I’ve helped thousands of people with their LinkedIn profiles over the course of my career, and there are a few questions that I hear over and over again. This is one of them -
“How many skills should I have in the skills section on my LinkedIn profile?”
For a seasoned professional, this is one of the least important sections on your LinkedIn profile. But if you’re a perfectionist like me and you want to do your due diligence, keep reading...
The first thing I always tell people - this section is not something to stress over. It can give you an advantage in helping to build out the narrative you want to create around your LinkedIn story, but it’s not one of the most important sections on your profile.
If you want the skills section to be meaningful, you should keep the number of skills in the skills section limited to ten, and I’ll tell you why.
First, having any more than ten skills can look sloppy. If you list fifty different skills ranging from Microsoft Word to C++ to Public Speaking and Storytelling, anyone looking at your LinkedIn profile won’t know how to tell where your genuine talents and interests are. When you’re making decisions about what to include on your LinkedIn profile, you should always be considering how you’re able to best convey your own personal professional journey through each section on your LinkedIn profile.
That being said, you want to think about the skills that are important for the job that you’re trying to get. If you’re trying to build your career as a developer, putting your coding languages in your skills section is much more important than the fact that you’re a good public speaker or that you dabbled in content marketing. Your LinkedIn is all about the narrative that you’re choosing to share. The skills section might not be where profile visitors will spend most of their time, but it can be used as a tool to strengthen and build upon what you have to show the world.
If there is a skill set that you want to show up when recruiters search for you on LinkedIn, the keyword should already be on your profile. The best place for this is in your About section or possibly in the Experience section under the companies you’ve previously worked for. A lot of people wonder - why not the Skills section? Regardless of the pros and cons, anyone on LinkedIn can endorse you for a skill whether you’re actually qualified for this skill or not. Recruiters know this, so less is more here to make it look intentional. A recruiter might not even scroll all the way down to your Skills section (which is at the bottom), so if you want keywords to show up on your profile, you’re better off listing them further up.
PRO TIP: In all of my years in this industry, I’ve never once heard a recruiter say, “This candidate has 99+ endorsements in a skill and this candidate only has two endorsements” and choose the candidate with more endorsements for a role over the candidate with less.
If you’re worried about not having a certain keyword in your skills section, don’t be - the About section is where keywords really shine. As long as it’s mentioned somewhere on your profile, it doesn’t have to be in your skills section. You really should stick to ten or less skills in order to keep your profile clean and organized.
At the end of the day, the skills section on your LinkedIn profile is not something to stress over, but a little bit of effort goes a long way in how you present yourself. If you want to build your network or even get the chance for a great new opportunity, it never hurts to go the extra mile and show where you really shine.