Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills?

LinkedIn's Skills & Endorsements section has been rather confusing from its inception, but they have been improving it over the years and have now added a couple really cool features that are easy to use and could have a significant impact on your business and career.

Because LinkedIn has made at least four revisions to Skills & Endorsements over the six years of its existence, we can assume this section is fairly important in the overall scheme of how LinkedIn works and, most importantly, in the way the critical search ranking algorithm works. I can't prove it, but I don't think LinkedIn would spend this much time and effort unless it really matters.
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How to optimize your Skills & Endorsements profile section

Because the Skills & Endorsements section is confusing to many people, I will give you some overall strategies for capitalizing on it in addition to discussing the exciting new features. Implementing these strategies will help the viewers of your profile better understand how you can help them, and the result will be great, new relationships that should lead to improved business and career success.

1.  You can only receive endorsements from 1st level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess. If you receive a pending endorsement notification from LinkedIn saying, John Jones wants to endorse you for basket weaving, don't say yes if you aren't a good basket weaver or don't want basket weaving listed as a skill in your Skills & Endorsements section.

2.  You can manage them to a certain extent. Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile, and then you can:
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Add any skills that show what you're good at from a professional standpoint. If your job duties include sales, add keywords that relate to the products and services you sell. After you click Add a new skill, type a skill in the box. LinkedIn will then suggest other skills based on the words you put in the box. If those skills are part of your skill set, be sure to add them to your list of skills.
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Delete a skill. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner. Then click the new trash can icon to the right of the skill you want to delete, and it's gone—along with any endorsements of that skill, of course.
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Pin and reorder your skills. This brand new feature enables you to pin your three most important skills at the top of your new subsection titled Top Skills—providing greater visibility and credibility for you. Simply click the pencil icon next to Add a new skill on the top right of your Skills & Endorsements section, and then click the pin icon next to the three skills you'd like at the top of your list. Viewers will only see these three skills until they click Show more. These should be your three very best keywords.

Next, review the skills in the other new categories (Industry Knowledge, Tools & Technologies, Interpersonal Skills, and Other Skills). Then reorder the entries in each category, from most important to least important, by dragging the four-line icon on the right.

Other than the three entries you've pinned in the Top Skills category, you cannot move skills to a different category. Also, you may not have all four of the categories on your profile if LinkedIn doesn't think you have skills in all four categories. For instance, I don't have Tools & Technologies on my profile.

Because you can now put your best skills at the top of these new lists, your connections will be more likely to endorse you for those skills—and soon they'll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of the search results when people search for those skills.

Choose (1) whether or not you want to be endorsed, (2) whether you want LinkedIn to suggest endorsements to your connections, and (3) whether you want suggestions for endorsing your connections. Click the words Adjust endorsement settings on the bottom of the page to revise your settings. I recommend choosing Yes for all three settings.

3.  You can be endorsed for up to 50 skills. These skills are essentially keywords, and LinkedIn and other search engines love keywords; so I would use all 50 slots if I were you.

4.  You don't have to endorse everyone who endorses you. If you want to endorse them, go ahead, but don't feel obligated to do so.

5.  I'm pretty sure endorsements and the skills they attach to are part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. LinkedIn doesn't publicize its algorithm, but my guess is that skills are an important part of it, because LinkedIn doesn't invest this much time and effort into something that isn't going to help their top-line revenue. They are making a lot of money on their Recruiting Solutions product, and they obviously think this feature helps them deliver the "best" candidate for a certain skill ("best" meaning most endorsed).

6.  List skills that are important and consistent with your current or future business strategy. The skills you include, especially the ones you pin and move to the top of the other categories, should be important for you on a moving forward basis—and these may not be the same skills that have been historically important for you.

Also, don't worry about putting new skills in the pinned section or near the top of a category. You may not have any endorsements for them yet, but you'll get them over time.

7.  You might get someone's attention if you endorse them. Your face and name may appear on the person's profile, and LinkedIn will also send the person a message saying you just endorsed them.

8.  Endorsements may be the differentiator. If two profiles look similar in all respects but one has 120 endorsements for the skill you're looking for and the other has only 20, you may be inclined to choose the person with 120.

9.  Endorsements are great, but LinkedIn recommendations are still important. I recommend you get at least two recommendations, because LinkedIn now displays them very prominently and in full on your profile. This is especially important if you're a job seeker. Great recommendations will increase your credibility—and the more the better.

