Why is LinkedIn Asking For Skills Assessments?

Has LinkedIn prompted you to take the skill quiz recently? The LinkedIn Skills Assessment is an example of many new features being rolled out over the last 6 months.  Sometimes the new features are introduced and explained via LinkedIn’s Blog, and sometimes they simply appear (and also disappear) when you are on LinkedIn. I like the idea that LinkedIn is reviewing and re-working the skills section of member’s profiles as it is a valuable part of the LinkedIn profile and can provide others with evidence of your relevant skills as they relate to your professional experience and expertise.

LinkedIn tells usWe’re currently testing and evaluating the LinkedIn Skill Assessments feature. You may notice improvements or changes to the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile page. For now, the feature is only available in English and it isn’t accessible to all LinkedIn members.” So this is potentially being tested with some, but not all LinkedIn members who have their profile in English. The types of skills currently being tested also provide an indication for LinkedIn’s focus with this feature.

What is the Purpose of the LinkedIn Skill Assessments Feature?

The idea of the LinkedIn Skill Assessments feature is to help you demonstrate your knowledge of the skills you’ve added on your profile.  While endorsements of your skills provide social proof by others that they’ve seen you demonstrate these skills, the LinkedIn Skill Assessment is a self assessment. The key question you may be wanting to ask is “Why does LinkedIn want to do this?” A cynical person who realises LinkedIn is a for profit platform may suggest it’s just another way LinkedIn is trying to get members who have a free account to upgrade their profile to a paid premium option to access LinkedIn Learning (where you can work on some of these skills). Others may say it’s LinkedIn’s way of providing an additional service to its members so your profile can be badged to indicate your skill levels to recruiters who are looking for your particular skills.

How Does the LinkedIn Skill Assessment Work?

At the time of writing this article, LinkedIn stated that “a typical skill assessment consists of 15 to 20 multiple choice questions, where each question tests at least one concept or sub-skill. The questions are timed and must be completed in one session.”

LinkedIn tells us that the Skill Assessments are produced by subject matter experts and leaders in the LinkedIn Learning community, who have extensive experience in generating exam and certification content.

How are the Skill Assessments Scored?

LinkedIn tells us that once you’ve completed an assessment, your answers will be scored, and an assessment report will be generated. You can view it at any time from the Skills page, under the Results tab.

If you score in the 70th percentile or above, you’ll receive a passing score and be awarded a “badge”. Your percentile is determined by comparing your score against a curated benchmark.

If you’re awarded a badge, you can choose whether you’d like to display it on your profile. The badge:

  • Represents that you’ve passed the assessment for that given skill.
  • Signals to other members and recruiters that you’ve taken the initiative to show your skill proficiency. This can help you form beneficial relationships and help us surface more relevant content or opportunities for you on LinkedIn.
  • Is only valid for 12 months and will expire after that.

If you don’t pass an assessment for a given skill, you’ll be able to retake it one more time after three months.

Important Note: LinkedIn advises you won’t be able to retrieve your report or recover your badge once you delete it. You apparently also won’t be able to retake the same assessment for three months, and LinkedIn won’t be able to recommend LinkedIn Learning courses or job opportunities for you. You are therefore encouraged not to delete the badges and to take the assessments seriously the first time around! And did you see the point about LinkedIn Learning? The cynic inside me felt the need to highlight this to you once more . . .

Which Skills Are Currently Being Assessed By LinkedIn?

At the time of writing this article LinkedIn was offering assessments for the following skills and working to make more available.

  • C#
  • C++
  • CSS
  • Eclipse
  • GIT
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • JSON
  • Maven
  • MongoDB
  • Node.js
  • PHP
  • Objective0C
  • Ruby/Ruby on Rails
  • Swift

What do you notice about these skills? They are targeted at developers, because these skills are development related. I am very curious to see how this plays out. Clients I train in the technology industry have already noticed (and done) the skills assessments. I’m also checking in with the developers in my community if they’ve had the option to use this feature and what they think of these list of skills and why LinkedIn may have chosen these ones first.

Have you done the skills assessment on LinkedIn? Please share your experience in the comments below.