3 Things You Should Know About LinkedIn

This seems like a simple post. A bit out of date for this blog,whose readers for the most part, know LinkedIn well. Heres the thing, the more LinkedIn profiles I look at, and the more books I read on the topic, the more I see it needs to be said.
LinkedIn is increasingly becoming driven around the internal search engine, and most of the books are giving information that is out of date. Some of the trainers are selling training that doesn’t quite match the way the channel works.
One of the problems with LinkedIn, (and I love the channel), is that they change things in secret. you might get an occasional notification if you dig really deep in to the channel, but mostly it’s a secret.
I’m also not convinced that many of the LinkedIn staff actually use the channel very much. Following some of them on twitter, the advice they give tends to be about the way the channel was 18 months ago, and not the way it operates now. that said, there are some great people who work there, and it is still the number one referrer of readers to this blog.
My 3 tips for being getting recommended either as a connection or for a job when it is posted (and that’s when you really want to come to a recruiters attention if you are jobseeking) are based on how the matching engine works, in order:

1: Location.

Results are weighted to those closest to the search. Advanced searches by job seekers or recruiters are also usually set to the 25 – 50km radius banding. Set your location for where you are recruiting or looking to work, not where you live. If you are working in london and hiring for Moscow, your location needs to be set at Moscow, for now at least.

2: Skills.

The skills section was launched after the 100% complete notification, but if you haven’t completed this section, and many haven’t, then you are really 60% complete. don’t be deceived by the 100% rating, it’s a lie. Use as many skill combinations as you can. Less is not more!

3:Job Title.

Don’t try to be creative here. Search for the titles that are most searched for or advertised in jobs, not what your job title might be. Don’t expect anyone to search for a candidate who is unemployed or in transition. People search for common job titles. If your’s is strange, unusual or funky, you are not going to come up in a search. I know mine says “Conference Disorganiser”, but my profile is set up for something different. If you want to be found, go with the common, whatever it says on your very large business card. When was the last time you searched LinkedIn for a Ninja?

These are 3 simple tips, but I wanted to share them for those who might need them.
Anything else you would add?

4 comments on “3 Things You Should Know About LinkedIn

  1. Maximum number of skills is on a profile is 50. You (should!) can use multiple words – a phrase as a skill. If you want those skills to affect your Google search ranking, put them as high as you can on your profile. If you are only concerned about your ranking within the LinkedIn search facility – the position of your skills does not have any importance.

    • Thanks Ivan,
      You make a good point on the skills words. It’s easy to overlook the google benefits, and few people know that you can reorganise the order of your profile in edit, with drag and drop.

  2. Hi Bill,

    It is a very good point about the skill section – thinking you are 100% when you are not could be a shock to some people.

    Are you aware of any additional weighting (in terms of search ranking in Linkedin) for words that appear in skills compared to text in summary, experience etc?

    ie If someone had Java as a skill would it carry H1, H2 or equivalent weighting in comparison to it being a ‘keyword’ in the text body?

    • Hi Jeremy,
      It is hard to say exactly how the search engine works as LinkedIn like to keep this secret, i can only comment on my tests, based on 100 searches. Skills are ranked above keywords in text, my guess is that this is LinkedIn’s way of standardising profiles for more consistent results. I could be wrong of course, but the tests look that way.

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