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Strategic Use of LinkedIn Skills & Endorsements

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I’m convinced that the folks at LinkedIn love for us to find new features and functionality by accident.

Having spent over 20+ years in technology, and having worked with mission critical applications, “release notes” for software updates, were the harbinger of dread for business analysts like me; scrutinizing these notes line-by-line to decipher what change was going to take place and documenting the impact it would have on my client’s application.  When the testing and quality assurance folks got involved, what would have been an easy update to the application, turned into a massive project plan with test scripts and test protocol.  To be fair, that’s the way it had to be.

Last year the nice folks at LinkedIn retired a feature-with advance notice that I felt was integral to my career coaching | networking clients.  You used to be able to research individual skills and expertise.  This feature was valuable because you could compare complimentary skills, see the LinkedIn Groups and Companies that highlighted these skills, and you could view the profiles of your 1st and 2nd degree Connections and extended group network that also mentioned these skills.   The end result was a much stronger professional profile which facilitated better networking and connection building opportunities.

This weekend as I was catching up on my blog reading on LinkedIn, I discovered that this feature, at least most of it had returned.  We can now use our skills & expertise as a research tool.  Here’s how it works:

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  1. Navigate to your LinkedIn Profile
  2. Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements Section
  3. Put your cursor over a skill name.
  4. As your cursor hovers over the name, you’ll see a hint such as “Search for Leadership Development”.
  5. Click on the button.
  6. You will now be taken to the Search Results Page for that skill.  This is where your research begins.

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  1. You can see how big the LinkedIn Universe is for that skill.
  2. You can filter by People | Jobs | Companies | Groups | Universities | Articles | Inbox
  3. You can filter within your Relationships by 1st Connections| 2nd Connections, Groups | Everyone 3rd + Everyone Else
  4. You can filter by Location
  5. You can filter by Companies

What is missing is the ability to compare the alternative names for our skills and expertise. The bottom line is that we have the ability to expand our network and engage with them in a very strategic way.  So thank you LinkedIn for returning this valuable feature to us.  Perhaps next time though, some advance release notes would be nice.