You should now be ready to impress readers of your profile with your specific skills and affirmation of those skills by LinkedIn members—and greater visibility and credibility is sure to lead to increased revenue.

 

SPECIAL OFFER

If you’d like help with developing a LinkedIn strategy that will catapult your business and career, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one LinkedIn consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). This offer also includes an in-depth critique of your profile.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

The post Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills?

LinkedIn's Skills & Endorsements section has been rather confusing from its inception, but they have been improving it over the years and have now added a couple really cool features that are easy to use and could have a significant impact on your business and career.

Because LinkedIn has made at least four revisions to Skills & Endorsements over the six years of its existence, we can assume this section is fairly important in the overall scheme of how LinkedIn works and, most importantly, in the way the critical search ranking algorithm works. I can't prove it, but I don't think LinkedIn would spend this much time and effort unless it really matters.
.

How to optimize your Skills & Endorsements profile section

Because the Skills & Endorsements section is confusing to many people, I will give you some overall strategies for capitalizing on it in addition to discussing the exciting new features. Implementing these strategies will help the viewers of your profile better understand how you can help them, and the result will be great, new relationships that should lead to improved business and career success.

1.  You can only receive endorsements from 1st level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess. If you receive a pending endorsement notification from LinkedIn saying, John Jones wants to endorse you for basket weaving, don't say yes if you aren't a good basket weaver or don't want basket weaving listed as a skill in your Skills & Endorsements section.

2.  You can manage them to a certain extent. Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile, and then you can:
.

Add any skills that show what you're good at from a professional standpoint. If your job duties include sales, add keywords that relate to the products and services you sell. After you click Add a new skill, type a skill in the box. LinkedIn will then suggest other skills based on the words you put in the box. If those skills are part of your skill set, be sure to add them to your list of skills.
.

Delete a skill. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner. Then click the new trash can icon to the right of the skill you want to delete, and it's gone—along with any endorsements of that skill, of course.
.

Pin and reorder your skills. This brand new feature enables you to pin your three most important skills at the top of your new subsection titled Top Skills—providing greater visibility and credibility for you. Simply click the pencil icon next to Add a new skill on the top right of your Skills & Endorsements section, and then click the pin icon next to the three skills you'd like at the top of your list. Viewers will only see these three skills until they click Show more. These should be your three very best keywords.

Next, review the skills in the other new categories (Industry Knowledge, Tools & Technologies, Interpersonal Skills, and Other Skills). Then reorder the entries in each category, from most important to least important, by dragging the four-line icon on the right.

Other than the three entries you've pinned in the Top Skills category, you cannot move skills to a different category. Also, you may not have all four of the categories on your profile if LinkedIn doesn't think you have skills in all four categories. For instance, I don't have Tools & Technologies on my profile.

Because you can now put your best skills at the top of these new lists, your connections will be more likely to endorse you for those skills—and soon they'll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of the search results when people search for those skills.

Choose (1) whether or not you want to be endorsed, (2) whether you want LinkedIn to suggest endorsements to your connections, and (3) whether you want suggestions for endorsing your connections. Click the words Adjust endorsement settings on the bottom of the page to revise your settings. I recommend choosing Yes for all three settings.

3.  You can be endorsed for up to 50 skills. These skills are essentially keywords, and LinkedIn and other search engines love keywords; so I would use all 50 slots if I were you.

4.  You don't have to endorse everyone who endorses you. If you want to endorse them, go ahead, but don't feel obligated to do so.

5.  I'm pretty sure endorsements and the skills they attach to are part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. LinkedIn doesn't publicize its algorithm, but my guess is that skills are an important part of it, because LinkedIn doesn't invest this much time and effort into something that isn't going to help their top-line revenue. They are making a lot of money on their Recruiting Solutions product, and they obviously think this feature helps them deliver the "best" candidate for a certain skill ("best" meaning most endorsed).

6.  List skills that are important and consistent with your current or future business strategy. The skills you include, especially the ones you pin and move to the top of the other categories, should be important for you on a moving forward basis—and these may not be the same skills that have been historically important for you.

Also, don't worry about putting new skills in the pinned section or near the top of a category. You may not have any endorsements for them yet, but you'll get them over time.

7.  You might get someone's attention if you endorse them. Your face and name may appear on the person's profile, and LinkedIn will also send the person a message saying you just endorsed them.

