Your LinkedIn skills section is critical when you’re trying to catch the attention of recruiters or applying for jobs through the platform. It allows you to include searchable keywords and match criteria in job listings. It’s important that you update your skills each time you’re looking for a new role or after you’ve expanded your job responsibilities, because it will help recruiters find you more easily, and it will improve your search algorithm when trying to find open roles.
When building your LinkedIn skills section, choose skills that are searchable. You’re able to type freely into this section, but there are also skills you can select from LinkedIn’s pre-existing list. Many of the skills we use in entertainment aren’t included in their list, but there are adjacent skills you can select to help your profile appear in recruiters' search results (though you should make sure the appropriate industry terms are elsewhere in your profile, ideally in your summary and job descriptions). You’ll know whether a skill is searchable if it auto populates as you type it in. You might consider adding synonymous skills, like “leadership” and “team management,” if you have the space, since different job postings or recruiters might use different keywords for the same skill. You have space for 50 skills, so feel free to use it!
Secondly, you want to make sure your “top three skills” are relevant to the people you want reading your profile. These are the only ones people will see without having to expand your profile, so make them count! You can reorganize your skills at any time, and you should do so each time you embark on a new job search.
Finally, many candidates make the mistake of ignoring the skills section altogether and/or forgetting to remove outdated ones. Say you moved to LA straight out of film school and included technical skills like editing and camera operation because they were relevant back then. Now that you’re a few years into your career as a development executive, you should remove them – you don’t need to clutter your profile and confuse prospective employers with skills that don’t align with your work. Don’t worry if you’ll lose some endorsements from back in the day. These are not so relevant, and certainly not as important as telling a cohesive story.
Your skills section, like the rest of your profile, is designed to help communicate your professional story and brand. By keeping it relevant, focused, and updated, you'll be well on your way to a successful profile!
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan