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!

Comments 7

  1. This is an interesting find Irina. Unfortunately, it is a poor replacement for the sorely missed LinkedIn Skills…I find the percentage of loosely/potentially unrelated related skills to be quite high, even from the image you shared for Tax Accounting Sox (budgets, forecasting, financial analysis, etc., are not specific to Tax and or SOX).

    Similarly, a search for technical skill such as Hadoop returns the following:

    Hadoop
    Python
    Distributed Systems
    Software Engineering
    Scalability
    Linux
    Algorithms
    Big Data
    Agile Methodologies
    Machine Learning
    C++
    Cloud Computing
    Java
    JavaScript
    Perl
    SQL
    System Architecture
    Computer Science
    Data Mining
    MapReduce
    Software Design
    Databases
    Artificial Intelligence

    Unlike LinkedIn Skills, I find the majority of the terms listed to be unsuitable for creating relevant OR statements/concepts. If someone were to use most of those terms in an OR statement, the results would not strongly favor the initial concept of Hadoop, if at all.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for your comment, Glen! To get the “really” relevant skills you might want to narrow it down using the other available facets (which is what I imagine the “old” skills page was doing in the background). If you have saved any of those suggestions by any chance we could compare.

  2. The educational facets? I selected alumni from MIT, in Engineering, with a degree in CS and searched for Hadoop HDFS MapReduce, and here is what was listed:

    Agile Methodologies
    Software Engineering
    Cloud Computing
    Java Enterprise Edition
    Architectures
    Hadoop
    Distributed Systems
    Hibernate
    Spring
    Apache
    IT Strategy
    Device Drivers
    Python
    Software Design
    MapReduce
    Tomcat
    Cross-functional Team Leadership
    Technology
    iOS
    MongoDB
    Product Engineering
    Product Design
    Big Data

    From what I can tell, it’s just pulling the top skills based on your filters and keywords, which isn’t drawing any relationship between the search terms and the top skills. Not really sure exactly how Skills was working, but there certainly seemed to be a higher degree of relevance.

  3. I just found a screenshot I took of the search results for a LinkedIn Skills search of “iPhone” – here’s what was listed:

    iPod Touch
    iPad
    Interface Builder
    App Store
    iPod
    UIKit
    Cocoa Touch
    Core Animation
    Core Graphics
    iPhone Application Development
    Droid
    Cocos2d
    Xcode
    iPhone Support
    Mobileme
    iOS Development Core Audio
    iLife
    MacBook Pro
    Cocoa

    I searched MIT, every IT related degree and a keyword of “iPhone” – and here is what was returned:

    Python
    JavaScript
    C++
    Objective-C
    Software Engineering
    Mobile Applications
    Java
    Android
    Linux
    MySQL
    iOS development
    Agile Methodologies
    HTML
    Mobile Devices
    Distributed Systems
    C
    Software Design
    Git
    Ruby on Rails
    CSS
    Web Development
    Perl
    iPhone
    Algorithms

    Just dug up another screenshot I took for a LinkedIn Skills search of “Hadoop” – here’s what was listed:

    HBase
    Oozie
    Sqoop
    Flume
    Mahout
    MapReduce
    Hive
    Cascading
    Amazon Elastic MapReduce
    Cascalog
    Nutch
    Voldemort
    Apache Pig
    Katta
    Avro
    Cassandra
    GreenPlum
    Vertics
    Collaborative Filtering
    CDH

  4. Hi Irina, I’m new to sourcing and want to first thank you, Glen, and all the other Sourcing experts who teach and share your valuable information on the internet. I tried the Linkedin Alumni tip but when I change schools and type university it is populating with University of Phoenix. I think Linkedin may have changed it since you posted your tip. I also tried with Interests (as recommended by Johnny Campbell in a Colleague Software webinar) and am finding the same issue. Can you please advise if Linkedin has changed the capability to search all university data since your post? Thank you so much.

    Sue Kumar

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