Learn How To Use LinkedIn Endorsements

What are endorsements on LinkedIn? Should you be paying attention to them? First of all, it's important to know that they are not the same as LinkedIn Recommendations.

A recommendation on LinkedIn is a written reference supporting you and your work, while endorsements are simply skills and expertise that someone thinks you have.

The value of endorsements on LinkedIn has been questioned because it's so easy to endorse someone. LinkedIn prompts you to endorse other people and suggests skills to endorse them for. It's almost as simple as liking a post or a page on Facebook and you don't have to know much, if anything, about the person you are endorsing.

On a related note, you may not want to be endorsed for some skills. For example, if you helped someone look over their resume and they endorsed you for "resume writing," if you don't provide resume writing services professionally you wouldn't want to mislead anyone into thinking you do.

Endorsements on Your LinkedIn Profile

When someone endorses you on LinkedIn, they will be given suggestions on what to endorse you for (blogging, for example). The endorsements you receive will be listed on your profile in a section called Skills & Expertise. It's the section of your profile which is listed under Experience and above Education.

Should you be working on expanding the endorsements on your LinkedIn profile? While it is hard to know just how much specific endorsements will influence recruiters or potential networking partners who review your profile, it is safe to say two things - endorsements can't hurt your profile and the absence of endorsements might leave viewers wondering about your social media savvy as well as your skill sets.

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 target career or job if you are transitioning to a new field.

LinkedIn Endorsement Examples

Skills and expertise will generally fall into two categories: general transferable skills like writing, analysis, supervision, research and problem solving and more specialized skills unique to a particular profession like portfolio management, Python development tools, behavioral interviewingjob search strategies, search engine optimization, copywriting or estate planning.

Try to incorporate a combination of both types into your menu of skills/expertise options. 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 contacts who have had exposure to your skills. LinkedIn members receive an email notification when endorsements are added to their profile which can help get your profile noticed.

You also can send a simple message like "John, 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."

How to Turn Off Endorsements

You can't stop someone from endorsing you, but you can opt out of having your endorsements show on your profile. If you don't think that endorsements add value to your profile, you can hide them from showing on 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 off the email messages that tell you that you have been endorsed:

  • 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)