Are You Aware of LinkedIn's Skills and Expertise Search Function?

BonnieBuolRuszczyk
Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk president, bbr marketing

Posted on May 16th 2013

Are You Aware of LinkedIn's Skills and Expertise Search Function?

LinkedIn’s Skills & Expertise function can be used for more than just endorsements.

In a recent post, we recommended LinkedIn users update the Skills & Expertise section in their profiles and fill in all available 50 spots for skills. Besides the ability to showcase your expertise and abilities, it also prevents people from manually adding additional skills to your profile, via endorsements, that you’ve not pre-approved. And of course you immediately went to your LinkedIn profile and promptly updated, right? Even as wordy as we are, we understand that coming up with 50 self-descriptors can be a little daunting.

If you’ve gone to update your profile and find yourself at a loss after filling 30 or so of the available keyword slots, you can always let LinkedIn suggest which ones to add based on relevant skills similar professionals have used. The search feature for LinkedIn’s Skills & Expertise is located under the More tab on the navigation bar, at the top of your screen. This feature can be used in a few different ways. As mentioned before, you can use this to generate ideas for additional skills to add to your profile. Type in a term and it will bring back a sidebar with similar skills. Additionally, you’ll see a button under the primary skill that says that says “See Suggested Skills.” This will give you even more suggestions.

Under this section, LinkedIn lists other users who have these same skills. This can be used to find new networking contacts, but it also illustrates how easy it can be for a potential client to find you when searching for targeted professional skills and services. Move a little further down the page and you’ll see suggested LinkedIn Groups. If you’ve had a difficult time finding groups that might match your interest and skills, this feature will point you toward a few to help get you started.

Another interesting feature on the Skills & Expertise page is the feature that shows you the stats for how often the term is used in searches. For example, I ran a search on “Business Tax Planning,” with a screen shot below for reference. Next to the term, LinkedIn reports that searching for this term has gone up by 2.2%. You can use this stat to see which terms are used most often in searches, which ones are gaining in popularity and which ones are waning. By adding those skills that are popular, you stand a better chance of showing up in those searches. Also, on the right side of the page, a bar graph shows how this term performs compared to similar terms. This is just yet another way to see how people are combining terms when searching and to help you target the messaging in your profile.

LinkedIn Skills Expertise Business Tax Planning

BonnieBuolRuszczyk

Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk

president, bbr marketing

Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk is president and founder of bbr marketing, a firm that specializes in marketing strategy and tactical implementation for professional services firms. She has nearly 20 years of marketing experience working with a diverse range of industries and people. Her creative thinking and distinctive approach allows her to bring unique ideas to her clients that differentiate them from their competition and give them the tools they need to reach their audiences.
See Full Profile >

Comments

It's nice, but you can't get to it from the "More" tab. It's not listed there. I guess it's a hidden gem. 

Hi Giselle,

I work with Bonnie and I just noticed what you are talking about. It looks like LinkedIn is rolling out a new look to some profiles. When I login, like Bonnie, I still show the More tab. However, when I was assisting a client I noticed that she has a slightly new layout and that the features are moved around. She was also missing the More tab. While I commend LinkedIn for wanting to keep their platform updated for users, it's somewhat mind blowing how often they've made changes lately! http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/38487

According to the LinkedIn blog post above, you'll be able to hover over keywords and then click through them to those features, but so far I've haven't been able to make it work, but then again it could be because that's what will happen, not what they've got working just yet. In the meantime, now that you know about it, you can click to the Skills & Expertise section directly via http://www.linkedin.com/skills/ and you'll just be one of the brilliant few who's on top of this nifty feature! ;)

Hi Giselle,

I'm not sure why you're not able to see the Skills & Expertise option under the More tab. I've gone digging through LinkedIn Help and found others who are missing the More tab altogether, so perhaps there's a temporary glitch LinkedIn is working through. In the meantime, here is a direct link to the Skills & Expertise page where you can type in a skill and that will get you started: http://www.linkedin.com/skills/
 
I hope this helps!

dear Bonnie

thanks for your article.

I would like to search the "Skills & Expertise" for my connections on LinkedIn.

e.g. I know that a number of them have "leadership development" as their skill, but when I search with keywords, none of them show up.

In the "Skills & Expertise" section on LinkedIn where others with a particular skill are shown, only people I do not know are listed, not my personal contacts.

How do I then go about searching MY PERSONAL CONNECTIONS for specific "Skills & Expertise"?

As a next step I am also interested to search 2nd or 3rd order contacts for certain "Skills & Expertise".

Greetings, Rudolf

Hi Rudolf, I work with Bonnie and thought I'd take a stab at helping you out.

Currently on the Skills & Expertise page there is no way to search through your direct contacts. It's still in Beta, so that could be something they plan to add later or you may want to consider sending that in as a suggestion to them. For the time being, you'll have to use regular search for these. However, there are some things you can do to help make your search results a little more concise.

First, be sure that you are using the Advanced Search option. Using Advanced Search, when typing in keywords, try adding quotations " " around your keyword phrases. For example, type in "leadership development" instead of just leadership development. This focuses the search for this phrase versus bringing back results that include the words leadership and development but not necessarily having anything to do with each other. Next, before you hit Search, you have the option to check boxes next to 1st Connections, 2nd Connections, Group Members and 3rd+ Everyone Else. Since you are wanting to find those with "leadership development" in your immediate connections, make sure only 1st Connections is selected. Then click Search and you should be on your way.

I tried this using your sample term and while there were a couple who showed up and didn't have that skill listed, most of them did, so it seems to work pretty well. From there, you can go back and just select 2nd Connections to find those who are connected to your contact list. I hope that helps and good luck!

Unfortunately this feature is no longer available and being supported by LinkedIn.