The most valuable skills to have on your LinkedIn profile this year

The skills that will push you to the top of recruiter wish lists

January 12, 2016

Which skills do you need to highlight to get ahead in marketing? Which are most likely to spark interest from recruiters? Move you up the career ladder at your current business? Or trigger competition for your services that could help boost your earnings?

These are complicated questions to answer, because the importance of a specific skill obviously depends on who you are, your level of seniority, and which industries and companies you are interested in working for. However, by evaluating which skills marketers typically add to their LinkedIn profiles and comparing those with the skills recruiters are seeking, we can start to build a very interesting picture of ways in which you can boost your personal brand and attractiveness as a potential candidate.

Based on the more than 45,000 standardised skills that members can list on LinkedIn profiles – and the more than 380 million skills that are added to profiles each year – here’s our exclusive analysis of the expertise you need to emphasise to get ahead in marketing in 2016:

The hygiene factor – skills to get you in the game

Our analysis of recruiter searches on LinkedIn shows that the skills most frequently sought out by marketing departments are also the skills that are most frequently listed on marketers’ profiles. These are the areas of expertise that are becoming ‘hygiene factors’ in the search for marketing talent. Having them on your profile won’t necessarily move you ahead of other candidates (who most likely have them listed too). However, not ticking these boxes could result in you being ruled out early – or not even featuring in the results of those recruiter searches.

The skills most frequently searched by recruiters are:

  • Marketing
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Social Media
  • Digital Marketing
  • Online Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing
  • SEO
  • Online Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Market Research

The hot list – fastest growing skills to bring opportunity to your door

Analysis of recruiter searches doesn’t just show the most frequent skills that marketing departments search on, however. We can also detect which skills are growing in importance more quickly than others. When you have these skills, emphasising them aligns you with the fastest growing areas of marketing.

The fastest growing skills on recruiter wish lists (in percentage terms) are:

  • Instagram
  • HootSuite
  • Tumblr
  • Content Marketing
  • Pinterest
  • E-commerce SEO
  • Sales Prospecting
  • Event Planning
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Facebook Marketing

You’ll notice a big difference between this list and the one above. Whereas established marketing skills are quite general, those that recruiters are paying greater attention to are very specific. As the digital marketing landscape becomes more diverse and more complex, expertise in connecting to prospects on specific social platforms becomes very important. Emphasising such expertise will stand you in good stead in 2016.

The X Factor – skills marketing departments are desperate for

The more skills from the hot list appear on your profile, the more likely you are to jump to the top of recruiters’ search lists this year. However, there’s an additional set of skills likely to make you even more of an attractive candidate. These are the marketing skills where the greatest gap currently exists between supply and demand: expertise that marketing departments are desperately searching for, but which remains difficult to find. Emphasising these skills (if you have them) is likely to give you the X Factor amongst marketers in 2016. They won’t just put you on shortlists; they are likely to mean that you’re exactly the person a team needs:

  • Site Maps
  • Multivariate Testing
  • Omniture
  • DoubleClick
  • Advertising Operations
  • Rich Media
  • Behavioral Targeting
  • Ad Serving
  • Demand Generation
  • Ad Networks
  • Yahoo Search Marketing
  • Marketing Automation

Once again, there’s a clear theme to this set of skills: expertise in marketing automation and the handling and application of data. Whether it’s more sophisticated testing, in-depth analytics skills or simply the technical side of targeting and serving ads, know-how of marketing tech is in growing demand. If you have it, it’s worth making sure that your profile shows it.

Does this mean that old-school marketing skills are of limited value? Not at all. Less technical expertise still counts for a great deal. As part of our analysis, we looked in detail at the top skills and fastest-growing skills in the marketing department of a major technology company – and a top professional services B2B firm. Marketing Event Management was the most frequently found skill at both, whilst the fastest growing skills included Channel Marketing (for the tech firm), Database and Direct Marketing, Marketing Demand Generation and Market Research and Insights (for the professional services business). It’s proof, if proof were needed, that marketing remains a hugely diverse sector, and one with room for all forms of expertise.