If you’re like many job-seekers, chances are that you overlook the important role that LinkedIn can play in your job search. While you probably have some type of profile page, you may have underestimated how skills can impact your visibility. Unfortunately, that could mean that you’re missing out on some key job search leverage. In this post, we will discuss LinkedIn skills and how adding the right skills can enhance your job search effort.
(We will also show you a LinkedIn skills hack for landing more interviews)
Let’s quickly go over how to add skills to your LinkedIn profile.
How to Add Skills on LinkedIn
You would first click on the drop down menu under your profile picture and select “view profile”
You would then scroll down to “Skills & Endorsements” and click on “Add a new skill”.
You will then be able to add and remove skills:
How Do You Define the ‘Right’ Skills for LinkedIn?
Obviously, different people will define relevant skills in different ways. Nevertheless, a list compiled by LinkedIn may provide some insight.
The social media company looked at data from their membership to see which LinkedIn skills companies were looking for.
On the hard skill front, they found that companies were looking for skills related to cloud computing, data mining and statistical analysis, IT-related skills, web development and design, graphic designer skills, and SEO marketing. Mobile app development and network security rounded out their top 10 hard skills.
The best skills are the ones relevant to your industry or the position you’re targeting.
Hack – How to Land 2x More Interviews with LinkedIn Skills
LinkedIn uses an Algorithm when ranking your profile. They also use an algorithm when you apply to a position posted on LinkedIn.
If the system sees you as a good match for the position, it will rank you higher and increase your chances for an interview.
The best way to show LinkedIn that you’re a good match for the position is to include relevant skills.
Review the job posting on LinkedIn and scroll down to “How you match”.
They will list the skills they’re looking for in the job description!
You want to make sure that your profile lists all of the skills they’re looking for.
Also, remember that most companies today use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to automatically screen your resume. These systems automatically screens your resume to see if you’re a good match for the position.
Make sure that you use a standard resume format so that the ATS could easily read the resume. You should also include keywords (hard skills) that are relevant to the position.
ATS Resume Test
You can see how your resume performs in an actual ATS scan with our Free Resume Review:
For the record, they also examined soft skills and found that companies were primarily focused on leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management.
Of course, that list may do little to help you. In the end, the LinkedIn skills you choose to include should reflect your skill set and experience. You can use the following steps to help you create your own set of LinkedIn skills:
Think about your education and experience, and your ultimate career destination. Consider the skills you use in your current position, and ones you’ve used in the past. Then add skills that you are working on developing.
Now, ask yourself what type of job you want. Once you have that answer, think about the skills needed to fill that role.
Look at the skills you already have and compare them to those needed for your desired job. Those are the LinkedIn skills you want to include on your page. Add them to your LinkedIn page, prioritizing them by relevance for that desired position.
Why LinkedIn Skills Matter
First, it’s important to understand why your LinkedIn skills are so important. You might assume that those skills help to complement your resume – and you’d be correct. Still, that’s only one of the reasons why they’re so critical to your job search. An even more important reason is that those skills can help make it easier for potential employers and recruiters to find you.
More than half a billion people use LinkedIn around the world and it has become one of the best sites to search for jobs. Obviously, the sheer volume of users can make it difficult for anyone to single you out from the crowd.
The good news is that LinkedIn skills are searchable, to help recruiters and others find people with the exact skills they need. By choosing the right skills and using optimized keywords, you can improve your chances of being found.
LinkedIn skills help to highlight your qualifications and can shape your personal and professional brand. The LinkedIn platform allows users to add as many as 50 skills to their profiles. Just as important, other users can validate these skills through skill endorsements, bolstering their relevance. The question is: do you really want to add 50 skills? Probably not. The reality is that an overabundance of skills can be just as bad as not listing enough. So, where’s the middle ground?
Focus on including relevant skills that employers in your industry want to see. In addition, order those skills according to their importance. LinkedIn skills should always be added in order of relevance, since only the top three show up on your profile. Keep in mind that those three visible skills are also the ones people are most likely to endorse. As time goes by, those skills may need to be adjusted to reflect your current career progress.
Finally, a word about endorsements. Some people might be tempted to go ask others for endorsements of their LinkedIn skills, but there’s a better option. Go to your contacts’ pages and start endorsing their skills. Most of those contacts will reciprocate on your page, and you’ll soon have the endorsements you need to increase your searchability.
LinkedIn skills remain an underused tool for any job search effort. Fortunately, a minimal investment in time and effort can quickly help you leverage this powerful feature to your advantage. So, take the time to find the right skills for your LinkedIn profile and then enjoy your newfound visibility and increased job opportunities.