linkedIn

Tools of the Trade: LinkedIn Apps… all of them. Which ones you need?

We often talk to our clients about which mobile apps they might need to make their professional lives easier. In fact, I wrote a post about it back in December. But in the tech world, things change really fast. When I wrote that post, there were really only four LinkedIn apps and I recommended three of them (even though I’m a hypocrite who only used one of them). Now there are ten!

All of this can be really confusing or at least overwhelming so take a few minutes and read the rest of this to understand what they all are and how you ought to be using them (or ignoring them). Then head over to the LinkedIn Apps web page to get the ones you need.

You really should have the LinkedIn Mobile App. In fact, you probably already do. The LinkedIn Mobile App is mostly the LinkedIn experience that you’re used to on your computer, minus a few features (that are now other apps). It easily gets you to your main timeline, invitation and connection notifications, messages, alerts and other notifications, and a place to make on-the-fly edits to your own profile. Outside of that, the LinkedIn Mobile app is going to push you into using one of its other apps.

Like LinkedIn Job Search. With LinkedIn Job Search you can search for jobs, see who you know, and apply in one click. There’s not much to say here except that this app is reflective of the “Jobs” tab on the website and if you are looking for a job, you really should consider this app.

And then there’s the LinkedIn Pulse app, a daily source for news about the professional world. By leveraging LinkedIn’s unique member insights, the LinkedIn Pulse app is personalized – based on who you are, your career, and your interests. You can see what your network and peers are reading, read the top news in your industry, and get notified when your connections make the news or write about their experiences. As someone who reads a lot of trade news, this app has really become a huge part of my information consumption cycle.

LinkedIn Groups gives you have access to like-minded professionals so you can learn from their experience. “It’s like having coffee with the leading experts in your industry”. Join private communities, enjoy meaningful conversations, and get ideas from experts. Post comments, questions, or photos to add to any discussion. This is actually a pretty good app if you have learned to harness the power of groups on LinkedIn.

There are three more apps that are interesting and might be useful to you but I don’t necessarily recommend them because they are either too niche or because a computer browser experience is better. They might be helpful if you find yourself on-the-go a lot.

LinkedIn Lookup lets you find, learn about, and contact anyone at your company, even if you’re not connected to them on LinkedIn. Search for a coworker by title, skill, name, expertise and learn about them by checking out their up-to-date, streamlined profile. This app is really only helpful if you work at a larger company and is basically useless if you are currently unemployed.

Back in April of 2015, LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com (and yes, that’s the name of the app as well), one of the web’s most recognized spaces for skills training and tutorials. It didn’t take long for LinkedIn to wrap it up in an app. Lynda.com makes it easy to learn skills on-demand with unlimited access to expert led courses in a subscription library. Lynda.com is really amazing but if you are not familiar with it, stick the website for now.

LinkedIn SlideShare lets you explore over 15 million presentations, videos and infographics in on your mobile device. No time to read now? Save favorites to read later – even offline. I like LinkedIn Slideshare but I use it so infrequently, it’s easier to just use the website.

Of the ten apps, these last three are “Premium” apps that require premium or other specific LinkedIn accounts. I’m going to just run through these quickly as they don’t really matter to most of us. As a matter of fact, feel free to skip the next paragraph unless you’re curious.

LinkedIn Recruiter helps you find and respond to talent on the go. You can search and review profiles of potential hires and respond quickly to candidates. LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps you find and engage the right prospects, wherever you work. You can find leads and accounts in your target market, connect or send messages, and get real-time updates. LinkedIn Elevate is actually kind of interesting. It helps you build your reputation by sharing smart content. Discover interesting articles from key people at your company. Share what you think is important – then measure your impact. LinkedIn Elevate is only available to employees at participating companies so if you should be using it, you probably already are

In less than a year, LinkedIn has more than doubled its app collection but you should just focus on a few. Most are unnecessary, would make more work for you, or would overwhelm you but there’s no arguing that LinkedIn is a critical part of how we network and develop ourselves professionally. In this case however, less is more.

Now, head over to the LinkedIn Apps web page.