Relevant Skills: the Secret Revealed

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LinkedIn used to have a “skills” page. That page was useful for all since it was showing relevant skills after you’ve entered a skill. The “relevant skills” are (were) crowd-sourced: those were the other skills that the majority of members with a given skill have. The skills page was a good way to figure out a variety of keywords to use, while it lasted. This is what it used to look like:

The skills page is there no more.
There is, however, a way to look for relevant skills. I am proud to have discovered how to do this – in fact, in more powerful ways than the original page allowed. I have been teaching this approach in my lectures; at this point am happy to share, how to do that, with the online community, for everyone’s benefit.

We’ll use the Find Alumni function.

1. It’s little known that you can search for a keyword in the Alumni search, thus search across a large number of University grads. Do this search, for example; it uncovers everyone whose school has the word university as part of its name:
 2. In the search box in the lower right corner, name one or more skills.
3.  Then move to the second screen (use the highlighted arrow on the above screenshot) – and see the relevant skills there, even along the numbers of people who have them!
The keyword university could be changed for “college” or for “school” to see more diverse results, if necessary.
Alternatively, you can just use a specific University where (many) target professionals may have graduated from.
To summarize, we selected a range of grads, entered skill(s) into the search box, and can see a list of relevant skills.
Let’s take this technique a little further. In fact, compared to the old skills page, we have a lot more control over which relevant skills are displayed. As an example, we can make some selections of companies and locations:
… perhaps include an area of study as well – then see a more precise list of relevant skills as a result:
As a full summary, the alumni dialog allows to find relevant skills based on one or more skill names; also, locations, companies, and fields of study. It also shows the numbers of people with the skills in the selected set of members. This is much more powerful than the original skill page provided.
This technique can be used to identify terms to search for. among other things.
Here, now you know it!