If you’re thinking about your next career move, you’ll almost certainly be wanting to get to grips with LinkedIn both in terms of using the platform as a job (re)search tool and maintaining a professional-looking profile to promote yourself. In this post, I’ll share some tips on how to update the skills section on your LinkedIn profile and explain why keeping your profile up to date is important.
How often should you update your LinkedIn profile?
Basically, every time you think of something new that needs to be added or something that needs to be changed or updated. This could be a new job or a recently acquired qualification or perhaps a new area of responsibility that you’ve taken on, a particular project, or some voluntary work. Perhaps you’ve recently completed a professional development review and have realised your profile is missing some important details or needs updating to reflect your aims for the coming year. Or maybe you’ve done an exercise to identify your transferable skills and want to ensure the ones you’ve got are visible.
Since 2015 (when I first ventured onto the platform with any seriousness), I’ve done numerous reviews to keep my profile looking like I want it to look, usually every six months or so. However, with the most recent review, I discovered that I hadn’t maxed out on the 50 skill quota that we’re allowed. That oversight provides a good illustration of why it’s worth checking regularly because there may be things you’ve accidentally left off or want to reword or add.
Anyway, my skills section is fixed now and here are some tips to help you ensure you’re using your Skills section to the max too.
Nine tips for making the most of the skills section on your LinkedIn profile
- Ensure your Experiences section lists all your work experience to date so that as you add new skills, you can indicate which job/role you’ve used those skills in.
- Delete any skills that are irrelevant for the professional identity you’re seeking to promote.
- Check the profiles of people doing the work you’re interested in doing to see what skills they list. Make a note of any skills you’d like to add to your profile (and any others that you might need to develop).
- Focus on listing only those skills you want to be known for.
- Limit yourself to those skills that you have experience in even if you’re in the early stages of developing them.
- Avoid including skills that you don’t enjoy because you may get endorsements for them and find yourself using them more.
- Reorder the skills so that you group them together in categories that make sense. (You can find instructions for this in the LinkedIn Help section.)
- Remember to include skills from volunteering or previous roles that are relevant to what you’re seeking to do now.
- Ask people who know your work to endorse you for those skills that they feel comfortable endorsing you for.
Why is maintaining the skills section on your LinkedIn profile important?
- To show the wider professional community what you can do.
- To position yourself as someone with a specific package of expertise.
- To get yourself found by other people (e.g. recruitment agencies, head hunters, clients).
- To demonstrate that you’re on the ball professionally.
One final tip: keep a text version of your LinkedIn profile on your computer and date it. Each time you make a change on LI, save a new text version on your computer and date that too. That way, if you want want to revert back to something you wrote previously, you can.
Was this helpful?
If so, perhaps you could endorse me for ‘LinkedIn’ in the skills section of my own profile 😉. Send me a message through LinkedIn to let me know you’ve done this and I’ll return the favour (assuming we’ve worked together and I know your work).
If you think you might help with making changes to your career, get in touch to arrange an initial session. We can explore where you are now, what you’re hoping to achieve and the type of support that may help you get there.