LinkedIn Skills: What you should know to gain a competitive edge

LinkedIn Skills - blog

The LinkedIn skills section is important if you want to be found in a search as a job seeker as well as a business professional. LinkedIn started as a careers platform and today LinkedIn continues to add features that aid job seeking & career growth.

Think of how people use LinkedIn as a search engine – we search for titles and keywords that might match who or what service we are looking for. Other search engines such as Google we typically search for ‘how to do something’ or ‘how to find something.’

There are several places within your LinkedIn profile where you can add skills and this article breaks them all down.

  • Skills Section – lower half of profile
  • Creator Mode – appears top of profile
  • Top Skills – below your About section

Skills Section

The skills section has always been an important component in your LinkedIn profile because LinkedIn tracks skills which they use for data collection, but more importantly recruiters look for candidates by skills. You can add up to 50 skills that showcase your abilities, (both soft and hard skills).

I suggest when adding skills, you start to type in the skill and if you see it pop-up or auto-populate, select it which adds it to you profile. If you choose a skill that does not pop-up that means LinkedIn is not tracking that skill & I would recommend choosing something else.

Once you select a skill, the next step is to select places in your profile where you use that skill. These skills then appear under the section you selected. You can go back and EDIT your skills where you will see a box pop-up that says “Tell us where you put this skill to use.

Display order of skills

You will notice three skills appear on your profile when someone views it. Below you see ‘show all # skills’ – so someone would have to open that to view your skills. I suggest you choose the top 3 skills you want to be known for reordering your list to feature those.

  1. Scroll down to the Skills section and click the Edit icon.
  2. Click the More icon on the upper right of the Skills page.
  3. Click Reorder from the dropdown.

[NEW] Display top skills

The newest feature from LinkedIn is called “Top Skills” which are your top five skills located directly below your ‘About’ section.

As noted in a recent Forbes article, “This new feature allows you to highlight your top five skills. Whether you’re a job hunter or a professional wanting to enhance your profile, this new option is a valuable function. Once listed, it is easier for search engines and recruiters to uncover job candidates with a specific skill.

The top skills box is invisible if you haven’t set up this function. To add it, open your “About” section and hit “edit.” At the bottom, you’ll see a tab that says, “Add Top Skills.” Click on that. Identify your top five from the drop-down menu. Not every possible skill you can think of is available, but many skills are. You must select from those.”

“Go to the bottom of your profile to see what skills you noted there. Pick out your top five. Don’t worry that the skills will be in there twice. These top ones take prominence, so be sure you select the best ones that describe your abilities.”

You may also want to combine some hard skills and soft skills.

Creator Mode

LinkedIn introduced the feature known as ‘Creator Mode’ back in 2021. Creator mode is a profile setting that can help you grow your reach and influence on LinkedIn through your content. You can turn on creator mode to get access to additional tools and features that help you create content and grow your audience base on LinkedIn. When ‘Creator Mode’ is turned on, one of the features inside is the ability to add five topics or hashtags you talk about. I’m mentioning this because those hashtags could be the same as a skill you have. For example, if you have ‘project management’ in your skills section, it could be that you also write, or post content related to ‘project management.’

LinkedIn Skill Assessment

The LinkedIn Skill Assessments feature allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of the skills you’ve added on your profile by completing assessments specific to those skills.

A typical assessment consists of 15 multiple choice questions; each question tests at least one concept or subskill. The questions are timed and must be completed in one session.

You can access the Skills Assessment from the JOBS tab in the navigation bar. Click on ‘Demonstrate Transferable Skills’ on the left side-panel, then scroll down to ‘Take Skills Assessment.”

Once you’ve completed an assessment, your answers will be scored, and an assessment report will be generated. You can view it at any time from the Skills page, under the Results tab. You can always delete your score and report.

If you score in the top 30% (determined by comparing your score against a curated benchmark), you’ll receive a skill badge, which you can opt to display on your profile and in recruiter searches.

Endorse someone’s LinkedIn skills

Skill endorsements are a great way to recognize your 1st-degree connections’ skills while staying top of mind with them. You can only endorse skills already listed on someone’s profile.

To endorse a connection’s skill from their profile:

  • Navigate to the profile of the 1st degree connection.
  • Scroll down to the Skills & endorsements section and locate the name of the skill you’d like to endorse. If your connection has more than three skills listed, click Show more at the bottom of the section to see their whole list of skills.

The person is notified that they have been endorsed by you.

[NEW] Identify a job using skills match

This feature is currently being rolled out [early 2023] and may not be available to you yet.

The Skills Match insight allows you to see which job opportunities are a good fit by comparing your profile with the job description. With this insight, you can quickly evaluate whether you should apply for jobs based on skill fit and potentially save time in your search.

You’ll see the number of skills you have that match the job posting’s skills requirements. “x of y skills match your profile” will appear with “x” referring to your skills and “y” referring to the number of skills the job requires. Note: Job skills requirements in Skills Match insights can be derived from skills added by the job poster or skills LinkedIn identified in the job description.

  • Explicit skills: Skills listed in your profile’s Skills section. Learn more about how to add explicit skills that you have to improve Skills Match insights using the linked article below.
  • Implicit skills: Skills that are extracted from text within any section of your profile, such as the summary, position description, title, and headline. Implicit skills are extra skills that are not directly editable. Any skills on the matched list that were not added by you are considered “implicit skills.”

Recruiters will know of your “skills match” status when searching for candidates with the Skills match filter. We recommend updating your profile with the latest and most descriptive information in your profile to improve your chances of matching skills needed for a job.

You may add missing skills directly from the Skills Match insight. Also, be sure to turn on notifications on your phone for the LinkedIn mobile app to receive instant notifications for jobs that match your skills.

Transferable skills

I wrote an article about transferable skills where I noted that transferable skills are the value-based skills you bring from job to job. You want to articulate your value with your hard skills not your soft skills and highlight those through your LinkedIn profile and resume. Read more about transferable skills here.

Premium LinkedIn Subscribers Benefit

As a Premium subscriber, you will be able to access the How you match section while searching for a job, on the job details page.

The How you match section provides you with the following information while looking for a job:

  • If you’re a top applicant
  • Skills associated with the job
  • Skills related to the job post that’s on your profile
  • Skills related to the job post that’s missing on your profile
  • Additional skill among applicants

This will further help you make an informed decision while applying for the job, as well as add skills associated with a job you might have missed adding earlier.

LinkedIn skills are an important piece to your profile that will help you get found for your skills. In addition, incorporating your skills into your career story, showing how you used your key skills will set you apart from your competitors.

At Linked In For Business we’re pro’s at updating your LinkedIn profile so it drives visibility, increases engagement, and builds your influence resulting in more impact, credibility and income! Schedule a call and learn our process as LinkedIn profile writers. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE CALENDAR

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JoAnne Funch

Helping business owners and corporate leaders use LinkedIn and relationship building strategies to gain more exposure for their brand so they have more impact, credibility & income.

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