We know how important it is to look your best professionally and be recognised for your skills, especially if you’re searching for a new job. An easy way to do this is making sure that your “Skills & Endorsements” are up to date on your LinkedIn Profile.
LinkedIn has 722 million members spread across 200 countries and regions worldwide. With such a broad coverage, it’s an understatement to say that it’s one of the most valuable resources for people looking to network and improve their career prospects.
But far too many people squander the opportunities it offers. Optimise your LinkedIn skills section and you’ll instantly make your profile more attractive to recruiters and hiring managers.
Why Is It Important to List Your Skills on LinkedIn?
First of all, LinkedIn isn’t like other social media. It’s not there for liking cat pictures and adding friends you’ve never met in real life. It’s an important way of building professional networks and showing off your abilities to employers and recruiters.
Employers and recruiters use LinkedIn to find suitable candidates, so if you’re actively looking for a job or even just open to new opportunities you should make sure that you engage their interest. In fact how recruiters find candidates on LinkedIn is pretty simple:
Recruiters search the LinkedIn database for candidates that have a specific set of qualifications and/or keywords in their Profile.
After searching the database, recruiters get served with “search results” that include a Profile view for each candidate.
As a job seeker, you want to consistently show up in search results for candidates with your set of qualifications.
If you don’t have the right LinkedIn skills list you’re not going to show up in recruiters’ searches and you’re not going to get contacted about job opportunities. Remember almost all recruiters use LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn profile also feeds through to Google, giving you another channel for recruiters to discover your expertise.
And as LinkedIn’s own statistics report
Members with 5 or more skills listed are contacted (messaged) up to 33x more by recruiters and other LinkedIn members, and receive up to 17x more profile views.
The conclusion is clear. If you’re not making use of your skills on LinkedIn then you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities. But just like when you’re writing a CV, you can’t just take a spray and pray approach and list any skill that comes to mind. You have to be targeted and choose the skills that are most in demand or most likely to get your desired job.
Why spend time polishing your LinkedIn Skills Section?
The Featured Skills Endorsements section is one of the most important parts of any effective LinkedIn profile.
Here are the reasons why you should spend some time to polish your LinkedIn skills section, even if you already have a similar section on your CV:
- First impressions matter. Before examining the meat of your LinkedIn profile, most recruiters will begin by skimming your skills section. If you fail to catch their attention or make a good impression, many will simply move on to the hundreds or thousands of other relevant profiles available.
Therefore, if you don’t polish up your skills section, the rest of your LinkedIn profile may be completely irrelevant.
- Searchability. The keywords that you include on your profile influence how Google ranks you when recruiters search for candidates.
- The numbers don’t lie. According to LinkedIn’s own statistics, “members with 5 or more skills listed are contacted up to 33 times more by recruiters and receive up to 17 times more profile views.”
Surveys also show that 69% of employed professionals believe that their skills were more important factors than their education when they were looking for a job.
Want to make a bigger impact in your career?
How to determine which skills to add to your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn lets you add a maximum of 50 skills to your profile.
While this allowance enables you to cover a broad range of skills, you should make sure that the skills you select are actually adding value to your profile by helping:
- Your network and new profile visitors understand your key areas of expertise
- Your profile appear in recruiter searches
- You rank higher in job applications through LinkedIn’s Easy Apply feature
To determine which skills to include on your LinkedIn, you should:
Look both backwards and forwards
Make your profile a reflection of what you have done in the past and where you would like to be in the future.
In other words, you should include skills that pertain to both your previous roles and the roles you are looking to pursue moving forward.
If you spent most of your career in marketing but are currently pursuing an MBA and want to pivot into real estate, make sure to include relevant skills pertaining to both industries!
Analyse job descriptions for your target roles
To help you identify skills you could add, gather a few job descriptions for your target roles.
Then, highlight keywords and phrases that appear most often and add these to your profile.
Skills that appear in the job description are most likely to be the ones recruiters will be looking for when they search for candidates and review job applications.
Optimise based on job postings you see on LinkedIn
If you apply for a job through LinkedIn, you will be able to see how your skillset compares to that of other applicants.
When available, you’ll see your applicant rank and the skills used to determine it to the right of the job posting underneath the “How you match” heading.
While there’s no way of knowing how a given recruiter will approach the review process, there’s definitely no harm in improving your applicant rank.
The easiest way to do so is to quickly add the missing skills to your profile before you apply.
Obviously it is important to be able to provide concrete examples and be able to back these skills up especially when it comes to interview stage.
How to add a skill
To add a new skill to your profile, click on ‘Add a new skill’. This is greyed out but is clickable.
LinkedIn will suggest skills based on your profile.
To find the fastest growing skills requested in the marketplace, visit LinkedIn Learning blog
Top Tip – when looking for skills to add, start typing your first word slowly and LinkedIn will start to auto-complete the options:
Having an up-to-date LinkedIn skills list is essential. You need to keep upgrading and refreshing your skills list to stay on point and competitive. It increases your chances of being found by recruiters if you’re actively looking for work, and could get you head-hunted for new opportunities.
We’ve also provided come guidance on how to determine which skills to add to your LinkedIn Profile.
Finally we have shown you how to add a skill.