How To Read Through People in LinkedIn


This post is not about reading what is stated in the profile. And it is not teaching you how to hack into one’s profile – for heaven’s sake even if I could, I wouldn’t tell you that :D

Nope, this is also not about getting clients from LinkedIn or landing a new job. You can find hundreds if not thousands of those if you google them. But it is about reading them before you hire them or investing on them.

What this post will give you is to identify a person’s personality and behavior – and to see how good they are with their self awareness and social skills are through their chosen words and behavior and also through the evidences & patterns left in their accounts.

#1 Peek into Recommendation; Dont waste time to Skill Endorsements (Sorry LinkedIn!)

Skip endorsements. It’s too easy to give it then it would make this not credible at all. Instead, Recommendation takes more effort from the network to post about someone. Rules in credible communications, it is more trustworthy when it doesn’t comes from your mouth. You can claim anything you are, but if other people says the other way around then you know which one they will take into accounts. However, as you learn whom to listen, here are few things to take into account when checking Recommendations:

  1. Look who’s talking. Check the credibility of the people, do they newly created account to then recommend? or do they have years of experiences supported by evidence and other recommendations. Are they credible enough to provide a review of this person based on their skillsets? Do people as well recommend how they trust this person?
  2. Look at years or time-frame. Check if the time-frame given in recommendation shows consistency behavior of a person from time to time. Behavior is not easily changed and once it is become the patterns in a person then it becomes a definite quality as well mightlikely showing values. One of the common shows is how this person shows positivism, can do attitutdes, and resilience. You may found certain traits that fits your needs.
  3. Look at specific evidence. Particular time and situation frame given as in ‘when we were working on…’ or ‘manage to handle our customer to a higher level..’ This reveals the quality shown
  4. Look at inconsistency. Yes inconsistency in spelling – chosen words – passive/active – of recommendation between one and another reveals the authenticity of the recommender. This will avoid any chance that the recommender just post based on request. Close your eyes after you read them and see if those were unique recommendation specially made for this person.
  5. Look at the relationship when it happens. Yes, who was this person who recommend in what role to the one who are being recommended. And when was this recommendation given. I respect my boss that he asked me recommendation when he moved and as well give me recommendation after we have no working relationship. Cause that’s the ones unbiased.
  6. Ignore templates or general reco without specific details given. If any recommender using templates from LinkedIn for sure it’s not worth to look at. And I would even consider questioning why would a person accept such recommendations.

#2 Check on connections.

Yes, you are at the average of 5 person closest to you! sorry but that’ the fact. People surrounds this person as connections reveals the interest and focus of this person. Check their connections vs the area that they claimed they are an expert in.

If you want to check on your own profile, you can see those venn diagrams showing where your area of expertise is. And see if you are in the right pool of people as where you want to be, or you are still transitioning.

#3 Check on their profile 

You might go figure this already. But here’s some cheatsheets available on utilizing LinkedIn properly. What they might also know or dont when they do their linkedin profile will provide you a good basic checklist on how a person convey about themselves. Though you need to note that some great people are not into linkedin, so you might as well crosscheck and not only do sole investigation based on 1 social media only. Do your homework. Callibrate.


I do wonder if you can add up to these lists, based on your experiences, what surprising things you found from someone through their linkedin? and what would be your screening criteria like ?