In February of 2011, LinkedIn www.linkedin.com introduced LinkedIn Skills www.linkedin.com/skills LinkedIn Skills is a special section that enables users to showcase their "Skills & Expertise". In today's economy, the ability to communicate your skills and talents is more important than just merely listing your career positions and job duties - no matter how impressive they might be. As stated by Pete Skomoroch an official LinkedIn blogger, "....To succeed in the talent economy, it is crucial to showcase your skills and....the expertise you need to get the job done."
Just like any other enterprise, building your Personal Brand consists of identifying your product and service offerings. Your "Personal Product & Service Offerings" may be as simple as Meat Processing or as complex as Investment Banking. Whatever your skills and abilities may be, it is important that they accurately reflect what you have to offer. The salable skills and areas of expertise that you claim to have, they represent the personal goods and services that you have in inventory for sale to a potential consumer. Also, it is important that they be relevant to the type of opportunity that you are pursuing.
To access the Skills and Expertise section and add it you your profile, you must follow these steps:
1) Log in to your LinkedIn Profile
2) Locate the Recommended for you section on the right side of the screen and Add (+) the Skills & Expertise section to your profile
3) Select Edit Profile
4) Scroll down to the the Skills & Expertise section
5) Click "Edit" to Add & Remove Skills and Manage Endorsements
As far as Endorsements are concerned, their usefulness is debatable. They may or may not have an impact on people who view your profile. In many cases, persons who endorse your skills may be familiar with you, but unfamiliar with your career aptitudes. However, the exercise of building your list of Skills & Expertise is primarily meant to help you to take a personal inventory. Gaining and utilizing endorsements is a secondary strategy.
In the upcoming series of articles that comprise the "Creating Your Personal Brand: A 12 Step Success Plan" series, we will discuss a comprehensive strategy for Evaluating Your Skills and Talents. In the meantime, making effective use of the "LinkedIn Skills" section is a powerful way to understand and promote your "Personal Product & Service Offerings". Building your list of "Skills & Expertise" will help you to understand what you have to offer to the world. It will also help viewers to synthesize the other content in your powerful LinkedIn profile.