8.  Endorsements may be the differentiator. If two profiles look similar in all respects but one has 120 endorsements for the skill you're looking for and the other has only 20, you may be inclined to choose the person with 120.

9.  Endorsements are great, but LinkedIn recommendations are still important. I recommend you get at least two recommendations, because LinkedIn now displays them very prominently and in full on your profile. This is especially important if you're a job seeker. Great recommendations will increase your credibility—and the more the better.

You should now be ready to impress readers of your profile with your specific skills and affirmation of those skills by LinkedIn members—and greater visibility and credibility is sure to lead to increased revenue.

 

SPECIAL OFFER

If you’d like help with developing a LinkedIn strategy that will catapult your business and career, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one LinkedIn consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). This offer also includes an in-depth critique of your profile.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

The post Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Are You Still Confused by LinkedIn Skills and Endorsements?

Happy 5th birthday, LinkedIn Skills!

Birthday cakeYes, it has been five years since LinkedIn Skills appeared on your profile and probably caused a bit of confusion for you. Then a few years later the confusion ramped up when endorsements started showing up alongside your skills. And because LinkedIn started asking its members to endorse their connections, people began endorsing others for everything and anything—even skills we never added to our profile.

And just when most of us started to understand and take control of this profile section, LinkedIn gave us a five-year "birthday present" as part of the new desktop layout—an updated profile section titled Featured Skills & Endorsements and what they call "skill endorsements." And I thought birthday parties were supposed to be fun!
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How to optimize your Featured Skills & Endorsements profile section

Let's raise the fun factor just a bit with these nine facts and tips to maximize your use of this new profile section.

1.  You can only receive endorsements from 1st level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess. If you receive Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 2.31.40 PMa pending endorsement notification from LinkedIn saying, John Jones wants to endorse you for basket weaving, don't say yes if you aren't a good basket weaver or don't want basket weaving listed as a skill in your Featured Skills & Endorsements section.

2.  You can manage them to a certain extent. Scroll down to the Featured Skills & Endorsements section of your profile, and then you can:
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  • Add any skills that show what you're good at from a professional standpoint. If your job duties include sales, add keywords that relate to the products and services you sell. After you click Add a new skill, type a skill in the box. LinkedIn will then give you suggestions based on the words you put in the box. If those suggestions are part of your skill set, be sure to add them to your list of skills.
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  • Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 2.33.26 PMDelete a skill. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner. Then click the "X" to the left of the skill you want to delete, and it's gone—along with any endorsements of that skill, of course.
    .
  • Reorder your skills so your most important ones are near the top. These are your best keywords, and they'll improve your search ranking. Put them in the order you prefer, from most important to least important, by clicking the pencil icon and then holding down and dragging the four-line icon to the right of the skill you want to reorder.
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    Then your connections will be encouraged to tick off endorsements for the skills you think are important, and within a short period of time they'll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of a search for those critical skills.
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    The reordering process is especially important now because only the first three skills (LinkedIn refers to them as "featured") and the related endorsements show up until the reader clicks View XX more.
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  • Choose (1) whether or not you want to be endorsed, (2) whether you want LinkedIn to suggest endorsements to your connections, and (3) whether you want suggestions for endorsing your connections. Click Adjust endorsement settings on the bottom of the page to revise your settings.

3.  You can be endorsed for up to 50 skills. These skills are essentially keywords, and LinkedIn and other search engines love keywords; so I would use all 50 slots if I were you.

4.  You don't have to endorse everyone who endorses you. If you want to endorse them, go ahead, but don't feel obligated to do so.

5.  I'm pretty sure endorsements and the skills they attach to are part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. LinkedIn doesn't publicize its algorithm, but my guess is that skills are an important part of it, because LinkedIn doesn't invest this much time and effort into something that isn't going to help their top line revenue. They are making a lot of money on their Recruiting Solutions, and they obviously think this feature helps them deliver the "best" candidate for a certain skill ("best" meaning most endorsed).

6.  List skills that are important and consistent with your current or future business strategy. Because your skills that receive the most endorsements will be at the top of the list—and most people will probably only look at the first few skills—you want them to be your most important skills. If you list extraneous skills, you may get a lot of endorsements for them, and then no one will even notice your most important skills that are now further down on the list.

7.  You might get someone's attention if you endorse him/her. Your face and name will appear on the person's profile, and LinkedIn also sends the person a message saying you just endorsed him/her.

