to allow for instant comments and likes and the window is simple, with posts portrayed in an eye catching fashion.
The Blog Link application, powered by Type Pad and created by Six Apart, does exactly the same for non-Wordpress blogs AND WordPress blogs but does not offer the special filter. It gives the user a portal to read all their own blog posts (which can also be added to their profile) and those of their contacts.
Of course, this application supports all blog types, so is more useful to LinkedIn users, however the WordPress special feature tag is extremely useful, and can help the user portray their blog in the way they want it to be seen. However, with almost 55 million WordPress sites worldwide, it may be more professional to use the WordPress application and integrate with a well-built blog.
For presenting documents on a LinkedIn profile, there are two options – Google Presentations and Slideshare – which are both very similar, but aim for different user sets. There is also the Behance Creative Portfolio Display application for the more creative LinkedIn user.
Google Presentations is described as a “professional way to introduce yourself and your work”, with the ability for a user to display a recent talk or presentation, a visual portfolio of their “professional accomplishments” or can be used as a profile ‘introduction’ to recruiters and professional contacts.
The application accepts Powerpoint files or presentations can be created using Google’s free online software. Presentations cannot be edited by other users – it is a simple way to show the rest of LinkedIn what you create.
SlideShare Presentations is extremely similar, and, again, is more of a presentation app than a sharing or collaborative app. You must have a SlideShare account to use this app, however, which can be a nuisance if you only want to upload one presentation, for example.
Unlike the Google software integration, you can only upload presentations onto SlideShare and not create through additional software. Therefore, it seems that Google Presentations is the better application for presenting yourself on LinkedIn.
There are features – such as the no-need for an account (however most people own a Google account to integrate with YouTube etc) and the ability to create presentations using built in software – that SlideShare lacks and maybe knocks it down. It could also be seen that Google Presentations is a more ‘professional’ version of SlideShare – due to it’s slick and simple colour scheme and design, and easy to use system.
Behance Creative Portfolio Display
Finally, LinkedIn offer the Behance Creative Portfolio Display application for creative people who want to show off their work. Powered by portfolio website Behance, the app is free, “easy to manage” and supports an unlimited amount of multimedia content, with an optional filter to only display certain projects, if necessary.
Alongside the ‘Project Manager’ section – the app offers a gallery showcasing a wide variety of projects from other users. A very useful app if you are working in photography or an artistic/creative field.
After experimenting with all these applications on my own LinkedIn profile, I found that the WordPress application, and the Google Presentations app were the best from their respective categories, with my favourite being the WordPress application. It is easy to use, updates automatically, and can hold text, photo, video and more – whereas the Google app needs updating manually.
What do you think is the best LinkedIn application? Have you tried any of these out and what were your results?