There many often-overlooked sections you should consider adding to your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn frequently adds new sections appropriate for special groups like artists and students, for activities like volunteerism, and for skills like languages. You might fall into one of these categories and be at a disadvantage to the artist who completed a portfolio; the student who completed the student section; or the volunteer with a robust Volunteering & Causes section. Furthermore, you might be at a loss when attempting to include all the aspects of who you are into your profile unless you utilize some of these special sections.
LinkedIn used to have a section called Specialties, and you might have it in your profile. Here’s a sample of what a Specialties section might look like (this person is a specialist in LinkedIn):
(You might also simply list your specialties at the bottom of your Summary).
Here is a sample of the more recently popularized section for listing your skills: Skills & Expertise:
But I already have a Specialties section… Isn’t Skills redundant?
Should you fill out the Skills section even if you already have a Specialties section? YES! If you have a Specialties section (not everyone does, as explained above), then both the Specialties and Skills & Expertise sections are important areas in which to list your keywords. Whether or not you have a Specialties section, the Skills & Expertise section is your best opportunity to appear in searches conducted for people with your skills. The Specialties section gets searched when people do an Advanced Search, and the Skills & Expertise section is searchable from https://www.linkedin.com/skills/ or from the Skills & Expertise section of anyone’s profile (hover over one of the skills and click on it for a list of people in your network with that skill).
To add the Skills & Expertise section, go to Edit Profile and look to the right. You will have a list of sections Recommended for you. Chances are if you don’t have a Skills & Expertise section, LinkedIn will recommend that you add one!
If you do not complete these two sections (or at least the Skills & Expertise section), you will lose a lot of leverage in LinkedIn searches. You also will not be able to get Endorsements if you do not have a Skills & Expertise section. Endorsements can be used by recruiters to confirm that you have the skills you claim to have!
Can I reorganize my sections?
YES! LinkedIn made it possible to move your sections around. On your “Edit Profile” page, just click on the plus sign to the left of the section name and you can drag the section to wherever you want it.
Are you utilizing the new LinkedIn profile features? I’d love to hear your feedback on the difference adding these features makes for your LinkedIn profile.