How to Get on LinkedIn’s Nice List

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Networking.  

Networking?  While we are all created equally, our LinkedIn profiles are most certainly not.  And you can’t exactly blame LinkedIn, considering there’s a whopping 500 million (and counting) registered users.  It’s no wonder they’ve developed sophisticated algorithms to make sense out of the billions of data points that are swirling around inside the platform.

So what do these algorithms do?  How do they affect me and you?

They do some pretty incredible stuff, but for the sake of this post, what you need to know is that they mimic something of a reward system.  Of course, they don’t call it that but you and me both know that not everyone gets a trophy. So what am I talking about? Have you ever signed in and noticed a little pop-up that said something like: “Complete your profile now, it’s only 60% done!” Have you ever wondered what that actually means and why they keep reminding you to finish it?  They aren’t spending gazillions of dollars on building functions just so you cross to-do’s off your list. Sorry to break it to you.

Your “completed” profile, means you get to pass Go and collect $200 (well, maybe not the $200 part) but basically, it means you play nicely in the sandbox, and now LinkedIn will reward you, by boosting your profile closer to the top of the proverbial pile (remember that 500 million) when someone important is looking for a rockstar (like you).

So, you ask, how do you make sure you’re getting rewarded, instead of penalized? Good question! Lucky for you, there are some very easy things you can do about it:

      • Complete your profile. 
        It’s like when your kid (because I know you would never play video games) progresses into the next level in Minecraft or Fortnite. You’ve now just unlocked yourself to a whole new level of people and possibilities.
      • Get recommendations.  
        I’m not talking about endorsements, those are a dime a dozen. Recommendations (specifically 3 or more) are thought to be one of the hidden algorithmic powers to unlock your profile to the watching world.  
      • Make your thumbnail count.  
        No one will click through your profile unless the thumbnail catches their eye.  You could have the most awesome profile on LinkedIn, but it won’t matter if your thumbnail doesn’t sell you – because no one will ever see it.  Think about it like the first page of a book, or the opening line of an article (like this one, for example). If it doesn’t hook you, you probably won’t keep reading.  So make it count, use rich descriptors that accurately describe what you do and offer, in language that would immediately resonate with your target audience.

We hope these simple steps help you use LinkedIn’s algorithm to your advantage.