How to Manage LinkedIn Skills and Recommendations
It’s important that your LinkedIn profile looks good to both the casual and more serious viewer. This then is an article on maintaining a tidy looking profile despite the best meaning intentions of your networked connections!
Last year LinkedIn introduced the ability to list specific skills that you feel you have on your profile in a way that your connections could then give you a ‘plus point’ against that skill. All good and straight forward. However your connections also have the option to give you a ‘plus point’ for a skill that you haven’t listed. In case you haven’t experienced that then it looks like the following:
The above is a direct screen shot from my profile this morning. None of the above skills are currently listed on my profile. All of the above skills are being suggested as additions by my connections. The next logical question should be –
Do I have the above skills or am I skilled at any of the above things?
Err … well yes … all of them in fact to a lesser or greater degree but and this is a really important – I don’t want to list them on my profile. There are a couple of reasons for that. And these are things that you should consider for yourself as well:
1) No list of skills is ever going to be totally comprehensive. You might be able to list all the attributes of a machine by component but you can’t do that of a person.
A person is far greater than their ‘skills’ and the smart person will be able to turn their innate abilities towards a new area with some success. Thus, it could be argued that we are all skilled at everything just to different levels of competency!
In all seriousness trying to fully outline yourself via the LinkedIn skills list is a futile exercise.
2) That said I do believe it is good to list some skills, so that people know what you might be able to help them with. The thing is only you truly know what your core skills are or exactly which ones you want to promote to your market place via your LinkedIn profile.
I would recommend you put some serious thought into producing a focused list of five to ten skills which should read well to your potential clients or future network.
3) I want my profile to look clean, crisp and smart. When you add more than ten skills to your profile they start to stack up underneath in, what looks to me, an ugly fashion – see below
As a comparison see what happens when you list ten or fewer skills:
Click the image to see it full size
4) People only read so much – if you list too many skills, regardless of any questions of aesthetics, it’s more for people to read and potentially it’s too much. Given a strong profile will use most of the 1000 characters available for the summary and current role you are looking at several hundred words of important text which have to be read, or skimmed past, prior to the skills being seen. Add in too many of those and I think it’s overload.
So in conclusion my recommendation would be to ignore the additional skills that people recommend you for. (Do this by clicking the Skip button which you can see in screenshot one) . The individuals don’t get notified and won’t realise that you declined their attempt at being nice.
For completeness let me mention that there is a third option and that is you can remove the skills you don’t want to accept a recommendation for and only accept the ones that remain. (You do this by clicking on the grey ‘x’ next to the skill – see screenshot one). I feel about that exactly as I do about accepting all of them and frankly I think the best route is to ‘skip’.
So what about you – do you accept all, accept some or skip all? Let me know in the comment section below.
Until next time, be successful!Stephen Hart Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com