LinkedIn Skills SectionWhat’s the deal with the Skills section and what does it mean to be endorsed? I asked our Oggi Pros and they answered. Collectively our team has 50+ years of recruiting experience and according to Sean and Daren it doesn’t really mean much…
Q: When you are looking at LinkedIn profiles do you look at the Skills section?
A: “Typically I do not look at them. In my experience I have found that people fill this area with “general” skills and they rarely give me any additional insight into the talent(s) that set him/her apart from everyone else. Other times the skills listed are embellishments. For example they attended one class on SAP so they click SAP as a skill. And those embellishments are difficult – if not impossible – to back up in an interview and could hurt their chances of getting a role.”
“When someone has a really niche skill or software experience, it is useful to have the ability to search for them with those keywords, so it’s critical to keep your profile up-to-date with new software or process experience.” – Sean
A: “I personally don’t look at the skills section unless I’m searching for a particular ERP system. There are just so many other areas of a profile that tell a more complete story about the person and their experience.” – Daren
Q: What does a lot or a lack of endorsements mean to you?
A: “I may more likely to pick up the phone about a new opportunity for candidates who have specific niche skills listed, AND the endorsements to back it up.” – Sean
A: “As it pertains to endorsements, they would only matter to me if they are from public accountants or other people in the industry.” – Daren
So why bother with Skills and Endorsements at all?
SEO! It’s all about your profile’s SEO (search engine optimization). Beefing up the Skills section allows recruiters and hiring managers to search for you – and more importantly find you – based on keywords in this field (Note: you can customize up to 50 different skills). That being said, the Skills section isn’t the only place you can/should saturate your profile with keywords…but we’ll get to that in future blogs.
Street Cred I think I am skilled at “Marketing” so I’ve added it as a skill on my profile. But what do the people I’ve worked with think? Taking the time to customize your Skills enables your (1st) connections to endorse those carefully honed areas of expertise. Seeing endorsements for skills can give the viewer a better idea of what your real skills are because its shows them what other people think you are skilled at. (I also think I’m skilled at singing at the top of my lungs but nobody would ever endorse me for that).
Many of us are connected with people we did not work with extensively, and for those connections it isn’t possible for them to write a thoughtful or effective recommendation. Endorsements are a quick/easy way for them to give you some additional street cred so don’t be shy about asking for them.
The bottom line
Keep the Skills section up-to-date and even more important relevant. I’m a graphic designer at heart so I really appreciate the visual nature of the Top Skills chart. Also, the Web Developer in me realizes the importance of keywords for SEO. Take the time to customize your skills (all 50) properly so you can control what skill words you can be endorse for. Choose them wisely and resist the temptation to create new ones – this will dilute the value of LinkedIn skills. Then ask your connections to endorse you for those skills. But don’t rely them alone to tell your story and don’t expect them to carry much weight with your target audience either (aka: the companies that want to pay you the big bucks!)
More about Endorsements
For even more information about Endorsements, check out Forbes’ “Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Endorsements”
Read the next blog in this H2Oggi Series: Saturate your LinkedIn Profile: Recommendations