Beating the Algorithm: How LinkedIn Works

Quite often, I hear complaints from my students: “I was looking for a part-time job and found a job for my dream, but 300 applications have already been submitted. Probably I should not even try, there is no chance. ” Of course, if any student compares his LD profile with top 10 LinkedIn profiles, he will have an opinion that he should not even try. I assure you that this is a misconception. According to statistics, only 5-10% of candidates submitting resumes are really suitable for a vacancy. Therefore, due to such a small percentage, recruiters are often forced to look for suitable people themselves. And here LinkedIn enters the field.

There are other ways to find the best candidates, but LinkedIn has completely turned the recruitment industry around since its introduction in 2003. While you are reading this article, thousands of recruiters are looking for candidates on LinkedIn to close vacancies, so do not forget to share your profile actively: Recruiters can be like employees inside the company, so are agencies, but they all actively use this network.

It would seem that for the candidate there is nothing easier – create your profile and wait for offers from employers. But at the same time, two equally professional specialists who are in search of work, receive a different number of offers. The first has five per day, and the second has no offers. To understand the reason, let’s look at LinkedIn through the eyes of a recruiter.

How recruiters search for candidates

Firstly, using LinkedIn Recruiter. Powerful software is not limited to banal search, but allows you to see, for example, where employees come from and where, or track recently registered candidates on LinkedIn with the necessary skills. The program is excellent, but very expensive. Therefore, it is used mainly by large companies and large recruitment agencies.

Smaller companies and agencies use LinkedIn Premium. This use case for LinkedIn is similar to a Google search, and we will take a closer look at it.

What types of searches do such companies use?

  1. Keyword Search
  2. Search by employer
  3. By knowledge of programs and narrow skills
  4. By qualifications and certificates
  5. By title of position
recruiter's search

How search results are processed

In response to my request above, the system issued 18 thousand profiles. Will the recruiter view them all? Of course no. Even the most patient of you are unlikely to get to the hundredth page of Google search, and here you get about 1,500 pages of candidates. Depending on perseverance, the maximum that a recruiter is capable of is 20-30 pages. You need to make sure that you are in the first 10. Of course, there are times when there is no suitable person on page 30 or when none of the suitable candidates are interested in a vacancy, but this is rather an exception to the rule.

What to do to be in the top

LinkedIn has a special algorithm for ranking profiles, which it gives to the recruiter in response to his request. According to this algorithm, the maximum filled profiles of candidates with the keywords needed by the recruiter are displayed in the top. The algorithm works almost like SEO sites for Google.

From beginner to all star

Take a look at the dashboard – according to the fullness of the profile, LinkedIn will take you to Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced or All Star. Aim for All Star. To do this, fill in all sections of the profile.

These include: photography, headline, summary and experience, recommendations, skills, their endorsements, and finally accomplishments. Be sure to supplement the “work experience” section with responsibilities for each position. Firstly, you’ll increase the profile’s fullness, and secondly, this is another opportunity to enter keywords for which LinkedIn is looking for candidates. If you simply have job titles without a description of exactly what you were doing, then you lose the ability to be recognized by the system for the keywords that the recruiter uses.

First among equals

On the first page of the search there will always be specialists whose profile is completely filled in and has the keywords set during the search by the recruiter. The first to appear on the list are profiles that have keywords in: a) the headline (headline) and b) the job title (job title). At the same time, their skills, for example, human rights, will be confirmed in the Skills section. All other things being equal, the candidate who has 99+ confirmed human rights skills will be higher in the search than someone who has only 30 confirmations of the same skill.

John Johnson – not so obvious

In my example of finding a Russian-speaking lawyer with experience in the field of human rights, I used the keyword German. Take care to include it in your profile. If he will not be in the Headline, nor in Accomplishments, nor in the Skills section, then, despite the fact that you are Dolph German and obviously speak German, your profile will not come out in the search.

A correctly completed LinkedIn profile is already 50% success in finding a job. It provides an opportunity to quickly respond to vacancies with the help of a virtual resume, always available to the employer. But it is important to remember that the second 50% is your activity (correspondence with contacts, participation in discussions, articles and comments). LinkedIn is like a business card. The presence of beautiful business cards helps to do business better, but does not mean that the business will automatically gain growth. Do not miss the chance to use this professional network at full capacity.