Employers and recruiters on LinkedIn seek out their prospective candidates in a number of ways, perhaps most straight-on by searching for specific work-related skills. For this reason, the LinkedIn Skills function is now an essential section for today’s job seeker. This is an area of your profile you can’t afford to neglect. This is where you get specific about what you offer. This is also where your colleagues will attract attention to your profile by endorsing you. It’s a very powerful tool.
Use Skills to send a strong SEO message to your contacts who want to endorse you — and the people who might be searching for you. Since you can only choose 50 skills to put on your profile, how do you know which to pick? Follow these steps for the best results:
- While logged in to LinkedIn, go to http://www.linkedin.com/skills.
- Enter a skill you possess into the search box, beginning a wide, encompassing and fairly generic word for what you do. (I put in “Resume Writing.”)
- LinkedIn will take you to a page that defines your skill. (It’s a good idea to read that definition and make sure it’s an accurate description of what you do.)
- Below the definition, you’ll see a list of other professionals with the skill. By clicking on their profiles, you can get more ideas for other skills you might include. You can also get inspiration for filling out your profile — just be careful not to plagiarize others’ content! Not only is that seen by employers as unethical, you can get in trouble by LinkedIn for that.