Why I’m Still Bearish On LinkedIn Skills

LinkedIn reached out with an email this week asking me to update my skills.

I’m not sure it made the impression they really thought it would – here – let me show you.

Everybody’s doing it…

Perhaps they thought I’d be interested if I saw that everybody else is doing it. They sent me a note featuring this statement:

Email from LinkedIn about Skills

Nearly a million people have added the “Problem Solving” skill to their profile.

And it looks like usage might be down, but I’m not quite sure how to interpret a -6% decrease over last year – is that a double negative and it’s really up 6%?

In any case, does it really help show how special and unique I am?

Hey – wait a minute – they introduced skills in February – just this year – how is this figure accurate? Shouldn’t it be a 100% increase from almost nothing last year? (And sure, maybe some people had it in beta, but nearly a million people for this one skill?)

Fresh and new

Well – it was a new feature when I first reviewed LinkedIn’s skill addition to profiles

It’d be interesting to see how many profiles out of the 135 million accounts have added one or more skills. Perhaps some internal marketing people suggested “If we just show users how popular this feature is, that should get some more to add them”…

Personal Brand

And that’s my final analysis – if you’ve created a personal brand, and as part of that brand you need to display a certain skill, then you might want to use the profile-skills feature. (And if you can mention that skill within the text of your profile, you might not want to use the profile-skill feature)

I just don’t know which check-box you’re looking to fulfill, maybe prowess in filling out forms…

Who really wants it

Me – I think the “we want to recruit even easier” crowd has slipped one by and is hoping the user community will auto-sort themselves this way.

But hey – you too can be one of the 871,019 people that possess “Problem Solving” skills.

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock