I understand that many people don’t like these Endorsements, mainly because anyone who is connected to you can endorse you for a skill.
Regardless of whether they’ve ever worked with you or you’ve done work for them.
That does seem to devalue the whole thing.
But I’ve actually changed my mind about the overall value of Endorsements.
And I want to encourage you to give them.
Firstly, the Skills listing is a factor in the search algorithm. So the more skills you have, and the more endorsements you have, the better for your search results. If you’ve been reading my recent articles, you’ll know that a high search ranking is extremely important.
Secondly, the Skills listing gives an at-a-glance overview of your abilities. If someone is just skimming through your profile, that quick snapshot can be very useful.
Thirdly, I now look at Endorsements as a simple way of giving someone a sincere compliment.
I only endorse people I know so, to me, it isn’t devalued at all. In fact, I think it’s really nice that they get an email from LinkedIn saying I’ve endorsed them. Then they know that I’ve been thinking of them and, as a bonus, their profile has been improved as a result.
It’s a great win/win.
All you have to do is to visit someone’s profile and LinkedIn will helpfully pop up a box at the top of the page asking if you want to endorse your connection and suggesting five skills you can endorse them for.
Once you’ve endorsed that person, four more boxes appear, prompting you to endorse other connections. I suggest you set a limit of how many connections you’ll endorse at any one time (maybe five?) so you don’t waste your valuable job search time on endless endorsing.
By the way, you’re not confined to just endorsing the five skills LinkedIn suggests. If you scroll down the page, you’ll see you can mouse over a blue plus sign against each skill. So you can endorse someone for every skill they have listed, if you choose.
You can even add a skill that you think your connection should also be claiming. (I have been known to endorse a good friend for bellydancing, just to give them a laugh. Please don’t do this with anyone who isn’t a close pal.)
And you are able to choose whether or not you add endorsements to a profile, so if I have endorsed you for bellydancing, you won’t be stuck with it once the joke is done.
So for me, endorsements are a positive – and valuable – feature.
I know that some of you still aren’t convinced.
But hey, you can always TURN OFF the ability to be endorsed!
You can still list your Skills but you can opt NOT to receive endorsements. (You can find this option in the Edit Your Profile menu. Click on each skill and it will ask if you want to be endorsed for it.)
So now you can stop wasting energy by complaining about the way LinkedIn prompts you to endorse people.
Instead, be grateful that LinkedIn makes it possible for you to easily connect with the people who will help you to find a great new job.
My best wishes for your job search success.
Richard Triggs is the Founder and Managing Partner of Arete Executive, one of Australasia’s leading executive recruitment companies. He has championed the practice of helping people to “headhunt their own job” and you can find more advice about this in his book Uncover the Hidden Job Market (available from Amazon or Apple Ibooks). You can also follow Arete Executive on LinkedIn for useful information and resources.
Richard has an organically built network of over 20,000 connections on LinkedIn and you are warmly invited to join his network.