When people visit your profile, the skills section testifies to your professional competence. And, according to Linkedin – profiles with skills get more 13 times more views than those without. From a Linkedin marketing perspective – that means you need to pay attention to this section.
Which Skills to Add
When selecting skills, Linkedin doesn’t allow you to create them from scratch. You can only select skills they’ve approved, but don’t let that get you down – the list is huge. What you need to do is think about your target audience (this strategy is for Linkedin marketing, not career building). What skills are your prospective buyers expecting you to possess? Avoid generic skills like “leadership” or “management”. These types of skills feel like the ante into the game of business. You need to get specific, get niche-oriented. Pick skills relevant to the products/services your company offers.
Adding Top 10 Skills
When completing your profile, you can select up to 50 skills. Some Linkedin marketing professionals recommend using every one of those 50 slots. I’m of a different opinion. If you’re simply looking to advertise your profile, adding the maximum number of skills would be a great strategy. If, however, you’re interested in converting profile viewers into leads for your business, having a large list of skills with a low number of endorsements looks weak. It could reduce your effectiveness. I recommend going with your top 10 most relevant skills.
Your 10 most endorsed skills are displayed next to a matrix of profile pictures for the people who’ve endorsed you. Skills numbered 11 through 25 are listed in a comma separated paragraph below the matrix, and you have to click “see 25+” to see the remaining 25. It is the top 10 that connect the dots for your profile visitor – these 10 visually show the relationship between your skills and the real people who believe you have those skills. This is IMPORTANT for Linkedin marketing – endorsements are social proof of your competence.
The First Goal – Getting 12 Endorsements
It’s important that you have at least 12 people endorse you for each of your top 10 skills. If you have fewer than 12, it will look lame. It’s kind of like having less than 100 Linkedin connections.
To get 12 endorsements as quickly as possible, I’ve found it best to limit the number of skills available to 10. If you use Linkedin at all, you’ve noticed they want you to endorse others. Nearly every session they’ll show you the profile images of a few people you know, and ask you to endorse them for one of their skills. If that function is pulling from just 10 skills versus 50, how much quicker will the person being endorsed meet or exceed the goal of 12 endorsements? If my math is right, it’s 5x faster!
The Next Goal – Getting 99 Endorsements
Once you’ve achieved the first goal of getting 12 endorsements for 10 skills, you need to move quickly toward securing another 87 endorsements for each of those skills. The skills matrix is ordered top to bottom by the raw number of endorsements. And, just like connections which cease showing the count at 500, endorsements will only show 99. So, any endorsements beyond that just change the order of the display, but don’t add anything to your perceived competence.
That’s it – if you want more instruction on improving your Linkedin profile – read 15 Minute Makeover for Your Linkedin Profile, How to Add Lead Capture to Your Profile or How to Block Competitors from Tracking You on Linkedin.