11 Aug Reviews: The Benefits of LinkedIn Skills
One seriously under used LinkedIn application is the LinkedIn Skills App.
Not only does the app provide a dedicated skills area on personal profiles within which you can include the number of years expertise you have in the field, you can also find invaluable data for company and individual use.
Play around by putting your own skills into the search field (if your skills keyword is extremely niche or too broad it may not list exact results).
The results offer a precise description pulled in from Wikipedia, personal profile listings from LinkedIn users with those skills and similar skills, and my personal favourite, the relative growth graph in the top right hand corner.
LinkedIn Skills for Expertise
As I first mentioned, the LinkedIn Skills app is poorly utilised by users. Out of the 100 million current profiles I’d be surprised if 20% were taking advantage of the optimisation the app offers users.
Add all relevant skills to your profile along with the number of years in practice. Immediately your profile stands a chance of being listed above the fold on the skills search listings, particularly if you are an active participant within LinkedIn Groups and have a high number of connections.
Optimising your profile with LinkedIn Skills will make you more appealing to potential employers, recruitment agencies and prospect clients, searching for a supplier or consultant with your skills.
Identifying New Skills
Through searching for key skills you will also come across skills that you already have yet may not necessarily have thought of; particularly if you have been self employed or within the same job for some time and have an out-of-date CV. If a skill is listed then potential customers and suppliers obviously think it has relevance. List as many skills that are genuine to you and please do be genuine with skills and years experience.
Beware of the truth benders in your own research. I’ve come across so called social media experts with five years experience across the board and yet all of their profiles were created in 2011! Be honest, you’ll get rumbled somewhere down the line if you’re not.
Find a Supplier
LinkedIn Skills offers a perfect research tool for finding suppliers with the skill set you require for a particular project. Compare profiles and choose the best person/company for the job based on experience.
Monitor the Marketplace and Competition
Most companies like to think they are at the cutting edge of their field; whether they are or not is a different story. My personal favourite element in LinkedIn Skills, the growth graph, outlines the demand of specific skills.The graph paints a picture as to what skills are becoming more in demand and what are depleting in popularity. None of this is set in stone, but what it does do is offer the chance for you to improve on your own skills, gain the competitive edge and hopefully differentiate you from the competition.
You can also view relevant Discussion Groups to join from within the App, companies that fall under the skill keyword and also job postings.
Remember, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social networking platforms out there for relationship marketing and market research within the B2B world. Use the applications provided and optimise your LinkedIn profile with specific skills.