By Donna Serdula

Part of LinkedIn Profile Optimization For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Skills and Endorsements section on your LinkedIn profile provides insight into your top-level strengths. It also helps LinkedIn determine whether or not to show your profile in result listings for keyword searches. Don’t ignore this section — instead dominate it by following these tips:

  1. Don’t max out.
    LinkedIn allows you to list up to 50 skills, but instead of selecting 50, only select those skills you feel define you absolutely. Aim for 25 to 35 skills. By choosing fewer, you are providing your network with a smaller list of skills to endorse and thereby forcing them to endorse only your strongest skills. When you max out your skills, you are most likely adding skills that aren’t 100% descriptive of you. By only listing your best qualities, you ensure your network endorses you for the right skills.
  2. Get real.
    Choose skills that showcase what you want to do into the future. If you are no longer interested in coding Java, don’t add it to your skills. Your skills should align with your career vision, not your career past.
  3. Request endorsements.
    The more endorsements you have, the more credibility you earn. The secret to getting endorsements is to ask for endorsements. Send a simple LinkedIn message to the connections in your network who know you best and ask for an endorsement. People love to help others, so ask and you will receive.
  4. Quid pro quo works too.
    By endorsing others, you will find that they endorse you in kind. It’s only natural, as people feel a need to reciprocate. Whatever you do, only endorse others authentically and genuinely. People are turned off and won’t reciprocate if they feel you endorsed them for the wrong skills.