8.  Endorsements may be the differentiator. If two profiles look similar in all respects but one has 120 endorsements for the skill you're looking for and the other has only 20, you may be inclined to choose the person with 120.

9.  Endorsements are great, but LinkedIn recommendations are still important. I recommend you get at least two recommendations on your profile. This is especially important if you're a job seeker. Great recommendations will increase your credibility—and the more the better.

You should now be ready to impress readers of your profile with your specific skills and affirmation of those skills by LinkedIn members.

If you'd like more information about this topic, check out LinkedIn's complete discussion in the LinkedIn Help Center by clicking here.

The post Are You Still Confused by LinkedIn Skills and Endorsements? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Just How Confused Are You About LinkedIn Endorsements?

Even though it’s over three years since LinkedIn launched the Skills feature and related Skillsendorsements of those skills, it’s one of the most confusing and misunderstood LinkedIn profile sections.

So, here are ten facts and tips to help you maximize your use of the LinkedIn Skills & Endorsements section on your profile.

1.  You can only receive endorsements from 1st level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess. If you receive a message from LinkedIn saying, John Jones wants to endorse you for basket weaving, don’t say yes if you aren’t a good basket weaver or don’t want basket weaving listed in your Skills section.

2.  You can manage them to a certain extent. When you are in Edit Profile mode, scroll down to your Skills & Endorsements section. Hover over the top right corner, and the +Add skill box (1) will appear. Once you click that, you can:
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Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 8.18.11 AM

  • Delete or add a skill. Just click the “X” (2) next to the skill you want to delete and it’s gone–along with any endorsements of that skill, of course.Adding is just as simple. Just type a skill in the What are your areas of expertise box (3). LinkedIn will also give you suggestions based on the words you are including in the box (4). Be sure to add the ones that LinkedIn suggests if they are part of your skill set.
    .
  • Reorder your skills so your most important ones are near the top. These are your best keywords, and they’ll improve your search ranking. Drag them into the order you prefer, from most important to least important. Then your connections will be encouraged to tick off endorsements for the skills you think are important, and within a short period of time they’ll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of a search for those critical skills.
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  • Choose whether or not you will display your endorsements on your profile.
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  • Choose where the Skills & Endorsements section appears on your profile. Just hold Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 8.24.13 AMand drag the up/down arrow (5) to reposition the entire section.
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  • Hide a specific endorsement.  Click Manage Endorsements, and just uncheck the ones that you want to hide.

3.  You can be endorsed for up to 50 skills. These are essentially keywords, and LinkedIn and other search engines love keywords; so I would use all 50 slots if I were you.

4.  You can control whether you receive a notification every time someone wants to endorse you.

5.  You don’t have to endorse everyone who endorses you. If you want to endorse them, go ahead, but don’t feel obligated to do so.

6.  I’m pretty sure endorsements and the skills they attach to are part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. LinkedIn doesn’t publicize its algorithm, but my guess is that skills are an important part of it, because LinkedIn doesn’t invest this much time and effort into something that isn’t going to help their stock price. They are making a lot of money on their Recruiting Solutions, and they obviously think this feature helps them deliver the “best” candidate for a certain skill (“best” meaning most endorsed).

7.  List skills that are consistent with your current or future business strategy. Because your skills that receive the most endorsements will be at the top of the list–and most people will probably only look at the first few skills–you want them to be your most important skills. If you list extraneous skills, you may get a lot of endorsements for them, and then no one will even notice your most important skills that are now further down on the list.

Note: If part of your job responsibility relates to business development, be sure to include the products and services you represent in your Skills section.

8.  You might get someone’s attention if you endorse them. Your face and name will appear on their profile, and they also get an email from LinkedIn telling them you just endorsed them.

9.  Endorsements may be the differentiator. If two profiles look similar in all respects but one has 120 endorsements for the skill you’re looking for and the other has only 20, you may be inclined to choose the person with 120.

10.  Endorsements are great, but LinkedIn recommendations are still important. I recommend you get at least two or three recommendations for every job entry on your profile. This is especially important if you’re a job seeker. Great recommendations will increase your credibility–and the more the better.

If you’d like more information about this topic, check out LinkedIn’s complete discussion in the LinkedIn Help Center by clicking here.

The post Just How Confused Are You About LinkedIn Endorsements? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.