If you’ve read my last two posts on setting up your LinkedIn profile header, as well as your summary, experience and education, and you have done your homework, you should be well on your way to having a complete profile on LinkedIn.
There are a couple more sections that you need to complete in order to take full advantage of the capabilities LinkedIn has to offer.
Skills & Expertise
There are two parts to the Skills & Expertise section. The first is listing your skills. The second is getting endorsed for those skills. When you set up your profile, you have the opportunity to list up to 50 skills. It’s really important to do this for a couple reasons. First of all, skills are like keywords. When you list a skill, you are essentially telling LinkedIn what topics to associate your profile with. Because of this, you want to list skills relevant to your business or job.
The second reason is because people can “endorse” you for those skills. Once you have listed that you are good at something, LinkedIn will prompt your connections, asking them if you know about that particular skill. If they say yes, then they will endorse you. Endorsements are another form of social proof (be sure to read this post on social proof) and help you stand out from your competition. For example, if someone pulls up two profiles in the same industry with the same skills, the one with the more endorsements has more credibility to the viewer. It’s human nature. In addition, the more you are endorsed for a particular skill, the more likely you are to show up higher in a LinkedIn search result for that skill.
In the end, once you have listed your skills and people have started endorsing you, your profile will start to look like the screenshot below.
Once you have filled out your Skills & Expertise section along with the sections I mentioned in my previous posts, you now will have a very complete LinkedIn profile. However, there are many other sections that you can add to customize your profile to help reflect you as a professional. These options are shown to you in the upper right hand sidebar when you are in the “edit profile” view.
A couple of these that I tend to use most often with our clients are the “organizations” and “honors & awards”. Organizations are great for highlighting any non-profit work that you do or support. It can add a different, more personal dimension to your profile and can help people to get to know more about you. Honors & awards is an easy way to list anything that you have been recognized for, which is another way to show your expertise without having to say it.
As with anything, if you have any questions or run into trouble setting up your LinkedIn profile, please feel free to comment below and I will do my best to get an answer for you.
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