SmartRecruiters Blog

Facebook Goes After LinkedIn with Professional Skills Category

“We are currently testing a new option where you can add your professional skills to the work and education section of your timeline,” said a Facebook spokesperson to TheNextWeb.

To add professional skills to your profile, visit your about me section and look under work history. The default setting for professional skills is public.

Professional Skills on Facebook David Smooke


Mashable reports, “tagging a profile with a list of professional skills instantly makes that user’s profile easier to discover for employers looking for a particular kind of new hire.” As you type out a skill, Facebook suggests an interest page that already exists.


Facebook is interested in LinkedIn Skills


After adding a professional skill to your profile, people can click through to the interest page to view friends who likes the skill, about the skill (often citing Wikipedia), pages similar to the skill (other skills, people and companies), photos of my friends and the skill, and groups related to the skill. LinkedIn skill pages similarly offer groups related to skill, pages similar to the skill (other skills, people and companies), about the skill (also citing Wikipedia), but additionally offer the skills’ growth trend over time by aggregate listing and relevant location. Both LinkedIn and Facebook are increasingly figuring out what skills you have, and to what degree.

Could the listing of professional skills on Facebook profiles make Graph Search one step closer to a legitimate alternative to LinkedIn Recruiter? Many Facebook company pages already have social career pages, many companies are are already advertising jobs on Facebook, and in its Oct 2011 announcement of the Social Job Partnership (in cooperation with DirectEmployers, NACE and NASWA), Facebook expressed an interest to “to facilitate employment for America’s jobless through the use of social networks.”

When it comes to technological developments – beyond having a billion profiles of what we like, what we do and who we know – Facebook has made some more subtle moves. On March 8, 2013, Facebook acquired MixTent, a web based product that ranked job related skills for an undisclosed amount. MixTent had an ambitious, long term mission. In Jan 2011, TechCrunch wrote this of MixTent Founder Jonathan Gheller:

“His goal is to make the labor market slightly more efficient on a national level, and fully expects it to take a decade or more to get there. This is not a guy out to flip a company, and he’s already spent years honing Mixtent’s reputation algorithms.”

As Facebook strives to be the social graph and LinkedIn strives to be the economic graph, I am left thinking where is the line between society and economy? And who is going to graph it?

At SmartRecruiters, we are in favor of whatever brings more transparency to the labor market. LinkedIn profiles have done wonders to market a professional’s ability, and there’s no reason why Facebook can’t help talent get hired too. Will Facebook’s next feature be in the vein of LinkedIn Endorsements, making a system for people to rate level of skill? Will LinkedIn counter back with more dynamic skill pages?

David Smooke

David Smooke was the Director of Content Marketing and Social Media at SmartRecruiters and is the Founder of ArtMap Inc & AMI Publications.