If you don't have a LinkedIn, stop reading this and go make one, you are already behind...
Everyone else, great news if you are looking to differentiate yourself based on your skills on LinkedIn.
You probably have a skills section with a few "endorsements" (not to be confused with recommendations), where you may have things listed like Microsoft Excel or Java or Team Leadership, or Social Media, etc. Next to those you may have some connections who have endorsed you for those skills. This was an update that came around when LinkedIn did their massive profile layout update months ago... so hopefully you've at least looked at it.
But how valuable is an endorsement?
It depends. If your skill is something I have experienced first-hand, like "Leadership" then my endorsement for this soft skill can be considered valuable. But if you list a skill such as your ability to code software or write macros, even if I endorse you, it won't mean much because I provably haven't seen it first hand (which means I shouldn't be endorsing you in the first place). The only people who can endorse you for hard skills are people you work with, which usually isn't going to be a big percentage of your LinkedIn network.
But today is a great day for proving your technical skills to potential employers, not to mention showing that you know the finer points of how to make your LinkedIn profile unique. It will take some effort, but isn't that the point?
LinkedIn posted on their blog today about a new way to add skill certifications to your profile by using partner training websites. One of these websites is Lynda.com (which we all have free access to as UC students through Blackboard...hence the entire reason I'm writing this post in the first place).
If you are unfamiliar with Lynda.com, it is a training website for people to learn anything from Excel basics to the finer skills of Photoshop, or how to code in Java...and there is way more between these and beyond software programs.
The great news is that now when you compete a training on Lynda.com, you can save the program certification directly to your profile.
This provides a solid recommendation for your aptitude for a particular program or depending on the course itself, at least your exposure to the program.
I strongly recommend you check out Lynda.com. There are trainings on there that you will not expect. Even when I used to use it as a paid subscriber, it was of great value.
Check out LinkedIn's original post here to learn more.
Thanks for stopping by, but mostly stay classy.