LinkedIn Skills Pages and Mystery Algorithms

Posted By Debbie on October 31, 2012

LinkedIn lets you list skills. I’ve listed skills! Heaps of them from Axure to eCommerce to HTML and so on. Ah, remember the good old days of HTML!

LinkedIn now has landing pages for skills. Great idea! Love it. Here is the landing page for Axure, one of the key software tools I’ve been using at every consulting gig and job for nearly the last two years.

I like how it can compare some sort of trend against other possibly-related skills. It was fun to see iRise super losing against Axure with respect to how many people claim expertise. It was cool to see the page listing people who surely must be Axure experts! That’s great exposure for those people.

One thing was missing from that page. Me. Why am I not listed on there? I consider myself an Axure expert. The places where I’ve worked call me an Axure ninja. I have Axure listed as a skill. People have “endorsed” it on LinkedIn to support my claim that I’m good with this. It’s mentioned in the description at each job where I’ve used it. Still, I’m not on that page.

I emailed LinkedIn’s help center to ask why I’m not there and how I get there. It took them a week to have a guy email me that he would have someone find the answer. Um, OK. A couple of days later, I get an answer.

It’s a secret algorithm and we’re not telling you anything about it.

“Listed as a Skills professional on the skills page involves many aspects of the profile, company currently with, past companies and keyword entries on the profile itself. While we do not divulge the specifics that designate that your profile will show up on this page, our engineers are continually working on the algorithm that controls the listings.”

I understand that they don’t want people gaming the system, but this is LinkedIn. You can only game a resume for so long until someone realises you’re lying. I’ve blogged about that before after watching the truly bizarre half-truths and not-sure-that’s-truths I saw in a LinkedIn profile for someone I refer to as Terrible Ex Boyfriend #4. And he’s still at it. So sure, I can see how LinkedIn wouldn’t want Captain Terrible to be able to show up pages undeservedly.

I’ve asked if a letter from the Axure people stating my expertise would help. Axure didn’t offer to give me that. But if LinkedIn says it will help, I will show Axure my best work, and ask nicely. 🙂