LinkedIn's CEO on perks of keeping profiles fresh

LinkedIn is competing in an increasingly crowded market of social profile sites, including basic social networks like Facebook, but are users keeping their professional profiles as updated as they do on their personal pages? The company says yes.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
LinkedIn's CEO Jeff Weiner
LinkedIn's CEO Jeff Weiner chats with Demo chairman Matt Marshall at the Demo conference. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Correction: The headline of this story has been changed to address an inaccuracy with how many LinkedIn users were updating their profiles.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Any perceptions of LinkedIn being a place where people fill out their profile information then come back to it only when job hunting have been squashed by the company's CEO.

Responding to an audience member's statement that 99 percent of users who come on the service never come back to update during an on-stage interview at the Demo Fall conference, LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner responded by saying "thankfully, less than 99 percent allow their profiles to be static. Profiles are updated at a much more accelerated rate, and it's critical that people do it not just when looking for jobs."

Weiner explained that one of the benefits of keeping your LinkedIn profile updated played into the company's plans to promote it (and by virtue LinkedIn too) on search engines. "When people are searching for me, or someone like me, they're going to find me near the top of their favorite search engine's results. And the more people do this, the more recruiting opportunities are going to arrive for them," he said.

SEO is not the only reason to keep a profile updated though. Weiner pointed out that updated profiles play an important role in the company's recently overhauled company profile pages which members can use to see the comings, goings, and promotions within other companies.

"There's over a million active company profiles, and you can see data on the profiles you cannot get anywhere else by virtue of people updating their profiles," Weiner said. "Imagine wanting to research a company right? As a reporter, or someone who wants to work there, being able to see trends like how many people have they hired versus their competition. Where are people flowing from within a company? Are they leaving company x, and which companies are they going to?"

Answering an audience question about adding additional avenues for members to get in touch with one another, Weiner also said that the company was "exploring" such options including instant messaging and telephony. Such an feature would first be rolled into the professional service LinkedIn offers he said.

One thing Weiner wouldn't talk about was if and when the company is doing an IPO, a rumor that has been swirling for the past two years.

"For us, going public and raising additional financing, liquidity...those are tactics, they're not outposts for us, they're not long-term objectives," he said. "Our mission is to connect the world of professionals and help make them more successful."