I'm asked this question frequently, and it's a very important one in my opinion:

Q:  How do I get to the top of a LinkedIn search?

linkedin search ranking

A:  Simple. You have to make sure you are connected at the first level to ALL the people that might be searching for you.

Okay, so the concept may be simple, but it's really not practical to actually pull it off.

That being said, the important concept is the relationship you have with the person who's searching will trump all the other criteria that might help you get to the top of a search.

In other words, the general order is all the 1st degree people first, 2nd degree people next, 3rd degree next, and so on. There will be some exceptions, but those usually result from people doing a good job with the ten steps I've listed below.

So, here is my best shot at the steps you should take to start showing up higher in search rankings (understanding that LinkedIn never shares the exact components of their search algorithm).


10 Ways to Get to the Top of a LinkedIn Search List

1.  Add lots of connections. Focus especially on the people who might be looking for you as well as people they are connected to. This is one of the best ways to rank highly.

Note: You have to make this a high priority, because the remaining 9 steps won't do you much good if you haven't concentrated on this one. 

2.  Use keywords. Be sure to include the keywords those people are going to use to look for you, and put them in multiple places and in the right places on your profile. Download my free worksheet Keywords: The Key to Being Found on LinkedIn for more help on this.

3.  Get endorsements. Be sure you are getting endorsed for those keywords in the Skills and Endorsements section of your profile.

4.  Join groups. Join lots of groups (that means the max of 50), especially the ones that the people who are most likely going to be looking for you would be in.

5.  Be an All Star. Have your profile completed to All Star status.

6.  Get involved in your groups. Be active in group discussions, both posting and commenting.

7.  Post individual status updates frequently. Share quality information with your network at least once a day during the work week.

8.  Promote your network. Comment, share and "like" other people's status updates.

9.  Get more recommendations. Now that endorsements have become so important, I'm not entirely sure how much recommendations affect search ranking. But they are still important for increasing your credibility on LinkedIn, and I suggest getting two or three for each job and education entry on your profile.

10. Upgrade to a premium account Somewhere deep in the bowels of the search ranking algorithm this has to matter, don’t you think?

Good luck getting to the top, and let me know when you get there. The view is great from the top!