How many of you are using LinkedIn (LNKD) from your smartphone or tablet rather than a laptop or (gasp) desktop computer? According to LinkedIn, 43 percent of users are updating their profiles, reaching out to new contacts and generally getting better connected while they're on the go.
"We get it. It can be hard to search for a job while you're at your desk, not to mention the potentially awkward conversation with your current boss if he sees you," says Krista Canfield, spokesperson for LinkedIn. That's why with all the company's apps you don't have to wait until the weekend or after-hours to job-search or network.
And now the newly updated LinkedIn Profile on Mobile app, which launched Tuesday, allows you to update your profile and view others' more easily on mobile devices.
Recently, CBS MoneyWatch talked with Krista Canfield, LinkedIn's spokesperson, to get her best tips for using LinkedIn and what's coming next for the company.
CBS MoneyWatch: Why is the new app revamp so important?
Krista Canfield: The new LinkedIn Profile on mobile app helps you put your best self forward and tell your story. It provides you with insights about other professionals when you need them the most, like when you're about to walk into an impromptu meeting with someone you've never met.
MW: What's the biggest misconception people have of LinkedIn?
KC: That LinkedIn profiles are just digital resumes. They're really evolving into full-fledged portfolios. When you add not just descriptions but examples of your work to your profile, it will help you gain exposure to opportunities that are most relevant to you.
MW: If you haven't been on LinkedIn in six months, what should you do today?
KC: Make sure your own profile is up to snuff and see how it's performing by checking out the Who's Viewed Your Profile section. If you haven't updated your profile photo in awhile, do that. Make sure that all of your work history is accurately represented on your profile since people search for other professionals by years of experience.
MW: And what if you have just 15 minutes a week to maintain your activity?
KC: Download LinkedIn's new Connected app and let the app take the work out of networking for you. Spend at least five minutes using it to see what's happening in your network and reach out to people when you see opportunities appear you want to act on. This will help you keep your network active and warm, so it's ready when you need it.
Pop onto the desktop version of LinkedIn and spend five minutes following companies (competitors, potential clients, current clients or the dream companies that you'd like to work) and look up LinkedIn Influencers you might want to follow.
Spend at least five minutes on the desktop version of LinkedIn doing AdvancedPeople Searches for potential clients, potential mentors that you might want to reach out to or hiring managers and recruiters at companies that you'd like to build relationships with.
MW: How do you job-search without alerting your boss?
KC: Get familiar with the settings on your profile. For instance, you can do things like hide activity updates from your network. Keep in mind that if you use LinkedIn's new Job Search app, we keep everything you do within that app private by not sharing your activity with your network.
MW: What's the biggest mistake you see people making on LinkedIn?
KC: The biggest mistake is not investing in your profile, and your network, on an ongoing basis rather than trying to get your house in order the moment you need something (whether it be an introduction to a potential client or a job).
MW: What's on the horizon for LinkedIn?
KC: We will invest more in anticipatory computing. When you sync your contacts and calendars with our Connected app, you can turn on highly relevant and timely push notifications for pre-meeting intelligence and reminders right before meetings.
Mobile also allows us to better understand your context because we carry our phones everywhere we go, and they're connected to the Internet and have lots of sensors. More and more apps should just infer what you need next.