How to Use LinkedIn’s Skills & Expertise Section to Research Careers
Knowing what jobs match your skills is just as important as receiving the right career training when choosing a career. Luckily, LinkedIn has developed a great tool to help you learn more about the types of jobs that fit your skill set as well as give you ideas for career you many not have considered.
The new tool is in the “Skills & Expertise” section, under the “More” tab in LinkedIn. On this page you will be able to enter a career title, skill or keyword into the Search box.
The search results provide you with a wide variety of topics and information to explore and help you decide which career is right for you. Some examples of the information you will find include:
Skills defined. A description of the related career is displayed in the center top of the page. This description includes the primary industry of which it’s a part, but view these descriptions with a grain of salt. The definitions are taken from Wikipedia and have varying levels of accuracy. The small arrow in the box that is pointing up or down is an indication of the amount of positive or negative growth expected from that career field.
Affiliated expertise. A list of “Related Skills” is shown to the left of the description that provides general guidance about other careers that use skills similar to the terms you entered into your search. This list provides you a window into an expansive circle of opportunities that align with your skills.
Professionals with similar skills. This section, located under the career description provides you a list of LinkedIn members who have listed skills similar to those you entered into your search. Viewing these profiles will allow you to see these individual’s career histories (both present as well as past positions) and what keywords they list to summarize their professional experience and abilities. Knowing how others in your desired career field describe themselves should give you ideas on what keywords you want to use in your own profile. Finally, this section will show you how many of these people you are connected to through LinkedIn.
Historical and predicted growth. The small chart located at the top right of the page provides insight into growth trends of the career. Is the career growing or contracting? Are there particular aspects of the career that are experiencing expanding at a quicker rate? The chart shown in this section will provide the answers.
Notable employers. The “Related Companies” section lists notable employers in your area of interest. This section will direct you to their company page. Take advantage of this feature to learn more about the company’s services, products and culture as well as potential job openings.
Find related groups. Why do LinkedIn groups matter? Groups provide one more avenue to explore a career, including the roles and responsibilities of the people in that career, where they work, and their thoughts about the industry. Groups also provide a way to connect with professionals in that career and start building your professional network. For those reasons, be sure to check out the groups section listed on the lower left side of the page.
Opportunities and Openings. Even if you’re not ready to send in your resume, reading the various job descriptions can prove worthwhile. Job descriptions allow you to see what employers are looking for in terms of skills and experience. They can also show you what type of work will be expected in a given career so you can determine whether it suits you or not. Additionally, you’ll be able to monitor what keywords employers are using so you can be sure to have these terms in your LinkedIn profile.
The LinkedIn “Skills & Expertise” section is a terrific launching pad to begin evaluating your career options. Using this tool will help you weigh all potential job opportunities, their key characteristics and responsibilities and who in your network may be an asset as you pursue a career path. But, the section is not just for job search newbies, it can also help more seasoned professionals determine how to expand existing skills or prepare for a career change.
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