Okay, so you have a LinkedIn profile.

You have the key components of a headline, summary, and experience section. What's next? It's time to take it to the next level.

As a Recruiter, I often heard confusion around the difference between Endorsements & Recommendations. Also - what's the deal with skills? How many should I list? Let's look at these items one at a time.

Skills

The number one piece of information that I want everyone to hear is that everything on your profile is searchable. Everything. When Recruiter Jane runs a search on LinkedIn, she develops a search string to run in LinkedIn's search bar. The result? A list of candidate profiles that match her search appear. The profiles that appear at the top of the search list are those that are complete and full profiles. By complete and full, I mean they have skills, technologies, keywords, and phrases on their profile that are relevant to the industry which they are seeking employment.

Take advantage of the skills section by listing out all of the technologies you know, hard skills you possess, and your experience with different programs and platforms. This will greatly increase your odds of being at the top of a Recruiter's search. Remember to search what skills are in demand in your industry and what your prospective company is looking for potential employees to have. This will help you highlight your skills to have a competitive edge and will give insight for additional skills you should learn to add to your resume and profile.

Endorsements

After filling out your Skills section, you may be feeling some pressure to have your LinkedIn contacts "endorse" you for said skills. The truth is - this is not very important. It doesn't negatively affect your profile to have endorsements, but it hardly helps it. Anyone can click to endorse you, so there isn't any real value in it. Also, at the time of publication, Recruiters who use the LinkedIn Recruiter application, can't see the number of endorsements you have for each skill. This is not a component in the "Recruiter View". TLDR: Don't spend any time worrying about getting more endorsements.

Recommendations

Recommendations, on the other hand, are highly valuable! These are comments written by former supervisors, clients, or coworkers who can speak on your actual work ethic and often commend on how well you performed in the company or on certain projects. Hiring Managers frequently look at the profiles of potential hires and read what their former colleagues & supervisors have said about them. Take the time to request these recommendations from others. Think back on former positions you've held and who might be a strong recommender of your work in that role. This is a sure-fire way to increase your credibility and take your profile to the next level!