How To Use LinkedIn Endorsements
What does it mean to “endorse” or “be endorsed” on LinkedIn? Is this something that matters to your LinkedIn profile? Endorsements happen to be a valuable feature to add your profile. They allow peers, colleagues, and bosses to attest to your expertise.
LinkedIn Endorsements vs. Recommendations
First, it's important to know that endorsements are different from LinkedIn Recommendations.
A recommendation on LinkedIn is a written reference supporting you and your work. It typically involves a few sentences (or a of couple paragraphs) published on your profile. You might consider this a virtual recommendation letter for all to see. These are very valuable to your profile.
Endorsements work differently than recommendations. Anyone can visit your profile, read your skills list, and hit the “endorse” button for the skills they know you have.
Many have questioned the value of endorsements on LinkedIn because it's so easy to do. LinkedIn prompts you to endorse other people and suggests that you endorse them for certain skills. It's as simple as “liking” a post or a page on Facebook. Technically, you don’t even have to know the person that you are endorsing.
That being said, you do not want to be endorsed for every skill imaginable. For example, if you helped someone look over their resume, they endorsed you for "resume writing," and you don't provide resume writing services professionally, you wouldn't want to confuse anyone into thinking that that is what you do.
On a similar note, you shouldn’t be too quick to endorse everyone you know for every skill. You may not actually be helping them, and you will find that those that use LinkedIn thoughtfully will not return the “favor.”
Endorsements on Your LinkedIn Profile
When someone wants to endorse you, LinkedIn will offer suggestions on what to endorse you for (blogging, for example). When they decide to endorse you, the endorsements you receive will be listed on your profile in a section called Skills & Expertise (listed under Experience and above Education).
Is it a good idea to seek endorsements for your LinkedIn profile?While it is difficult to know for sure just how endorsements will influence recruiters or employers that review your profile, it is safe to say three things:
- Endorsements will never hurt your profile (unless you are being endorsed for skills you don’t want publicized);
- A lack of endorsements might make viewers skeptical about your social media savvy as well as any skill sets you claim on your profile; and…
- Combined with recommendations, a large amount of endorsements will make you look like a superstar in your industry.
How to Get the Right Endorsements
It's important that the endorsements you get are a match for your skills and experience. The best way to set up your profile to get accurate endorsements is to start by itemizing a wide selection of critical skills and knowledge assets on your profile so you can give potential endorsers plenty of options to trigger endorsements. Make sure you cover as many skills areas as possible within your industry, especially if you are transitioning to a new field.
LinkedIn Endorsement Examples
Skills and expertise will generally fall into two categories:
- General transferable skills, such as writing, analysis, supervision, research, and problem solving
- Specialized skills unique to a particular industry, such as portfolio management, Python development tools, behavioral interviewing, job search strategies, search engine optimization, copywriting or estate planning.
Try to incorporate a combination of both general and specialized skills into your list of skills open for endorsement. If you are branching out into a new field and don't yet possess many specialized skills, make sure you include as many transferable skills as possible.
How to Get Endorsements
One of the best ways to get endorsements on LinkedIn is to endorse others, particularly those that have had seen you use your skills. LinkedIn members receive an email notification when endorsements are added to their profile, and this helps you get noticed.
You also can send a simple private message, such as:
You might have noticed that I recently added endorsements to your profile. I am building up that component of my profile and would love to have any endorsements which you might feel comfortable adding given our past working relationship.
Specifically, I am seeking endorsement for [the following skills]. Since I want to be a help to you, as well, please let me know if there is/are skill(s) that you would like more endorsements for.
How to Turn Off Endorsements
You can't stop someone from endorsing you, but you can opt out of having your endorsements public. If you don't think that endorsements add value, you can hide them from your profile. Here's how:
- Click on Profile
- Click on Edit Profile
- Scroll down to Skills & Expertise
- Click on the pencil icon
- Click on Display your endorsements and select
- “Yes, show my endorsements,” or
- “No, don't show my endorsements”
How to Turn Off Endorsement Notifications
If you don't want your email cluttered with notifications about the endorsements you're getting, you can turn them off. Here’s how:
- Click on Settings (under your name on the top right side of the page)
- Click on Email Preferences
- Click on Set the frequency of emails (under Emails)
- Scroll down to Endorsements
- Select No Email (you can also opt for a Daily Digest, which is a once a day email message with all the endorsements you have received listed)
How to Delete and Add Skills
It is ideal for you to go through your Skills & Endorsements list on a regular basis. Scroll down the section on your profile and click the pencil icon on the right-hand side.
Set top skills. LinkedIn allows you to select three skills as your top skills. To make a skill a top skill, click on the pin icon on the left of the skill. It will go from white to blue and move to the top your skills list. This lets people know that you want to be known for these skills above all others.
Remove skills. As you scroll through your list of skills, you may notice some that you do not want on your profile. Simply click the trash can icon on the right to remove them.
Reorder skills. If you want to reorder your skills, you can select the four lines icon on the right, click and drag to the spot you want it to stay.
Add a skill. To add a skill, close out of the edit skills box and select the Add a New Skill on right of the Skills & Endorsements section. LinkedIn will suggest some skills (based on your experience), or you may type in skills that you want listed. Remember that LinkedIn allows for you to list up to 50 skills.