Are you in the midst of a job search on LinkedIn? Did you know that optimizing your skills section can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed by potential employers? In this guide, we will take a deep dive into the LinkedIn Skills Section and how to optimize it for your job search. By the end of this post, you'll have all the information you need to make the most of your LinkedIn profile's skills section and attract recruiters' attention.
Understanding the LinkedIn Skills Section
The LinkedIn Skills Section plays a crucial role in enhancing your profile and attracting recruiters. This is because recruiters will use the skills section to find and filter candidates. So, if you do not have a skill on your LinkedIn profile, then you will not show up in the searches of recruiters who are looking for it. Also, if you are applying for jobs on LinkedIn, you may be automatically viewed as unqualified by the platform because a skill is missing from your profile. Thus, by optimizing this section, you can improve your career prospects and increase discoverability by recruiters and hiring managers who are looking for candidates just like you for their open jobs.
A Comprehensive Guide to Adding and Removing Skills on LinkedIn
Now that you know how important this section of your LinkedIn profile is, we'll dive right into how to update your LinkedIn skills. You will want to go through the skills on your LinkedIn profile thoroughly to make sure that they are relevant and focused on what you want to do now and in the future. This will enhance your visibility to recruiters that are searching for you online and it will improve your credibility with people who will interview you.
How to Add More Skills in LinkedIn
To add skills to your LinkedIn profile, you will first need to make sure that you have the section on your profile. If you don't, here is how to add the skills section to your LinkedIn profile:
Click on the "Add profile section" button
Select "add skills"
Type the skill that you want to add in the text box and pick from the drop-downs or select skills from the options automatically presented by LinkedIn in the "Suggested based on your profile"
In the pop-up, click the boxes next to each of the roles, volunteering, and education where you have applied the skills
If you already have the skills section on your LinkedIn profile, here is how to add additional skills to your LinkedIn profile:
Scroll down to the skills section on your LinkedIn profile
Click the "+" next to the pencil icon
In the pop-up, start typing the skill that you want to add in the text box and pick from the drop-downs or select skills from the options automatically presented by LinkedIn in the "Suggested based on your profile"
In the next pop-up, click the boxes next to each of the roles, volunteering, and education where you have applied the skills
Keep adding the skills until you hit the maximum number of skills on your profile. Keep reading for the best skills to include on your LinkedIn profile.
How to Remove Skills from LinkedIn Profile
To make room for all of the skills that you want and need on your LinkedIn profile, you may need to remove some of the skills that are no longer relevant to your professional goals. Take the time to identify skills that are no longer relevant or in-demand. By removing outdated skills, you can ensure that your profile remains current and up-to-date. It's also beneficial to consider feedback from others when deciding which skills to remove.
Here is how to remove skills from your LinkedIn profile:
Go to the skills section on your LinkedIn profile
Click the pencil icon
In the next window, scroll through the list of your skills and find the skill you want to remove
Click on the pencil next to the skill you want to remove.
In the pop-up, select the "Delete skill" option in the bottom left corner.
Confirm that you want to delete the skill
By removing the skills that are dated or no longer relevant, you will make room for different skills on your LinkedIn profile. Once you have removed the skills that you no longer want, make sure to go back and add some new skills to your profile. Keep reading for the list of skills that will help you to stand out in your job search.
The Optimal Number of Skills to Have on Your LinkedIn Profile
How many skills should you have on your LinkedIn profile? All of them. LinkedIn members are all capped at 50 skills on their LinkedIn profile. Most people have more, so you will have to pick the right mix of business skills, people skills, and hard skills for your LinkedIn profile.
Remember, that if you do not add all of the skills it will likely hurt your job search. Most LinkedIn users do not realize just how important the skills section is to their job search and career goals. As explained above, this is because LinkedIn Jobs and LinkedIn Recruiter are determining your fit for the jobs you apply for based on the skills section. The platforms are also not showing your profile to the people looking for you if they are using certain skills as filters for candidates. So, you will need to make the most of this section and periodically review it to ensure that you have all of the right skills for your job search.
Balance the Skills on Your LinkedIn Profile
To optimize your LinkedIn skills section, it's crucial to strike a balance between specific skills for your profession and those that are frequently found in job descriptions that you are currently applying for. Highlighting a balanced mix will keep you relevant and showcase the depth of your knowledge. It's important to showcase depth in certain areas while also demonstrating breadth across multiple skills. By maintaining the right balance, you can effectively optimize your LinkedIn profile for maximum impact.
Pick the Right Skills for Your LinkedIn Profile
Selecting the top skills for your LinkedIn profile is a must-have. You can do this by researching other people's profiles on LinkedIn and you may be surprised how much others are missing from their profile. See this as an opportunity to stand out! To do that, you may have to look at a lot of profiles, job descriptions, and other resources. Or, you can work with a professional LinkedIn profile writer like those at The Contingent Plan. People who build LinkedIn profiles know the systems and the technology that scans it. So, they can save you tons of time and point you right to the skills that matter most right now for your job search goals.
But, you will have to keep reviewing the skills on your LinkedIn profile to make sure that they are right as your job search continues. Whether you decide to build the skills section yourself or you are looking for help, here are the skills to think about for your profile.
Top Soft Skills to Include in Your Profile
Employers are looking for people to join their team. This means they also care as much about your soft skills as they do about your substantive skills. Here are some of the top soft skills that employers look for and that you should consider including on your LinkedIn profile:
Select the Substantive & Specialty Skills for Your Profession
Equally important are the substantive and specialty skills for your profession. Make sure that you have a strong mix of both of these types of skills on your LinkedIn profile. The right skills for your field or specialty can vary greatly between fields. Start with the common, key skills or root words to pull up the drop down list so that you can see all of the options. These drop-downs are powerful on LinkedIn as that is the same list that recruiters will use to find and filter candidates. So, take advantage of them!
