LinkedIn 101 – Skills, Endorsements and Volunteer Work
By Teneal Bird
LinkedIn is genuinely expansive in terms of what content you can view, utilize and even include on your profile. We’ve covered several topics, all to better make yourself more employable within the Canadian job market, and now we’ve come with a few more to help boost those points, and better prepare you for the job pools recruiters sift through in order to find employees. We need not remind you just how big that pool is, with thousands of people applying for the same jobs – you don’t want to be cast aside.
In our previous posts, we looked at:
This blog post will cover both your Skills and Endorsements, as well as why you should consider adding volunteer work to your Linked In profile. So, with that, let’s dig in, shall we?
Skills and Endorsements
Skills and Endorsements can give you up to 17x more profile views.
An important key feature of your LinkedIn Profile is that you can be endorsed for the skills you have and those you didn’t even know you had. It’s a section that recruiters actually look at and consider. It’s also searchable. The question is, what do you want them to see? It is recommended that you should have no more than twenty-five skills listed here, or else you might risk looking a bit diluted.
Remember that in Canada, many recruiters are looking for specialists, not a jack-of-all-trades. Research around ten skill sets that are most important in your profession as these are the ones you should get endorsements from. That way, if you have thirty endorsements for that skill set, it shows that thirty people in your network have endorsed you for that skill, allowing you to stand out in the crowd. This validates you in the recruiter’s eyes and will put you at the top of the list of searches.
In a previous blog post, I explained that these skill sets need to be part of your headline, too, as they will help you become visible during searches.
Editing your skills is easy. You can shift them around so that your top skills are featured at the top. These should form part of your keywords, too. This is where your network will significantly uplift your profile so think strategically about what keywords you want to use. If you are still in South Africa, reach out to your network. This allows for the opportunity to ask for endorsements so that you can improve your LinkedIn profile.
Everyone you talk to about this topic will tell you how important it is to do some volunteer work, but how do you relate it to your resume and the job you do? Think about your keywords, and show how you can tie them into your area of expertise. It would help if you kept a continuous flow throughout your profile.
41% of hiring managers stated that they consider volunteer work as valuable as paid work experience when they evaluate candidates. In fact, 1 out of 5 of these managers says that they have made hiring decisions based on someone’s volunteer work experience. Food for thought!
If you’re a volunteer at an animal shelter but you are also a programmer, it isn’t easy to create a link between the two occupations, so think about what you can do to show your skills. Perhaps approach the shelter to see if there is anything in their system that needs improvement?
If you’re not currently doing any volunteer work and you are still in South Africa, that means you have some time to get going. Consider volunteering at a professional body. When you start applying for a job in Canada, it will help to show some Canadian work experience, but it won’t necessarily count towards it. Instead, it will reflect that you are integrating. You want to network and partner with like-minded people.