Using this section wisely is essential, as LinkedIn has now enabled it to be searchable by recruiters.
4 Tips For LinkedIn Endorsements And Skills
Want to maximize your chance of attracting the attention of employers? Here are some tips for LinkedIn endorsements and skills.
1. Add Skills
LinkedIn gives you 50 skills. I recommend choosing the maximum number of entries, listing the terms you want to be found for. This gives you control over what is listed on your page and what you are more likely to be endorsed for.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Under Profile, choose “Edit Profile.”
Step 2: Scroll down to the Skills section.
Step 3: Click on the blue pencil on the top right of the section.
Step 4: Begin typing in your skills in the box, selecting ones that are already listed in the LinkedIn database.
If a skill is so unique to you that it has not been entered into the database yet, you may enter it manually. But by doing this, you are using one of your 50 terms for an item that might be so rare, it’s not searched for. I recommend picking the ones LI suggests to increase your odds for being found.
Want to find out what skills are the most frequently entered?:
Step 1: In “View Profile” mode, hover over one of your skills until a box for that skill pops up to the right.
Step 2: Slowly move the cursor over to the box and click on the link to “View Skill.”
Step 3: You’ll be taken to the “Skills and Expertise” beta page where you can view stats on the growth of the use of a term, how many users use that term, and how long the term has been in use.
Step 4: On the left will be suggestions for “Related Terms.”
Click around and explore which are the best terms to describe your talents while giving you the most visibility. Then, decide whether you want to use the original term you thought of, or one that’s close but more common. You can also get ideas for other skills you may not have remembered.
Remember to add skills that match your future goals but may be different from what you’ve done in the past, which brings me to my next point…
2. Take Control Of Your Skills
Because people may now endorse your ability to perform these skills, you may end up with lots of endorsements for skills on your profile that you don’t want to continue using. This is because LI has suggested these to your contacts for endorsement instead of you actually picking them. You can easily delete these.
Step 1: In “Edit,” after you’ve clicked on the blue pencil, you’ll see all of your skills.
Step 2: If you click on the X to the right of the individual skill’s box, it will be removed.
3. Take Control Of Your Endorsements
If someone has endorsed you for a skill you don’t wish to use anymore, write the contact an e-mail. Thank them for taking the time, and explain that you’d really like to be known for a different skill. Then, politely request that they endorse you for a substitution. Never hurts to ask, right?
Note: These skills are more likely to be suggested for endorsement if those terms are in your Summary or Experience sections, so write those carefully.
4. Keep An Eye On Your Brand
Make sure the endorsements you show represent your personal brand well. If you get an endorsement and you are unsure whether you should keep it on your page, you can easily hide it.
Here’s how to remove an individual endorsement:
Step 1: In “Edit,” after you’ve clicked on the little blue pencil, click on “Manage Endorsements.”
Step 2: Your list of skills will be on the left. The people who have endorsed you will be in a box on the right. You can scroll through the list and uncheck the box next to anyone you don’t want to be associated with on your profile.
Step 3: Click on the next skill you want to review, using the up or down arrows to get to the next group of skills as needed.
Step 4: Hit “Save.”
Why wouldn’t you want some endorsements to show? Perhaps you connected with someone who ended up being unethical or isn’t a good performer. There could be several reasons, but don’t stress about it too much.
The jury is still out on how much weight individual endorsements really carry, since they’re not incredibly substantive. They’re more useful for SEO and to give a big-picture view of how appreciated you are for your skills. I doubt recruiters will be analyzing each item too closely.
I’d love to hear how you are using skills and endorsements to your advantage in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock