Optimize Your LinkedIn Ranking

By Jennifer Hay
Here are some easy ways that you can use to increase your search results.

1) Select ‘Sort by Keyword’ when you check your results for a specific word or phrase. This will give you the clearest picture of how you rank for those keywords without the algorithm considering your connections, groups, and relationships with others.

2) Select one or two words or phrases that best describe you. In my experience, one of the phrases should be some variation of your job title or job role. As you expect in my case, I rank fairly high for ‘IT Resume Writer’ and ‘Technical Resume Writer’.

According to LinkedIn,

“More keywords aren’t always better. Our advice would be to only include the keywords (including repeated keywords) in your Profile that best reflect your expertise and experience. If you integrate an extended list of keywords into your Profile, you are likely showing up in a high number of searches. The question you need to ask yourself, however, is whether members consider your Profile relevant to their search. If not, their behavior as a collective group may be influencing the algorithm used to rank you in search results.”

3) Overloading your profile might get you to the top of the results but you’ll risk aggrevating the reader. I found this example of an IT professional who used his specialties section to increase his search results.


VP IT, Vice President IT, VP Information Technology, Vice President IS, VP Information Systems, IT Director, Information Technology Director, Director of IT, Director of Information Technology, IS Director, Information Systems Director, Director of IS, Director of Information Systems, IT/IS Director, Director of IT/IS, IS/IT Director, Director of IS/IT, MIS Director, Director of MIS, Management Information Systems Director, Director Management Information Systems, IT Manager

4) Google uses the ‘Specialties’ section to rank profiles, but is phasing it out in favor of the skills section. You can add up to 50 skills, but seriously what are you really good at? Pick the top 9-10 skills where you excel.

5) One way that your search results are increased is when your job title for multiple positions contains your key word. For example, when a person has held the title of IT Director at multiple jobs they are more likely to have a higher ranking. Having your keyword or phrase in your headline is another way to improve your results.

Everyone wants to be searchable on LinkedIn, but keywords alone are not sufficient to ensure top ranking. Remember that LI is a global tool so you’re competing against millions of other IT professionals. My best advice is to join groups where you can share your expertise and to follow companies to find great opportunities. Your connections with others are the surest way to increase your searchability.