LinkedIn’s People You May Know feature, also known as LinkedIn suggestions, is found on the My Network page. It displays colleagues, acquaintances, friends, co-workers, and other people you have not yet connected with.
But sometimes the feature shows total strangers. So how exactly does LinkedIn come up with these suggestions? Why does LinkedIn think you know these people?
The algorithms used by LinkedIn are much broader than people think. The criteria likely used by the platform include the following: Industry, Prior Jobs, Current Job, Title, Keywords used in your LinkedIn Profile, Groups you are part of, Companies you follow, and your LinkedIn Network. LinkedIn may even consider the region you use on your LinkedIn profile to determine which users you may know.
Profiles listed in the People You May Know feature may have shared connections, or have similar profile information and experiences. Perhaps they work at the same company or industry, or attended the same school.
While the exact criteria are not published, it is easy to deduce the factors that LinkedIn considers when creating suggestions for users. These recommendations are primarily determined by commonalities between you and other LinkedIn members. Sometimes it is affected by the searches you make on the website. In addition to all these criteria, LinkedIn also considers contacts you have imported from your email and mobile address books.
In some cases, LinkedIn asks users if they know somebody on LinkedIn. This is usually done to ensure that users are not sending massive amounts of connection invitations. They do not want LinkedIn users spamming others. This may be their attempt to find out if users are mass-sending these invites.
The question “do you know this person” often makes people wonder if that user clicked on their profile—but this is not always the case. There are a lot of factors that LinkedIn considers before asking you this question.
It is important to note that LinkedIn does not scan the content of your messages to find people to recommend. LinkedIn respects your privacy and uses available information to suggest results for this feature.
Using the People You May Know feature can help you expand your network. Build your professional network by sending connection requests to these suggested users. Once you send an invitation to someone from the People You May Know section, you are likely to make a new connection because there’s already a foundation to build upon. If the recipient does not take action, you may still withdraw the invitation.
The People You May Know feature also shows several names with their corresponding email addresses. These are contacts you have previously uploaded who have not joined LinkedIn. You have the option to click Add to network to invite them one at a time. However, these invitations cannot be personalized.
You can also remove suggestions on LinkedIn. This prevents the removed LinkedIn members from appearing in the People You May Know suggestions for the next six months.
The feature will not show suggestions if you have already invited or removed all available suggestions. Sometimes it is also possible to not have any suggestions from LinkedIn. This may be because your profile is missing key information such as current or past companies, schools, or industries.
Using LinkedIn properly will help you expand your network. That includes using the LinkedIn recommendations feature to find and connect with colleagues and other people in your industry.
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