Somewhere in our LinkedIn profile or résumé, most of us include a list of skills that we possess--everything from knowing how to use Microsoft Word to the ability to code websites in HTML.

But how does someone reviewing that profile or résumé know that you've really got the chops you say you do? Problem solved. Today, LinkedIn announced an innovative new Skills Assessments tool that will both prove your expertise and separate you from the rest of the pack.

Here's how it works.

Via short-form assessments designed by third-party experts, LinkedIn members can test and validate their own skills, ranging from coding languages to everyday business tools like Microsoft Excel. If members pass, they can use a "verified skill" badge to build a stronger profile and become more discoverable to opportunities. And members are also offered free, relevant LinkedIn Learning courses to improve their skills.

So far, so good, but does it make a difference in the hiring process?

According to LinkedIn, early results show a 30 percent improvement in the likelihood to get hired with completed LinkedIn Skill Assessments.

Says LinkedIn in its announcement of this new tool:

Each Skill Assessment, whether it's Adobe Photoshop to showcase your design skills or Java to land a developer role, is constructed through a rigorous content creation and review process in partnership with LinkedIn Learning industry and subject matter experts. Once candidates have completed an assessment, a badge will be displayed on their profile in LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Jobs so hirers are able to quickly identify and verify skill proficiency.

So, how do you get started?

Begin by scrolling to the skill section of your profile and select one of the available Skill Assessments you would like to validate. Any results are kept private to you, and if you pass (in the 70th percentile or above), you will have the option to add a "verified skill" badge to your profile. If you don't pass, you have complete control over the visibility of their results, and can brush up on your skills so you can pass next time.

Easy peasy.

Oh. One more thing. When you've passed an assessment for an in-demand skill, LinkedIn will also send you relevant job recommendations as soon as they're posted.

In addition to the personal benefits of this new LinkedIn tool, I wouldn't be surprised to see companies adopting it to improve the skills and morale of their own employees. Earning these certifications can be a tremendous source of pride, accomplishment, and engagement within teams.

LinkedIn has been rolling out some really powerful tools lately for job hunters and freelancers alike. A couple months ago, the company announced a brand new feature specifically meant to enable members who are freelancers and small-business owners to show their individual availability, industry expertise and skills, and geographic location--all indicating that they are "open" for business and ready to offer their services.

I can't wait to see what's next.

Published on: Sep 17, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.