The LinkedIn Skills section (formerly Skills and Expertise) on your profile gives you a chance to show off your areas of expertise and provides viewers with a good insight into your capabilities. In the words of LinkedIn, the section also “helps you discover the expertise that other professionals have”. You can add up to 50 skills when it edit mode and you can endorse your first degree connections for their skills.
There is some debate about the value of endorsements as on one level it’s just a button click and there is no verification. However, when considered as a complete skillset I believe they do have value.
Here are seven tips to make the most of your LinkedIn Skills section:
1) Ensure the Skills section is in an appropriate position – all of your sections can be moved. Whilst the default order is OK, if you’re self-employed you might want to move your Skills section under your Summary and before Experience. To move go into edit mode then use the up and down arrow on the top right hand side then drag and drop.
2) Focus on your key skills – Focus on your main skills that are appropriate and that you want to be known for. Maintaining a relevant list of skills will help others understand your strengths and make your more discoverable.
[Tweet “Focus on your main LinkedIn Skills that are appropriate and that you want to be known for.”]
3) Remove skills – It’s worth taking stock of your skills now and on a regular basis. As your 1st degree connections can endorse you for anything, you may not have appropriate skills displayed, so remove skills that are not related to your current role and take off peripheral skills and duplicates eg Web development and Website development.
4) Use to find influencers – You can use LinkedIn Skills to search for and find influencers to connect with – select the skills you are interested in (see point 5 below).
5) View job roles and available positions – Select a skill to display a list of those with the skill in their job title as well as those in your network like them plus vacancies. You can then use the filters on the left to fine tune your results. Very useful if you’re recruiting for a role or in the recruitment industry.
6) Use to find employees – You can use the tactic above to find people in your network or use the Search engine at the top of the page and filter by Skills.
7) Endorse others – Endorse other people for skills that they have. They don’t have to be clients or contacts and you might not have met them, but you do need to be able to make a judgement in terms of their ability. Perhaps you’ve read their book, subscribe to their newsletter, listen to their podcast or have heard them talk at a conference.
Want more LinkedIn tips? View or download my 100 Linkedin tips – they are free and no email signup required.
[Tweet “100 tweet-sized Linkedin tips you need to try – they are free and no email signup required. http://slidesha.re/1tF1D5v”]