LinkedIn introduced Skills and Expertise back in July of last year (July 2011). I remember wondering how they would differentiate it from the Specialties section that appears immediately below the Summary section. No one seemed to use the Specialties section the same way. Some people listed their specialties, others wrote long paragraphs describing their specialties, while other people ignored it entirely.
Skills and Expertise is clearly a section LinkedIn has high hopes for because they created a whole page around it that displays skills by relevance and popularity. If you haven’t checked out the Skills page, you should… I’ll wait.
At any rate, last week, I was writing a profile for a client when I noticed the Specialties section was MISSING from his profile!
I believe this deletion of Specialties coincides with LinkedIn changing how they calculate a profile’s completeness and incorporating the addition of 3 skills as a requisite for a complete profile. Clearly there is a duplication and LinkedIn is removing the Specialties section in favor of Skills & Expertise.
So far, Specialties remain on profiles of those users who actually populated the section. Who knows how long this section will stay? I absolutely recommend making sure your Specialties are reflected in your Skills & Expertise section just in case one day we wake up and the Specialties section has joined Ritchie Cunningham’s older brother, Chuck in a game of basketball and is never seen again.
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