"How do I get to the top of the list on LinkedIn when people are searching for someone like me?"

I'm typically asked this question after I show people how to use LinkedIn's Advanced People Search function and they don't see themselves near the top of the search results—or, worse yet, they see a competitor above them on the list.

Well, I cannot tell a lie—there is some "magic" involved, kind of like Disneyland. Only LinkedIn knows exactly what goes into their search algorithm, but my research and professional experience have helped me roll back the magic curtain a bit so I can share some helpful tips with you.

What does LinkedIn say?

"The ranking of search results on LinkedIn is dependent on 'relevancy to the searcher.'" In other words, LinkedIn is trying to save you time by putting what they consider to be the best choices for you at the top of the list.

If you want to read LinkedIn's official stance on this question, check out these articles from the LinkedIn Help Center.

LinkedIn Search Relevance - People Search

Order of Your Profile in Search Results - People Search

So, what does this mean to you, the LinkedIn user?

In summary, the information shared by LinkedIn is revealing at the highest level but intentionally confusing (or magical) at the detail level—but don't lose hope.

Based on my interpretation of these statements by LinkedIn, along with lots of articles on this subject and the countless hours I've spent helping my clients improve their LinkedIn search ranking, here are seven simple action steps (along with additional resources) you can take to improve your chances of coming up higher in a search.

  • Add your most important keywords to your profile in the right spots.
  • Make sure your profile has an All-Star ranking.

  • Join LinkedIn groups that have members in your target audience.
  • Share your own status updates in addition to sharing, "liking" or commenting on other people's status updates and group discussions.
  • Request recommendations from your connections, and endorse and recommend others as well.
  • Improve the Skills section of your profile.
  • Most importantly (and this is an ongoing process), continue to strategically grow your LinkedIn network.

Follow these steps, and you might experience a little of your own LinkedIn magic!


If you’d like help with developing a LinkedIn strategy that will catapult your business and career, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one LinkedIn consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). This offer also includes an in-depth critique of your profile.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.