LinkedIn adds profile section for pronouns, among other new features

It's a big update day for LinkedIn, with features like Creator mode and “cover stories” extending profile personalization.

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Though not quite as popular (or incendiary) as other social networks, LinkedIn is still very much growing and evolving. Today the company platform is adding a number of notable new features, including the ability to add pronouns to your profile, a “Creator” mode for influencers, and a “cover video” tool for adding an introductory video to your LinkedIn page.

The new features are kind of all over the place. In announcing them, LinkedIn strung them together with an overall narrative of allowing users to tell the stories of their “professional journey” through the expanded features.

Each of the new features serves a distinct and separate purpose, though. The addition of a dedicated place for pronouns in your LinkedIn profile is perhaps the new feature with the most real-world impact, as it further normalizes the use of them in hiring processes. LinkedIn says a site-wide survey showed that 70 percent of job seekers believe it’s important to recruiters and hiring managers to know their pronouns, while 72 percent of hiring managers agree and believe it shows respect.

Coming for the influencers — Social media influencers love Instagram and Twitter and TikTok. They even sometimes love Snapchat and Facebook. They do not love LinkedIn, though. This is understandable given it tends to attract business-focused users looking to further their careers, rather than mainstream influencers. But now the company is setting its sights on that elusive customer base with something called Creator mode.

Anyone can be a LinkedIn Creator — just opt-in on your profile. The main feature of Creator mode seems to be that the classic LinkedIn “Connect” button becomes a blue “Follow” button instead, allowing you to rack up an audience without them necessarily being business connections. You can also add hashtags to your Creator profile to indicate the topics you’re most interested in.

It’s not all that major, as far as influencer tools are concerned, though LinkedIn also says it will highlight posts from Creators and will recommend that other users follow them.

Introducing: yourself — The platform is also adding a feature called “cover stories.” This is — unfortunately enough — an extension of LinkedIn’s existing Stories system. Rather than disappearing after 24 hours, though, these Stories stay pinned to your profile.

LinkedIn says these videos will be useful in providing a quick introduction to potential business associates and employers. It’s a way of infusing more of your IRL personality into your LinkedIn profile.

And some learning material — LinkedIn’s last announcement for the day is the extension of its professional training programs. These were launched last June with Microsoft (which owns LinkedIn) to offer free training in 10 different areas — a program that’s now reached more than 30 million people, LinkedIn says. It’s now been extended until the end of 2021.

Oh and one more thing: Microsoft and LinkedIn are also linking up on a new application called Career Coach. It runs on Microsoft’s Teams platform and uses artificial intelligence to provide personalized career path recommendations to job seekers. It’s marketed mostly at younger people, especially those at colleges and universities. Will people use it? We’ll have to wait and see.