What Are LinkedIn Endorsements All About?
Over the last few weeks I’ve been endorsed on LinkedIn by everyone under the sun including folks I haven’t heard from in 10 years. Questions are beginning to swirl in my mind:
- Should I take these LinkedIn Endorsements seriously and feel 10ft off the ground?
- Do people checking my LinkedIn profile really care how many endorsements I have?
- Can I edit and can I turn off the endorsement feature?
- Should I reciprocate with the people who endorse me?
For answers, I turned to Susan Adams’ (Forbes) excellent article, which you can read in full here and summarized the key points:
1. LinkedIn endorsements are not going away. Introduced in 2012, endorsements are becoming a popular feature. Since the launch, more than 200 million endorsements have been issued. Users are making roughly 10 million endorsements a day. The goal of the endorsement is to make it easy for people to recognize your skills and expertise, without taking the time to compose a recommendation.
2. Only first-degree connections can endorse you. If it seems that your endorsements are coming from people with whom you’re barely in touch, that’s because you have expanded your connections to include people you don’t know well. The fact is that most of us have first-degree connections with some people who don’t directly know our work—family, friends, colleagues or former colleagues outside our department. So prepare yourself for endorsements that seem like they are out of left field.
3. You can, and should, hide some endorsements. It’s not possible to delete an endorsement but you can hide it so that no one but you can see it. Go to the pull-down menu at the top of the screen and under “profile,” click “edit profile.” When you scroll to the “skills and expertise” section, you will see a pencil icon. Click that and you will see an option to “manage endorsements.” If you see an endorsement from someone you don’t know, hide it.
4. List your skills. Less than a year ago LinkedIn introduced the “skills and experience” feature. This is a good time to complete because you want people endorsing you to check off the skills that are most important. It pays to take at least 15 minutes to list the skills you think are central to your work.
5. You don’t have to reciprocate, but it can be a good idea.The best way to do this is to go to your connection’s profile page. A blue box will appear at the top with a list of skills, which you can check off. The endorsement feature offers an opportunity to do some networking either online or in person.
6. Seek endorsements from people who know your work well. If you’re working on a project with someone or you have a connection with a colleague or boss, ask them to endorse your work.
Bottom line: Don’t ignore endorsements. Though managing our social media footprint can be time consuming, we know that LinkedIn is the leader in professional social networking. If the initial numbers are any guide, the endorsement feature will only become more popular and ultimately may count toward your credibility. Though it’s tempting to ignore this new feature, it’s better to get ahead of the curve than to wait a year and find yourself left behind.