We discuss how to determine which skills to add to your LinkedIn profile
When putting together your LinkedIn profile, you'll want to take advantage of the Skills and Endorsements section.
This section is required for your profile to reach All-Star status, which LinkedIn says makes your profile 27x more likely to be found by recruiters on the platform. It can also help you appear in recruiter searches.
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:
1) 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!
2) Analyze 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.
3) Optimize 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, as shown below.
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.
On your resume, we always recommend providing concrete examples of soft skills mentioned above such as leadership, analytical skills, organization skills, and interpersonal skills.
Without putting them into context on your resume, such terms can simply come off as empty industry buzzwords.
However, when it comes to LinkedIn, you'll need to be more direct and add these terms to your profile.
Even when you do add the relevant skills, they don't truly speak to what you are capable of and how you have demonstrated your capabilities in these areas in the past.
However, optimizing your skills section will push the LinkedIn algorithm to give your profile more credibility, as evidenced by the fact that this element plays a part in granting All-Star status.
We recommend taking advantage of every opportunity to optimize your profile to help you stand out, especially because building your skills section is a relatively quick process.
To learn more about LinkedIn best practices, check out our LinkedIn Series here!
You'll find links to a variety of brief, punchy articles that will help you get the most out of the platform.