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LinkedIn is an employment-oriented online service, and since 2017, a subsidiary of Microsoft. It's primarily used for professional networking and career development, and allows job seekers to post their CVs and employers to post jobs. LinkedIn has 800M+ registered members from over 200 countries.

Performance Review Overview

FrequencyTwice a year
WhenDecember, June

Latest Performance Reviews

LevelNew SalaryEquity GrantBonusRatingPromoted?Date


Your rating at LinkedIn is the median of 3 sub-ratings across individual performance axes (covered later on).

For each axis, you are given a rating from 1 (bad) to 5 (great).

Example: If your scores are 3, 3, 4 - Your overall rating is 3.

Your manager gives you a hidden 2nd rating that reflects your growth potential.

This secret growth-related rating is meant to reward those who are improving rapidly as they will become bigger assets to the company going forward. This rating can positively affect angles like compensation adjustments from performance review.

The amount of time you need to spend at the company before getting seriously evaluated in performance review is generally 3 months, but it can vary based on circumstance:

  • For new grads, it can be up to 6 months as they need more time to adjust
  • If you're a complete rockstar, you can be put up for review early to reap the benefits

Ultimately, the manager decides how new employees go through their first performance review cycle.

Automatic PIP
Automatic PIP

You are nowhere near meeting expectations for your level. At this point, HR gets involved and you'll be placed on a PIP.

Improvement Goals
Greatly Exceeds


See relevant discussions involving LinkedIn engineers on Taro.

The name of the performance evaluation document at LinkedIn is called CPT (Career Progression Tracker). Software engineers are evaluated on the following 3 axes: execution, leadership, and craftsmanship.

In the past few years, LinkedIn is moving toward a metrics-oriented performance culture, similar to Meta, but without the generosity of large equity refresh grants 😭 So it's important to maintain a document throughout the half of various accomplishments and metrics that came from your work.


This is the most important axis going from L3 [SWE] -> L4 [Senior SWE].

This reflects your core ability to deliver work on time and land impact.

For L2 and L3 engineers, mastering this axis for promotion largely revolves around the tactics in this guide: [Masterclass] How To Write Better Code Faster As A Software Engineer


This is the main axis evaluating growth past L4 [Senior SWE] levels (getting to staff, senior staff, and so on).

This is your ability to bring stakeholders and other teams together. The more people underneath your scope here, the better your rating in this axis.

If you're looking to ramp up your leadership skills, check out this in-depth explainer: "How to develop soft skills like leadership, stakeholder management, etc.?"


This is generally regarded as the least important performance axis at LinkedIn.

This axis covers the quality and elegance of your solutions. Here are some things that reflect well for craftsmanship:

  • Writing atomic, well-documented pull requests
  • Creating scalable and easily reusable components

The most basic aspect of this axis is code quality. Watch this video to understand what it takes to write clean code at a FAANG-level company: One Diff, One Thesis - What Every Code Review Should Be Like.


Performance feedback is collected entirely in Workday.

Self Review

Your self-review is a crucial tool for your manager to fight for a good rating for you. Follow this advice to optimize it.

The self-review has prompts, but you don't have to use them. Most engineers will do a free-form response following the LEC format (leadership - execution - craftsmanship).

The length of your self-review is important. The specifics depend on the org, but managers are often required to condense self-reviews to 1500 characters. So it’s very important to be concise to make your manager's life easier, or provide them with a draft of what they could write.

Peer Feedback

The more senior you are, the more peer feedback you need.

3 - 5 pieces of peer feedback is a good range for most people. However, this can vary:

  • If you're a new L2 or L3, just 1 piece of peer feedback could be enough
  • If you're L5+ (Staff), you may need more than 5 to justify your scope

Watch this video to determine the optimal "bench" of peers for your packet: Assembling The Feedback "Avengers" For Your Promotion Case


You only see the feedback the manager writes. You don’t see feedback from your peers - The manager compresses it for you and gives you a high-level recap.


Every year, your compensation is increased across the following 3 axes:

  • Base salary: You get a raise.
  • Bonus: You get a cash payment once a year. This is pro-rated if you didn't work across the entire cycle.
  • More RSUs (not guaranteed): You get a refresher grant that gives you more equity. Not all engineers get a refresher each cycle - It's more reserved for high performers.

LinkedIn is unique as it formally splits up "Infra" and "Apps". Engineers across the 2 types are paid different with infra engineers being paid ~10% more than apps.

For each level, LinkedIn has a TAC (Total Annual Compensation), which is a pay band that universally cuts across level and geography. LinkedIn uses this TAC to calculate compensation adjustments.

Performance Improvement Plan

LinkedIn is now targeting to identify and remove the bottom 10% of engineers every cycle.

As long as you're getting "Achieves" (3) on all 3 axes, you should be safe from a PIP or performance-based firing. Don't fall below "Improvement Goals" (2) on any axis, and you should be okay.

The key to avoiding PIP is to stay in sync with your manager - Learn how to do that with this video.

Unlike most Big Tech companies, PIP was known to be quite doable at LinkedIn in the past and not a death sentence. This is probably less so the case in the current economy.

LinkedIn was known to be more relaxed before the layoff-era:

  • Getting a 2 was okay as long as you had 3s to smooth it out (i.e it wasn't a huge PIP risk)
  • It didn't really do any form of stack ranking
Anything look wrong?