Be sure to include both substantive and specialty skills to demonstrate your well-rounded abilities and increase your chances of finding new opportunities in your profession. Some top substantive & specialty skills include:
Cross-functional Team Leadership
What substantive or specialties skills you pick, make sure that they are right for what you want to do next. Keep reviewing and refining them based on the trends that you see in the job postings. As a jobseeker, it is important not to simply set and forget your LinkedIn profile, but to make sure that you are constantly updating it to maximize its value.
Use LinkedIn Premium to Look for the Trends in Skills that You are Missing
LinkedIn Premium offers valuable insights into the skills that employers are seeking in your profession. By subscribing to LinkedIn Premium, you can stay updated on emerging skills such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, which are becoming increasingly important in today's job market. This information allows you to identify which skills are in high demand, giving you a competitive edge in your career. Additionally, LinkedIn Premium provides advanced analytics for your profile views and search results, enabling you to track your progress and make data-driven decisions. By leveraging these features, you can identify any skills gaps you may have and take steps to learn new skills and stay ahead in the job market.
Regularly Updating Your Skills Section: The Key to Staying Relevant
Regularly updating your LinkedIn skills section is crucial for staying relevant in today's competitive job market. It allows you to showcase your expertise and skills to potential employers, attracting their attention and increasing your chances of landing your dream job. To ensure that your skills section is effective, identify and select the most relevant skills that align with your professional goals. By staying current with industry trends and changes, you demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and growth. Don't forget to optimize your skills section by prioritizing your most important skills and using relevant keywords to enhance your visibility to recruiters. Endorsements and recommendations from others further validate your skills and boost your credibility on LinkedIn. Stay ahead of the curve by regularly updating your skills section and seize new opportunities in your field.
The Importance of Keeping Your Skills Updated
Keeping your skills updated on LinkedIn is vital for a successful job search. Your skills list should accurately showcase your abilities and experiences, making it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to find you. Adding relevant keywords can optimize your profile, increasing visibility to potential employers. Take advantage of LinkedIn's skills endorsements feature to add credibility to your profile. Regularly updating your skills section demonstrates your willingness to learn and adapt, signaling your commitment to professional growth. By utilizing the skills section effectively, you open yourself up to new opportunities and valuable networking connections. Stay competitive in today's job market by prioritizing the regular updating of your skills.
When and How Often Should You Update Your Skills Section?
Updating your skills section is crucial for staying relevant on LinkedIn. Add new skills or certifications as you acquire them and remove outdated ones. If you are not actively looking for a job, the best practice is to update your skills at least once a year. But, if actively looking for a job, then the best practice is to update and review your LinkedIn skills every other week. Keep your profile up-to-date to showcase your expertise.
Allocate the Skills to Your Experiences & Education
LinkedIn rolled out the ability to show when and where you have used the skills listed in the Skills section in your professional career. This functionality is relatively new and jobseekers are slow to adopt it - mostly because people don't realize why it matters. But, identifying those top skills and taking the time to attribute your skills to each role, education, volunteering, award, or project is important. Here's why...
Recruiters Filter Based on Years
When recruiters are searching for potential candidates on LinkedIn, they often filter the results based on the number of years of experience using a particular skills. The newer functionality to attribute your skills to particular roles enables LinkedIn to tell those recruiters and hiring managers how much experience you have with a particular skill. Thus, if you don't take the time to do this extra step with skills, you may not be showing up in the searches where recruiters have filtered based on years of experience.
This is important when recruiters are looking for passive candidates and reaching out to people on LinkedIn. But, it also matters when you apply for a job on LinkedIn. This is because the LinkedIn Jobs section enables Recruiters to set the minimum required years of experience with a skill when they post the job. So, if you don't hit that minimum, because you don't have the skill or you don't have the years of experience with the skill, then you may be automatically rejected by LinkedIn.
Start with the Skills Section and Click the Boxes
You can allocate the skills to your particular jobs, education, awards, and volunteering in all of the above sections. But, the easiest way to do it is to start in the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile. You do this by clicking the boxes when adding the skill to your profile. It's a simple box to check and you can run through all of the skills at the same time. By following these steps, you can optimize your LinkedIn Skills section and enhance your job search potential.
Make Sure to Pick the Top Skills for your About Section Separately
Avoid the common mistake of overlooking the Top Skills section in your About section on LinkedIn. The best practice is to return to this section after you have completed the skills section work outlined above. Here is how to select your Top Skills in the About section of your profile:
Go to the About section
Click the pencil icon
Scroll to the bottom of the pop-up, and start typing in the top skills box
Pick the top 5 skills that you want everyone to see
Why is this important? Because 75% of people drop-off of your LinkedIn profile after the About section. They may send you a connection invite, send you a LinkedIn message, send you an email, or go on to the next profile. But, not many people will keep scrolling and few will really did into the details of your skills. So, make it easy for people to see your top skills by taking advantage of the top skills section in your About. This will pop-out to everyone and make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to see why they should pick you.
In conclusion, optimizing your LinkedIn Skills section is crucial for maximizing your job search success. By understanding the importance of this section in your profile and how it works, you can strategically add and remove skills that maximize your visibility on the profile for your job search and career goals. Don't forget to regularly update your skills to stay relevant in the ever-evolving job market. Allocate your skills to your experiences and education to showcase your expertise and increase your visibility to recruiters. Start optimizing your LinkedIn Skills section today and take your job search to the next level.
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