How to Add Your Languages, Skills and Certifications on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, just like Facebook, are building up a nice body of information on its users. The more information about you, the better they can sell their services, direct more targeted ads and match you up with relevant business opportunities and jobs from other users.

I was fiddling around on LinkedIn yesterday and was asked whether I’d like to add new sections to my profile. In fact, it asked me whether I have published work or have any patents out there. I’m neither J.K Rowling nor James Dyson but I obviously had to check this out.

Head over to your Edit Profile page and just after the first box you will see the new Add Sections line.

 

 

There are five new sections available to users and they are Certifications, Languages, Patents, Publications and Skills. Let’s look at them one by one and why they would be useful for you.

Certifications

In some professions you live and die by your certifications. So whether it’s Insolvency 2 or High Power Electricity for Stadium Lighting, your certifications are probably helping your career and business. I think it goes without saying that recruiters will be taking a close look at this section when they are sourcing for technical positions.

 

Languages

After more than seven years in operation, only now do the folks at LinkedIn allow us to add languages to our profiles. This is actually something I was thinking about (but obviously didn’t let LinkedIn know) as I think it’s really useful for consultants and other people that work internationally.

 

 

You can add you native language which in most cases will be pretty obvious. Then you can add any other language that you can understand or speak, there is a 1-5 grading which makes it easy. My advice here is to be honest; it’s better to have rusty language skills than none.

And remember that you don’t speak languages ‘by association’ – i.e. Afrikaans is not Dutch, Cantonese is not Mandarin and Cajun pidgin ain’t French.

Patents

If you are lucky enough to have secured a few patents, I’m sure you’ve been dying to stick them on your LinkedIn profile and here’s your chance.

 

 

It’s pretty straightforward, just fill in what the invention is and if you have any co-inventors. I wonder what guys like Benjamin Franklin’s and Thomas Edison’s profiles would look like completely filled in.

Publications

The publication section allows you to list any published work that you have your name on. This would include books, reports, white papers and anything else you can think of.

 

 

This section is another much-awaited one as most authors on LinkedIn have resorted to setting up an Amazon reading list with their own books, something that looks a bit contrived perhaps.

Skills

This is almost a free text box where you can enter any skill and time period. I have a feeling this will be the most utilized box out of all and it might even rival the old specialties section for keyword sprees on profiles.

 

 

My humble advice here would be to include genuinely useful things like “Advanced Photoshop” and not mentioning skills that most of us have anyway such as “MS Word” or “Outlook”.

This is what they all look like

Once you have added your sections, they will appear at the bottom half of your profile. You can of course re-arrange your LinkedIn profile sections, both amongst themselves and amongst the other sections like Employment or Recommendations.

As a test, I have added blog related bits and bobs here (remind me to remove these please!).

 

And how about some applications?

LinkedIn also conveniently allows you to add further applications (different to the sections above) to your profile from this box. I won’t go into details on these, but they are worth checking out when you have a few minutes to kill in the office.

The featured applications are: Box.net Files, Google Presentation, Huddle Workspaces, Reading List by Amazon, SAP Community Bio, TweetsWordPress, Legal UpdatesReal Estate Pro, Portfolio Display, Lawyer Ratings, Projects and Teamspaces and FT Press Delivers.

More to come…

LinkedIn are saying there will be more profile sections added in the next few months, pending the success of these ones I would presume. I have yet only added the languages section, might add more in the next week or so.

Question: which new sections would you like to see on LinkedIn?