Lately, every time I log in to LinkedIn my notifications include a fairly long list of endorsements. This got me thinking about endorsements as a LinkedIn feature. Some people think they are great, others think they are worthless because anyone can endorse you on any skill without thought or real knowledge.
What are LinkedIn Endorsements?
According to LinkedIn they are:
Skill endorsements are a great way to recognize your 1st-degree connections’ skills and expertise with one click. They also let your connections validate the strengths found on your own profile. Skill endorsements are a simple and effective way of building your professional brand and engaging your network.
The Pros and Cons of LinkedIn Endorsements
- It (hopefully) reinforces the skills you are most known for, whether or not everyone who endorsed you knows you personally or has even worked with you in that capacity. They believe you know about those topics which means you’ve done a good job sharing who you are and what you do with people.
- It’s a fast and easy way to remind people you exist. They’re going to be notified if you endorsed them and the response could be for them to click on your profile and see what you’re up to, since it’s been awhile since you last saw each other.
- Anyone can say you’re good at something without any proof.
TRUE, but…that’s why the recommendations section is even more valuable…for proof.
- People can add skills to your profile for you. That could mean someone is adding things you don’t want to be known for.
TRUE, but…new skills you’re endorsed for have to be added to your profile BY YOU.
Endorsements are good for your personal brand
As small business owners we are trying to build our business brand, but how we are personally viewed is also critical. Tools like LinkedIn allow us to connect with people and reinforce our expertise.
The top four skills I’ve been endorsed for are Blogging, Social Media, Facebook and Newsletters. I’ve been blogging the longest and talking about newsletters for the shortest amount of time. While it isn’t an exact picture of my qualifications it definitely shows that people think I know about the things I want them to know about.
Endorse and connect
Next time you’re on LinkedIn and they prompt you to endorse someone, do it when you feel it’s appropriate. Don’t do it if you don’t really know they’re good at something. I skip about half (if not more )of the suggestions I see go by because I just don’t know if those people have that skill. But if you feel comfortable with your knowledge of someone to endorse them, go for it.
On the flip side, next time someone endorses you, go and have a look at their profile and what they’ve been up to. Endorse them for skills you know they have. And if it makes sense, use that endorsement as a way to re-connect with someone. Send them a quick thank you note or a request to go for coffee and catch up.
If you really don’t like the concept and want to turn off endorsements, that is also possible. Here is an article that tells you how.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think about LinkedIn endorsements, and while you’re at it, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn too!