This year LinkedIn released a new version of the LinkedIn Recruiter platform. This new version includes a filtering function that enables recruiters or employers to refine the search for candidates based on desired skills. Perhaps you have skipped the LinkedIn Skills and Endorsements section because you think the endorsements are meaningless. You may want to reconsider and include the skills that are relevant to your particular career goal and valuable to prospective employers.
Identify Skills that Support Your Goal
Review example job postings to identify key requirements for your career goal. These requirements will be inspiration for skills to list on your LinkedIn profile. Skills are essentially keywords. Embedding these keywords in your profile helps potential employers and recruiters to find you.
Discern Skills from Characteristics
In the skills section, display job skills and specialized knowledge rather than characteristics. For example, “Compliance Auditing” is a skill. “Sarbanes-Oxley” is an example of specialized knowledge. If you are seeking a position as a SOX Auditor, you’d want to include those items on your LinkedIn skills list. “Conscientious” is a personal characteristic. While that is a valid quality for this job, it is not likely a keyword, nor is it a skill or specialized knowledge. Therefore, it does not belong in the skills section of your LinkedIn profile page. (It could be incorporated in your LinkedIn summary.)
Remove Skills That Don’t Support Your Goal
You may get random endorsements for skills that are not aligned with your current career goal. The person is trying to help you so you allow it to be displayed on your profile page. That misfit skill could hinder your brand and it is taking a space that could be used for a more valuable skill. Therefore, it is wise to remove skills that are not aligned with your current goal.
How to Present Your Skills & Endorsements
Now that you have a list of relevant skills on your LinkedIn page, you can improve the presentation. First, remove any duplicate skills. Next, change the order of your skills with the most valuable skills at the top of the list. LinkedIn automatically ranks your skills by the number of endorsements. Therefore this gives you incentive to seek endorsements for your more valuable skills so that one makes the top of the list. Skills without endorsements can be moved by clicking and dragging the skill to the desired position.
How to Acquire Quality Endorsements
The best way to acquire quality endorsements that are relevant to your goal is to endorse your genuine connections. In most cases, these connections will reciprocate with an endorsement of one your skills. (Hint: If a colleague endorses you, endorse them for a skill they possess.) Also ask your closest colleagues to consider reviewing your profile and endorsing you for one of your most valuable skills. Those who know you well and want to support your career will be eager to help in this way.
Endorsements on LinkedIn are not always about the actual endorsement. What may have started as some sort of “Seal of Approval” system is now a bank of keywords. Take advantage of this essential section on LinkedIn to help you get found by employers and recruiters.