When you finally commit to the idea of finding a new job, it can be daunting. The thought of leaving the past behind and entering the unknown, all the work involved in the interviewing process, and on top of it all perhaps the stress of a move to a new city. You worry about even having enough time to do a quality job preparing for interviews so you can effectively communicate your skillset.  Exhausting.

But your skills may have just been handed a megaphone.

On September 17, LinkedIn launched an interesting new tool on their platform called "LinkedIn Skill Assessments." It's essentially a new way for you to validate your skills and better stand out from the crowd.

Here's how it works. You complete a rigorously developed online assessment (designed by LinkedIn Learning and subject matter experts) for a skill area you want to demonstrate proficiency in, like Adobe Photoshop for example. If you pass the assessment, you're issued a badge that will be displayed on your profile in LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Jobs.

This will help employers quickly identify who has the specific skills they're looking for, and help you find job postings relevant to your identified skillset. In fact, LinkedIn says for those who pass an assessment test, they're then sent relevant job postings the minute they're posted. If you don't pass the assessment, no one will know.

LinkedIn says that candidates who completed LinkedIn Skill Assessments are significantly more likely (approxinmately 30 percent) to get hired.

Why the LinkedIn Skill Assessments Tool May Help You Find a Job

Increasing your chances of getting a job by one-third is obviously a substantial boost. Applicants also get a way to confirm their competency in a skill. LinkedIn research shared as part of the tool announcement shows 68 percent of people want to verify their competency in a skill before applying for a job, and 76 percent wish there was a way a skill could be verified so they could stand out in the eyes of a potential employer.

The creation of badges gamifies skills assessment and gives a powerful visual cue of a job candidates qualifications. Think of this--if you were applying for a job in finance and there was an "excel wizard" badge, how would you feel if your friend, who you knew was applying too, had that badge on their profile, but you didn't?

Recruiters win too. I have been in a hiring role many times and more than once have hired someone claiming to have certain skills--which turned out to be a stretch. Sure, there are skill verification tests you can get potential candidates to take but they're expensive, time consuming, and risk turning off candidates who are superbly qualified and have the skills they claim in spades.

Of course, LinkedIn wins in a big way as well. The badging system creates deeper engagement with their platform (i.e. people will spend more time on the platform, which is good for LinkedIn in terms of building a habit) and it just might increase the value in the eyes of the user for using the platform for the job hunt altogether.

If you take a skills assessment but don't pass, LinkedIn then offers you targeted learning courses to help you brush up on your skills so you can pass that assessment the next time and feel more confident and in control for future job prospects. 

On the other side of the coin, a whole lot of really qualified people won't take the skills assessment and get a badge. So without the badge, even though they're qualified, they'll be at a disadvantage (versus those who did take the time to pass the assessment and get a badge). Thus, it might make people feel forced to get the badge, which makes it a more involved process to use LinkedIn as a job platform. I can see that turning off some potential users. And part of me wonders if the assessments will be made just a little too hard -- thus triggering the purchase of a course to help more often than not. I also wonder if people will feel compelled to "badge collect" now, ultimately watering down the impact of the assessment verifications. 

We'll see how see how much and how fast the skill assessment and verification tool takes off for LinkedIn. But one thing is for certain, it's an interesting new option for breaking out of the clutter.