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LinkedIn Skills Section – Tailor your personal story

With 575+ million users, of which 260 million are active users every month, LinkedIn is THE place to build your professional profile online. By optimising your LinkedIn profile, you maximise the chance of recruiters and clients finding you more easily.

And given candidate referrals are fast becoming a common form of recruitment, a professional LinkedIn profile will also connect you more easily with a powerful network of former colleagues who can refer you to roles in their current companies. The best news? This great profile building opportunity is FREE!

So what are you waiting for???

It’s important to create a comprehensive LinkedIn profile to make a real impact on your audience, whoever that might be. This article focuses on how to fill out the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile to amplify your professional brand.

Important note: A professional and well curated LinkedIn profile has benefits for anyone who works. It doesn’t matter if you work in a permanent, contract, freelance, gig economy or any other capacity. In a digital world, you need to build an online professional profile in the marketplace with your specific audience.  

Tips for updating the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile

Want to appear in the top 25 profiles on LinkedIn for your role type? Then it is time to do a little research. A great way to start is to Google “LinkedIn profile + [Role title]”. A search result should appear for the top 25 profiles for that specific role type on LinkedIn…globally.

Look at how others in similar roles are conveying their experience and skills. And take inspiration. Obviously, the goal here is not to copy verbatim the profiles of other professionals in your space. But, getting some new ideas is a sure fire way to start to improve your online visibility.

Building a compelling LinkedIn Skills section

Updating the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile should be a no brainer. LinkedIn search algorithms consider a variety of profile sections and user activity to rank their results. That means you should do everything you can to make sure each section of your profile reflects your skills, experience and core competencies professionally and articulately.

Updating your LinkedIn Skills

Updating the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile is easy once you know how. You can list up to 50 skills in this section. So, don’t waste this opportunity to stand out from the digital crowd. Choose the skills that are most relevant to your job type and make sure you include the skills relevant to the job you want next.

If you already have a LinkedIn profile, check the existing skills you’ve included are still relevant to your current work type.

If any of the skills no longer apply to you, simply delete them. It’s a good idea to free up these listings for other skills that are more relevant to the work you do today.

Alternatively, if you have learnt anything new lately, add those skills to this profile section. Careful you don’t make any spelling errors as this will reflect poorly on you.

Top Tip: If you are new to creating a LinkedIn profile, adding 50 skills at once may be a little daunting. Consider adding relevant skills in 15 minutes sessions over a couple of weeks to spread the workload.

Pay particular attention to your Top 3 skills

You will notice that in the skills section of your LinkedIn profile, you can list your top 3 skills. These stand alone before all other skills in this section.

Some people make a habit of changing their Top 3 skills to increase their endorsements for each skill. Others prefer to make sure the 3 skills are always the most relevant to their current role. There is no hard and fast rule here, but make sure that whatever you list reflects your current skills. There is no benefit in promoting a skill you used 10 years ago in your career if you no longer use that skill today.

Top Tips for populating the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile

When thinking about what skills to include in this section of your LinkedIn profile, consider adding some skills from the following categories:

Sector experience

Maybe you’ve worked in just one or two sectors or a range of sectors. You don’t need to list just the sector you are working in currently. Adding sectors you’ve worked in, in past roles, is also relevant.


If you are in a C suite role now, it is probably best not to list your entry level role after graduation as a skill. But if you are in the middle of your career, and you have worked in a range of roles, it’s relevant to reflect that in the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile.

Key skills or core competencies

Take some time to think about the key skills you have used to become successful in your career to date. List those here. If you are a graduate, focus on the generic skills that make you are great candidate for a company – things like “research skills”, “process analysis” and “problem solving” might be a good place to start.   

Personal attributes

As with key skills, have a think about your personal characteristics that make you exceptional at your work.

Top tip – have a look over your resume. Review what skills you’ve developed in your most successful achievements. List those in the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile too.

Specific systems, tools and technology

Some prospective employers or contingent workforce hirers may be looking for experience with specific systems or technology – this is something other profile holders may not list. Take the time to look back through recent roles and consider you current role to identify specific tools, systems and technology you’ve used. Listing these improves your chances of coming up in relevant searches and means you are likely to appear in the list ahead of your competition!

Want recruiters and prospective employers to reach out to you with the sorts of opportunities that you will be really interested in – not roles that match your skillset from 2015? Then, update your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Skills terminology 

There is a slight limitation in the way you record skills in your LinkedIn profile. There is no standard list of terms to enter. So for example, you might list “Client relationship building” and someone else might right “client relationship management”.

It is important to think about the sorts of terms you think recruiters, prospective clients and employers will use when looking for new talent. Whilst new and innovative language is tempting – you should use the term that is the most likely to be searched for.

Time to take action

So, with these tips in hand, grab yourself a juice or a coffee in a local café and put your head down for 25 minutes – you will achieve so much in this short burst of time – and taking action, however small, improves your professional profile and more importantly, means you are more likely to be found on LinkedIn by those that matter.

Time poor and need a hand with your LinkedIn profile? Get in touch. I develop bespoke LinkedIn Recommendation Reports that help you build a professional profile that will get you noticed.

Start building a more rewarding career and work life today.

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