LinkedIn is great. I like it. It allows you to (obviously) stay connected with people you may lose touch with otherwise. Take a snapshot of your career, accomplishments and of course… skills.
Now, that’s all fine and great. But what happens when you “skills” aren’t really true?
The other day I was fortunate enough to get some notifications that a few peers had endorsed me for some specific skills. It’s great! You really get a sense of appreciation when a colleague goes out of their way to say “Oh ya, so-and-so really gets such-n’-such!” You feel good for getting and giving skill endorsements. It’s a win-win! Right?
I’m not so sure. Since some (not all, but some) of the endorsements I get are for skills that I’ve outgrown, haven’t fully yet developed or just outside my character entirely.
This can’t be good. I don’t want to be perceived for being a specialist at something I haven’t yet mastered. Or worse (in my opinion) being known for something I was good at 10 years ago - but have no interest in anymore.
Jack of all 62 skills, master of all (but not really).
It all comes down to your personal brand. Everything I know about brand building says that to build a strong brand you’ve got to narrow your focus, not expand it. Being known for excelling at 3 things is better than being known for 62.
It’s also a lot more honest.
So, what to do? Well, I’ve deleted quite a few skills from my profile. I’m going to check back every month and weed out the skills that I don’t want to be known for.
Managing your “skills” on LinkedIn, has got to be one of the easiest things you can do to change the perception of what you “do”. It’s easy, it’s highly relevant… and keeps people from looking at your profile and saying to themselves - “Nope, they don’t get x at all”.
The last thing you want someone to think when LinkedIn asks them: “Does [name] know about x?”... is “nope, not even a little”.