I bet you dollars to doughnuts that you have skills. Your special talents and knowledge you have acquired through your time in your specific field of expertise. Even a new person starts to develop and grow skills as they start a new job in s different field.

Now recently I was perusing LinkedIn and had decided to see if I could start generating a few more eyes to my profile by going on an endorsement spree. It quickly became apparent that many people don’t pay attention to what their skills are nor do they optimize the list to best help them. For a while, LinkedIn had this Skills feature. You could enter your skills you thought were important. Then you connections are able to go and endorse those skills. For a little, while your connections could add skills they thought were important. Then with the latest update to the UI, the “Skills and Endorsements” section got the ability for you to arrange your skills. So that the skills you thought were the most important were at the top.

Why share your skills on LinkedIn

Sharing the skills you have is doesn’t mean you are bragging. Listing your skills helps recruiters understand what you are able to do. Also, potential clients that are looking at your profile are able to measure what your strengths are and see what you are view as important. They’re able to see what your connections view as important.

Having skills listed also allows your connections to endorse you. LinkedIn also helps you out by having your skills stand out, even more, when you are endorsed by an expert or as they are shown as “Highly skilled”. This adds a bit more social proof. That if an expert in that field thinks you have this skill then that is just a bit more gravy on your biscuits.

What skills to talk about

Ok, you realize why you need to list your skills on LinkedIn. You actually want to place a little thought into your skills. Many folks start right off adding Microsoft word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook and may even want to try to list each version also. Well, OK that is fine and good but, how is that going to help you stand out?

Pretty much everyone but your aunt Gladys has used Microsoft Office products. So being able to say that you can use these skills with proficiency has no real value. So If you are a writer, for instance, you might specify what type of writing you do. Do you write White papers? Perhaps you do a lot of Content marketing? Maybe you are good at Copywriting? You would then want to put that down on the list. If you do Editing for a blog or some other publication then list Editor as a skill.

As you add your skills try to get at least 5 skills listed but the more the merrier. Make sure that these skills are relevant to what you are wanting to achieve. If your profile says you are a carpenter there really isn’t a need to list aircraft mechanic. Yet, don’t if you want to have that listed as a skill then move it down the list. We will talk more about that in the next section.

How do you add LinkedIn skills?

If don’t have any skills or you want to update your skills the easiest way is to go to your profile on LinkedIn.

  1. Make sure you are Logged In, and you will see on the right-hand side at under your Cover image a blue button labeled “Add New Profile Section”
  2. Click that Blue Button.
  3. You will have three or more options show up: Background, Skills, and Accomplishments. Click on Skills
  4. Click on the Plus that shows up beside Skills.
  5. Now you can add a skill in the window that shows up.
  6. As you type there will be suggestions of skills. Pay attention to these because they can often help inspire you with other skills you may not have thought about.
  7. Make sure you have the “Yes, Update my network” option selected. That way all of your connection will know you have a new skill. You will have a few connections come by and endorse that skill.
  8. Click the Add Button.
  9. Rinse and Repeat for all of your relevant skills you can think of.

How to optimize your LinkedIn skills for best impact.

Now you have just spent the last 4 hours lost in thought and entering in all the relevant skills for your positions. So what now? Next step is to arrange them in order of importance. That means if you are the editor for a blog then make sure that is at the top of your skills list. and place janitorial skills at the bottom.

The main reason you want to place the most important skills at the top is because the top three are shown to everybody and when your connections are looking at your profile they can easily click one or all three of these skills. they can also do an extra step and click the “View More” button and see all of the skilled you have listed. Then they can endorse what they find to be important.

So how do you rearrange your LinkedIn skills?

  1. On you profile scroll down to your skills section. If you do not see this section you may need to add some skills.
  2. Click on the Pencil on the top right-hand corner of that section.
  3. You will have a window open up that has your Skills and endorsements listed.
  4. You can click the X on the left-hand side to remove any unwanted skills
  5. on te right you will see three little bars click and drag these skills to the order you like.
  6. Then click Save and you have reordered your Skill list.

The discussion on whether there is any importance to the skills list is still up in the air. I see it as it can’t hurt. Nurture your list and help your connections out.

How do you get more skill Endorsements?

The best way to receive more endorsements is to go out and endorse your connections. When you do that the law of reciprocity happens. Your connections get a notification when someone looks at their profile. Then they also get a notification that you gave them an endorsement for one of their skills.

Armed with that knowledge your connections will then turn around and give you an endorsement right back. So getting endorsement are not difficult. Just go out and be nice.

Now many people wonder if there is any benefit to listing skills. Recruiters often say that they don’t look at the skill list on LinkedIn. That very well may be true. Yet, your next project may not come from a recruiter but from one of your connections. That connection may be influenced by your impressive list of skills on your LinkedIn profile. So whether it helps or not it is there and it may help out. If it doesn’t it isn’t being any type of hindrance. So, go out and like some of your connections skills.

Also while on LinkedIn make some new connections grow your network of professionals.If you need some help with that let me know you can connect with me on LinkedIn I am not snobby in the least.Or if you want to follow my Company page you can do that too


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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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You have Skills, Talk about them
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