In a February 2012 blog, LinkedIn announced changes to the criteria for Profile completeness, with the specific goal of making it easier for users to complete their profiles.
The main function of profile completeness is to increase “search optimization” – that is, to increase the likelihood of being found in searches, both on Google and within LinkedIn, thus resulting in “Users with complete profiles (…) 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn”.
A LinkedIn profile is most likely to appear in the top of a search, if:
- it is 100% complete
- it shares more connections with the searcher
- it shares more groups with the searcher
According to the recent changes, LinkedIn users should complete the following, in order to achieve the completeness goal:
1) Add a profile photo (which makes the profile seven times more likely to be found)
2) List two jobs (making the profile twelve times more likely to be found)
3) Include a description of the jobs
4) Have 5 or more skills on the profile
5) Write a summary about themselves
8) Have 50 or more connections
9) Frequently update their status (“profile freshness”)
Most notably, it appears that Recommendations are no longer required for completeness. The main reason this was dropped seems to be that users do not always have control over this aspect of their profile, and so LinkedIn wanted to make it easier for them to complete their profile without having to rely on others. Despite this change, I would caution users to not neglect Recommendations, as many employers do look for this on the profiles of potential hires.
With these new changes to profile completeness, many LinkedIn users will log on to find that their profiles are no longer complete. But, it also means that many more users will be able to complete their profiles and thus, with a bit of effort, ensure that they are easily found by potential employers.