LinkedIn Wants to Really Know You

Last night, I opened a friend’s LinkedIn profile on my phone and saw a request for data about him right below the banner section.

That was new!

I wasn’t in his Skills & Endorsements section. I had just opened his profile.

LinkedIn’s request looked like this:

LinkedIn Data Collection

Bam! Not subtle at all.

None of These

I considered the four offerings and thought, “Those aren’t his top skills. Why are they asking me about those?”

I looked at his profile. He doesn’t list any of the four options provided by LinkedIn as his selected top three Skills. Interesting.

I checked another friend’s profile. Same story. No match between the skills LinkedIn asked about and her top three Skills.


It’s now a couple of hours after I wrote this post.

A friend just sent me a screenshot of what she sees for me. It contained two of my top three skills. Better.

Please feel free to report out what you see in the Comments section below.

LinkedIn is Busy Collecting Data About You

I clicked the “Learn more” link and found this:

LinkedIn Data Collection Help

It’s clear that LinkedIn wants all the data about you they can gather, and they’re getting aggressive about collecting it.

You can read about another initiative to learn more about you, the three-star rating system they introduced for Skills last month, here.

First-Level Connections: LinkedIn’s Best Source

I checked a second-level connection’s profile on my phone. LinkedIn didn’t solicit any information from me about that person.

It’s important to understand that LinkedIn has shifted from a site that:

Enables you to provide information about yourself


A site that doesn’t hesitate to ask your first-level connections about you.

LinkedIn SEO

I suspect that LinkedIn is tired of members gaming their SEO algorithms.

It seems they’re moving closer to crowdsourcing their search results.

Skills Endorsements already play an important role in Linked SEO (more here).

The company’s new approach to data collection looks as though they’re doubling down on Skills for SEO.

Beyond that, I would guess they’re experimenting with machine learning in delivering search results. If that’s the case, then even they don’t understand their SEO algorithms any more.

Skills Searches

We’re seeing the beginning of a new way of matching people to jobs.

If an employer needs people with certain skills, LinkedIn is creating a global database of who has those skills, their competency levels, and where they’re located.

They’re making candidate discovery less about job titles and more about skills.

Also, they’re no longer relying on self-reports. They want third-party input and validation.

They’re now going directly to people who “know” you and asking them about you.

Competitive Advantage?

The battle for dominance in recruitment advertising revenue and candidate data has consolidated to LinkedIn, Google, and Recruit (the owner of Indeed and Glassdoor).

It will be interesting to see if LinkedIn’s aggressive data collection practices will give it a sustainable competitive advantage over its rivals or not.

What Does LinkedIn Data Collection Mean to You?

Your LinkedIn presence is devolving into two segments:

  1. What you say about yourself.
  2. Data provided by your first-level connections at LinkedIn’s request.

Do this:

  1. Continue to optimize your profile for human readers and LinkedIn SEO.
  2. Respect Skills & Endorsements as a LinkedIn power tool.
  3. Consider connections you have with frenemies and competitors.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer.

The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Look good. Get hired. Email me here for more information.

Image Credit: Branko Stancevic/Unsplash

© 2018, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

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